In a dramatic reversal, MSNBC has decided to bring back Sam Seder as a contributor, days following the two sides parted ways over an old tweet of Seder’s that had drawn right-wing criticism.
Seder, a good progressive commentator who likewise hosts his own daily radio show, said that he’ll accept the network’s give.
“I appreciate MSNBC’s thoughtful reconsideration and willingness to understand the cynical motives of these who intentionally misrepresented my tweet because of their own toxic, political reasons,” Seder said in a good statement. “We are going through a significant and long overdue point in time of empowerment for the victims of sexual assault and of reckoning because of their perpetrators. I’m proud that MSNBC and its own staff have set a clear exemplory case of the want to obtain it right.”
MSNBC president Phil Griffin said found in a assertion that the network had erred found in its decision.
“Sometimes you merely get one wrong — and that is what happened below. We built our initial decision for the proper reasons — because we don’t consider rape to become a funny theme to be joked about,” Griffin said. “But we’ve observed the opinions, and we figure out the idea Sam was hoping to make in that tweet was essentially consistent with our values, despite the fact that the language was not. Sam will get welcome on our weather going forward.”
Related: How a joke, and Mike Cernovich, acquired Sam Seder booted from MSNBC
The news, first reported by The Intercept, marks a swift and remarkable turnabout for MSNBC, which was criticized for your choice.
On Monday, the network said that it would not renew Seder’s contributor agreement because of a provocative joke he told on Twitter in ’09 2009.
In the tweet, Seder mocked defenders of the filmmaker Roman Polanski, a director who pleaded guilty to statutory rape after being charged with drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl.
“Don’t health care re Polanski, but I am hoping if my girl is ever raped it is by a mature truly talented guy w/a great good sense of mise en scene,” Seder said at the time.
The tweet went largely unnoticed for nearly a decade — until last week, when the far-right activist Mike Cernovich dredged it up and spearheaded a pressure campaign against MSNBC.
Cernovich, a central figure in back of a bizarre and false conspiracy theory that linked Hillary Clinton’s campaign to a supposed kid sex ring in the pizza shop, was triumphant when news broke on Monday that the network was parting with Seder.
But the decision was met with a poor reaction throughout the media world — and within the halls of MSNBC. One senior MSNBC employee, speaking with CNNMoney on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to go over the matter publicly, called the move “really fragile” and “pathetic.” And many journalists were appalled that the network would capitulate to Cernovich and his misreading of the tweet.
Seder defended the tweet to MSNBC brass, but to no avail.
“I’ve been on [MSNBC] for 14 years; I’ve been paid out by them for over two years. I’ve had thousands of tweets since 2009. There was context for those tweets,” Seder told CNNMoney in a cellphone interview earlier this week. “If indeed they can’t help to make that evaluation, if making that evaluation is usually a bridge too much, they have no value as a information organization.”
Cernovich did not immediately react to a request for comment Thursday morning.
— CNNMoney’s Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy contributed reporting.