MSNBC had signaled it would part ways with Seder, a progressive radio and TV personality who has long been a contributor to MSNBC. At issue was a joking tweet posted by Seder in 2009 meant to satirize liberal defenders of director Roman Polanski, who has been accused of rape. Mike Cernovich, a right-wing provocateur and personality, sparked online opprobrium among followers by suggesting the tweet endorsed rape.
“Sometimes you just get one wrong – and that’s what happened here,” said MSNBC President Phil Griffin in a prepared statement. “We made our initial decision 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 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.”
Seder said he welcomed MSNBC’s decision. “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 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.”