MSNBC to bring back Sam Seder after cutting ties over Polanski rape joke: report

MSNBC to bring back Sam Seder after cutting ties over Polanski rape joke: report
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MSNBC is reportedly planning to bring back contributor Sam Seder, according to The Intercept.

The move comes after the network previously opted not to renew its contract with Seder after one of his old tweets resurfaced in which he made a joke about director Roman Polanski raping his daughter.

“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, according to The Intercept.


“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,” he said. 

The initial move to cut ties with Seder faced backlash, as people argued the tweet was sarcasm.

Seder said earlier this week the network made a mistake cutting ties with him.

"I've had thousands of tweets since 2009. There was context for those tweets. 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.

He maintained that the tweet was intended to be satirical. He said his other tweets at the time provided context to prove as much.

MSNBC president Phil Griffin said that "sometimes you just get one wrong."

"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," he said in a statement to The Intercept.

"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,” he said.

Polanski was arrested and charged in 1977 with raping a 13-year-old girl. He took a plea bargain that included pleading guilty to lesser charges but fled the U.S. when he learned he likely faced jail time. Polanski has lived in Europe ever since.

Right-wing activist Mike Cernovich referenced Seder’s comment on Twitter last month, asking why the media was ignoring them.

"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 wrote in the since-deleted tweet.

Seder said on his podcast last week that Cernovich was leading a smear campaign to drown out his criticism of President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE and Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.

He added that more people need to be aware of Cernovich's tactics.

"If you decide to let this guy be the arbiter of what is and is not appropriate, understand who he is," Seder said earlier this week.