(Reuters) - Television host Martin Bashir resigned from the U.S. cable news network MSNBC on Wednesday after making controversial remarks about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
“Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the president of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation,” Bashir wrote in a memo obtained by Reuters.
“I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers.”
In a segment that aired in November, Bashir called Palin a “world class idiot” after she said in a speech the United States borrowing money from China is the equivalent of slavery.
Bashir added that Palin should be forced to eat excrement, after citing a diary item of a former plantation owner describing punishments for slaves.
Bashir apologized on air for his remarks and took a leave of absence.
Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, said in a statement “I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC. Martin is a good man and respected colleague - we wish him only the best.”
In 1995, Bashir became widely known for his BBC interview of Princess Diana, and has interviewed other world-famous figures as well, including Michael Jackson.
Bashir is the second high profile host to leave the network in a matter of weeks. MSNBC canceled actor Alec Baldwin’s late night talk show in late November after Baldwin was caught in a video posted on the celebrity website TMZ using a homophobic slur during a confrontation with a New York photographer.
Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; editing by Gunna Dickson