Following a firestorm of outrage, MSNBC has reportedly reversed its decision to cut ties with progressive commentator Sam Seder over an eight-year-old satirical tweet that was used by right-wingers to launch an elaborate smear campaign.
“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.”
According to The Intercept‘s Ryan Grim, who first reported the network’s reversal on Thursday, Seder will soon be offered his job back, and he plans to accept.
“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,” Seder told The Intercept in a statement. “We are experiencing an important and long overdue moment of empowerment for the victims of sexual assault and of reckoning for their perpetrators. I’m proud that MSNBC and its staff have set a clear example of the need to get it right.”
As Common Dreams reported on Tuesday, MSNBC‘s initial decision not to renew Seder’s contract was fiercely condemned by journalists and other commentators, who argued that the move would set a dangerous precedent and embolden right-wing provocateurs like Mike Cernovich, the pro-Trump conspiracy theorist who led the effort to get Seder fired.
Almost immediately following news of Seder’s firing, Cernovich “announced he was now rummaging through the old twitter feeds of other liberal personalities, hoping to land them in the unemployment line, too,” Grim notes.
“But MSNBC‘s decision [to rehire Seder] sends a signal that the news channel recognized it caved too quickly and shouldn’t let Nazi-adjacent online activists call the shots at a major network,” Grim concludes.
“Sometimes you just get one wrong,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin told The Intercept, “and that’s what happened here.”
Those who criticized MSNBC‘s decision to cut ties with Seder as a “cowardly” capitulation to far-right trolls and “rape apologists” celebrated the network’s reversal on Wednesday, calling it “a big win for what is right and just.”
— Jon Schwarz (@schwarz) December 7, 2017
— Victor Bergermeister Meisterberger IV (@VicBergerIV) December 7, 2017
— David Pakman (@dpakman) December 7, 2017