Thursday's HOT MIC
After giving in to right-wing pressure not to renew the contract of MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, the network decided to give into left-wing pressure and take him back.
Seder "joked" ten years ago that if his daughter was ever raped, he hoped it would be by someone like Roman Polanski, mocking those who took a dim view of the film director drugging and raping a 13-year-old little girl.
The effort to get rid of Seder was spearheaded by right-wing nut Mike Cernovich, who dug up the old tweet and urged other right wingers to put pressure on MSNBC to fire him.
Now, all is forgiven, according to CNN:
"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 said 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."
MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a statement that the network had erred in its decision.
"Sometimes you just get one wrong -- and that's what happened here. We made our initial decision for the right reasons -- because we don't consider rape to be a funny topic to be joked about," Griffin said. "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. Sam will be welcome on our air going forward."
The news, first reported by The Intercept, marks a swift and remarkable turnabout for MSNBC, which was criticized for the decision.
On Monday, the network said that it would not renew Seder's contributor contract due to a provocative joke he told on Twitter in 2009.
In the tweet, Seder mocked defenders of the filmmaker Roman Polanski, a director who pleaded guilty to statutory rape after being charged with drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl.
"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," Seder said at the time.
The defense of Polanski was inexplicable, Seder's tweet was shockingly inexplicable, and the decision by MSNBC to take him back was, well, inexplicable.
I wish I could be alive 100 years from now to see how historians explain it because frankly, I haven't a clue.