The network opted never to renew Seder’s contributor contract on Monday after a 2009 tweet resurfaced online, but has reversed its decision. MSNBC reverses program on firing contributor Seder after backlash
MSNBC reversed its decision to fire contributor Sam Seder Thursday after critics said the network overreacted to right-wing press recirculating a vintage tweet in which he produced a crude joke.
“Sometimes you merely get a single wrong – and that’s what happened in this article,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a affirmation announcing Seder’s return.
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The network opted never to renew Seder’s contributor contract on Monday after a 2009 tweet resurfaced online in which he produced a crude joke about his daughter and motion picture director Roman Polanski, who fled the country decades ago after being charged with raping a 13-year-old girl.
“Don’t attention re Polanski, but I am hoping if my girl is ever raped it is by a mature truly talented man w/a great good sense of mise en scene,” Seder tweeted, which he explained was a criticism of men and women who defended Polanski’s fine art.
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Mike Cernovich, a favorite conservative blogger and physique in the so-called “alt-right” movements, re-upped the remarks and called on reporters to covers the matter as they have done with sex-related controversies in the media.
The decision never to renew Seder’s contract immediately incited a backlash online from journalists and media critics who said MSNBC had caved to pressure from Cernovich. A petition for MSNBC to rehire Seder garnered over 12,000 signatures as of Thursday morning.
“EVERY media article offers defended Sam Seder’s right to make kid rape ‘jokes’ that would get anyone else fired, but yeah there is no media narrative at all, and there’s totally a diversity of viewpoint in the press. Yes, sure thing fellas, we totally purchase that,” Cernovich sarcastically quipped on Twitter Wednesday.
Griffin said MSNBC “heard the feedback” and they “understand the idea Sam was first trying to make in that tweet was first actually in line with our values, despite the fact that the language was not.”
“I appreciate MSNBC’s thoughtful reconsideration and willingness to comprehend the cynical motives of those who intentionally misrepresented my tweet for his or her own toxic, political needs,” Seder said in a statement.
News of Seder’s return, primary reported by The Intercept, was acknowledged by MSNBC staffers online Thursday.
“Welcome backside, @SamSeder!” MSNBC “All Found in” host Christopher Hayes tweeted.