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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Controversial comments force TV host to resign

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NEW YORK -- British journalist Martin Bashir resigned from the MSNBC cable news network Wednesday, nearly three weeks after causing an uproar by making graphic remarks on his show about former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

"I deeply regret" the comments, Bashir said in a statement. "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."

The tempest began last month when Bashir suggested someone should defecate in Palin's mouth because of a remark the former Alaska governor made comparing the United States' indebtedness to China with slavery.

Bashir criticized Palin and her "long-diseased mind" after playing video of her speech on China. He told the story of Thomas Thistlewood, a former overseer at a plantation who described in diaries how he dealt with wayward slaves by, in one case, having another slave defecate in the mouth of the miscreant.

"When Mrs. Palin invokes slavery," Bashir said, "she doesn't just prove her rank ignorance, she confirms (that) if anyone truly qualifies for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate."

Bashir apologized days later. But the controversy continued to rage

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 6, 2013 D2

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