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It's been a roller coaster of a week for MSNBC contributor and radio host Sam Seder, who was temporarily looking at being an ex-MSNBC contributor over a satirical tweet he'd shared back nearly a decade ago. Two days after the cable news channel announced that it would not be renewing Seder's contract when it expires next year, it looks like that decision has been reversed after more consideration was put forth.
Almost everything about Sam Seder's potential ousting was embroiled in controversy. The reason why MSNBC first rapidly put Seder under the microscope is because right wing rabble-rouser Mike Cernovich recently resurfaced a 2009 tweet in which Seder satirically commented on accused rapist Roman Polanski. (Specifically, the petition that came out at the time to release Polanski from a Switzerland arrest, specifically because of his talents as a filmmaker.) Cernovich and other Internet trolls started using the tweet in an assumed smear campaign against Seder to keep him silent about Alabama Senate hopeful Ron Moore, who has been at the center of his own controversy thanks to allegations of him having relationships with underaged females.
It appears MSNBC did not take ample time in coming to its initial decision to cut ties with Sam Seder, and it's possible similar situations -- such as Netflix's break-up with Kevin Spacey -- caused them to react without giving it due consideration. A petition was started up to get Sam Seder reinstated by MSNBC, though it's not clear how big of an effect that may have had.
Here's how Sam Seder himself reacted to the news, according to The Intercept.
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, 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.
MSNBC also put out a statement, with President Phil Griffin admitting that he and others made a mistake, though still defending their initial reasoning for firing Sam Seder, since "rape" definitely isn't something they're comfortable joking about. But after getting all the feedback on the issue, and reassessing the original tweet and Seder's intentions, Griffin says the contributor is welcome to continue working with the network.
Perhaps surprisingly, Mike Cernovich himself responded to MSNBC's decision to double-back on pushing Sam Seder out the door when his contract expires in February 2018. Here's how he reacted.
I'm thrilled MSNBC has made the decision that people shouldn't be fired over satirical tweets. This rule will surely be applied equally to all sides, and if it's not, we will bring Sam Seder's Tweet out every time the media goes after someone else for a Tweet.
MSNBC relatively recently found itself in scandalous waters r=with Brian Williams during the longtime anchor's attempt to regain his journalistic integrity with viewers after publicly admitting to falsifying stories earlier in his career. But Williams is now back on top, and it thankfully looks like this Sam Seder business might get squashed and forgotten quicker than Seder's own tweets were.