Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Last month, Martin Bashir called Sarah Palin a "dunce" and "a world-class idiot" for comparing American debt to slavery. He also referenced a plantation owner's practice of having slaves defecate and urinate in each other's mouths.
"When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery, she doesn't just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, she would be the outstanding candidate," Bashir said in a November 15 broadcast of his MSNBC show.
Palin accepted his subsequent apology, but said on Fox News that she wondered why MSNBC hadn't punished him.
Bashir had originally asked for additional leave around Thanksgiving. But after "further reflection," he resigned.
"Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC," MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in an announcement. "Martin is a good man and respected colleague -- we wish him only the best."
"It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments," Bashir said in a statement. "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."