MSNBC Rehires Sam Seder After Stupidly Firing Him for Satirical Tweet

Riccardo S. Savi via Getty Images
MSNBC has decided to not sever ties with Majority Report podcast host Sam Seder

Riccardo S. Savi via Getty Images MSNBC has decided to not sever ties with Majority Report podcast host Sam Seder

"But we've heard the feedback, and we understand the point Sam was trying to make in that tweet was actually in line with our values, even though the language was not".

Seder, host of the "Majority Report" podcast, said in a statement released by MSNBC on Thursday that he was glad the network ultimately sided with him.

"I appreciate MSNBC's thoughtful reconsideration and willingness to understand the cynical motives of those who intentionally misrepresented my tweet for their own toxic, political purposes", he said.

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Eight years later, Mr. Cernovich, an activist who pushed the #Pizzagate conspiracy theory, helped draw attention to the tweet and began to hound MSNBC's media relations department and other journalists about Mr. Seder.

The tweet - a joke that Seder's allies pointed out was meant to mock Polanski's continued acceptance in Hollywood at a time when he was attempting to come back to the United States - was shown to MSNBC higher-ups, who subsequently decided not to renew his contract. Previously, the network said it would let his contract run out. "I'm proud that MSNBC and its staff have set a clear example of the need to get it right".

Seder came under fire for an old tweet that made a satirical joke about filmmaker Roman Polanski, who fled the United States after pleading guilty to statutory rape.

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MSNBC on Tuesday fired Seder over a tweet he posted in 2009, and has since deleted, mocking Polanski's defenders: "Don't care re Polanski, but I hope if my daughter is ever raped it is by an older truly talented man w/a great sense of mise en scene". One senior MSNBC employee, speaking with CNNMoney on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, called the move "really weak" and "pathetic".

Seder, in response to criticism, explained he wrote the tweet to express dismay that anyone could find an excuse for rape, particularly of a child.

"I reiterate my longstanding position that people shouldn't be fired for a tweet, *particularly* one that is obviously being read in manifestly bad faith", Mr. Hayes tweeted on Monday. "If they can't make that assessment, if making that assessment is a bridge too far, they have no value as a news organization", Seder told CNN.

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Mr. Cernovich did not immediately respond to a request for comment. This reporter, a former MSNBC contributor, started an online petition which had collected more than 11,000 signatures as of Wednesday evening.

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