MSNBC will not renew its contract with contributor Sam Seder, seemingly giving in to a smear campaign that centered on one of his old tweets.
Seder confirmed the news on his radio show, “The Majority Report,” on Tuesday.
“MSNBC and I have decided to part ways based upon their firing me from their network, therefore I decided not to go there anymore,” he said.
The Wrap, citing an unnamed source, first reported Monday that MSNBC had decided to sever ties with Seder after alt-right social media personality Mike Cernovich dug up and publicized an old tweet from Seder last month.
In the since-deleted tweet from 2009, Seder wrote, “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.” Far from making light of Polanski, it is clear that Seder was mocking prominent writers who were urging leniency for the convicted child rapist.
A Medium post that Cernovich wrote in November was titled “MSNBC Contributor Sam Seder Endorses Polanki’s [sic] Sex Crimes in Now Deleted Tweet,” although Cernovich acknowledged that “some are saying Seder was making a joke or being sarcastic.”
Seder released a video on Monday denouncing Cernovich’s attempt to take him down with an out-of-context tweet. He did not directly address his contract with MSNBC.
“This smear involves the willful misinterpretation of a tweet that I posted in 2009,” Seder said, explaining that it was a response to Hollywood figures sharing a petition that asked authorities to allow Polanski, the famous director and convicted child rapist, to re-enter the U.S. Seder said he deleted it out of “expedience” and regrets doing so.
Seder also added that he was a “former actor, professional satirist and comedy writer” at the time he wrote the tweet and that he will “never be ashamed of criticizing those who would excuse the predation of women or girls.”
Seder linked Cernovich’s effort to get him fired from MSNBC to Seder’s criticism of Alabama’s Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who faces several accusations of sexually harassing or assaulting teenage girls while he was in his 30s.
“If they succeed in getting me fired or scaring my advertisers away, they will continue until they have silenced anyone who’d criticize Roy Moore, criticize President [Donald] Trump or criticize the conservative movement,” he said.
Seder and MSNBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.