MSNBC Admits It Screwed Up, Will Re-Hire Sam Seder

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Seder. Photo: Riccardo S. Savi/WireImage

MSNBC has reversed course and decided to stick with contributor Sam Seder after all. Earlier this week, the network cut ties with Seder after alt-right figure Mike Cernovich resurfaced a 2009 tweet in which Seder joked about Roman Polanski’s rape conviction. Seder later defended the tweet on his podcast, saying the tweet was satirical and intended to call out Polanski apologists in Hollywood who’d petitioned for the director’s re-entry into the U.S. despite his abuse of minors. He claimed that Cernovich had orchestrated a smear campaign to get him fired, and that his tweet was being “willfully misinterpreted.” Many critics blasted MSNBC over Seder’s firing, arguing that the network had been manipulated by right-wing trolls. In a message directed to MSNBC, Seder said, “I know you want to avoid controversy. You can’t do that in this day and age. If you try and run from something like this, you’re picking a side.”

On Thursday, MSNBC president Phil Griffin released a statement admitting the network rushed to judgment and that Seder can continue as a contributor:

“Sometimes you just get one wrong — and that’s what happened here. We made our initial judgment for the right reasons — because we don’t consider rape to be a funny topic to be joked about. But we’ve heard the feedback and understand the point Sam was trying to make in that tweet was actually in line with our values, even though the language was not. Sam will be welcome on our air going forward.”

MSNBC Admits It Screwed Up, Will Re-Hire Sam Seder