Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.): “It is deeply troubling that MSNBC is cancelling his show amid a rampant rise of anti-Muslim bigotry and suppression of Muslim voices. Anyone who cares about free expression should be concerned.”
Roughly a week after the Hamas terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians began in October, MSNBC faced accusations of “racism” from Democrats over their decision to remove three former Al Jazeera journalists from their anchor slots.
The three were Ali Velshi, Mehdi Hasan, and Ayman Mohyeldin, all of whom were weekend anchors on the network.
The belief from MSNBC‘s critics was that the three were being shuffled around to other assignments because as Muslims they were too sympathetic to Hamas and the people of Gaza. According to a Semafor story at the time, NBC said the moves were “coincidental, and the three continue to appear on air to report and provide analysis.”
Nearly two months later, Hasan’s shows on the network and its streaming service have been canceled:
MSNBC has canceled Mehdi Hasan’s Sunday night opinion show as part of a broader shakeup across the network’s lineup of weekend programming.
Hasan, who will remain with the network as an on-camera analyst and fill-in host, informed his staff of the decision on Thursday morning, Semafor first reported.
The network plans to fill Hasan’s Sunday night slot with a second hour of a show hosted by Ayman Mohyeldin, whose total broadcast time on MSNBC will be expanding to four hours on both Saturday and Sundays.
Hasan confirmed the reports in tweets addressed to his Twitter/X followers:
Thanks for the outpouring of love and support, & thanks of course to my amazing, talented team of producers on the @MehdiHasanShow.
I’m humbled and so appreciative.
I’m not going anywhere and you’ll hear from me lots in 2024.
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 1, 2023
In response to the news, the Usual Suspects including members of The Squad lined up to express outrage and to suggest/imply that this was being done to silence a Muslim voice:
Mehdi is one of the most brilliant and most prominent Muslim journalists in the U.S.
It is deeply troubling that MSNBC is cancelling his show amid a rampant rise of anti-Muslim bigotry and suppression of Muslim voices. Anyone who cares about free expression should be concerned.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 1, 2023
As a prominent and talented Muslim journalist, @mehdirhasan brings an essential voice and perspective to our national dialogue.@MSNBC's decision to take his show off the air – especially at a time when anti-Muslim hate is on the rise nationally – is wrong. Full stop.
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) December 1, 2023
@mehdirhasan is quite simply a brilliant journalist. He’s fearless and tells it as he sees it. Apparently that was too much for @MSNBC, which appears to have muffled him due to his reporting and commentary on Gaza. Shame. https://t.co/dLIyyLqZvx
— Keith Ellison (@keithellison) December 1, 2023
It is bad optics for MSNBC to cancel @mehdirhasan’s show right at a time when he is vocal for human rights in Gaza with the war ongoing. As a strong supporter of free speech, MSNBC owes the public an explanation for this decision. Why would they choose to do this now?
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) November 30, 2023
This might have something to do with it:
His show’s ratings were ranked 23rd out of 30 MSNBC shows. https://t.co/n0pO0xyj7d
— Israel War Room (@IsraelWarRoom) December 1, 2023
Further, as another Twitter user observed, the “silencing a Muslim!” narrative is kind of nuked considering MSNBC is expanding the time slot of Ayman Mohyeldin, another Muslim anchor:
Dont forget to mention that Ayman Mohyeldin (also a Muslim) is having his time slot expanded and will air during this time. Kind of destroys your whole narrative though. Lame.
— Akiva (@Waltstar_) December 1, 2023
MSNBC canceled Mehdi’s show mostly because his viewership was down.If people aren’t viewing his show, they can’t keep it running. That wouldn’t be smart business. So I guess not everyone agrees with you that he is such a great journalist. Or more people would have been tuning in.
Here’s the thing the pearl-clutchers on the left don’t get. Though Hasan is indeed losing his show, the fact that he’s going to be a guest anchor and on-air political analyst means he’s likely to get more visibility than his weekend program ever got.
I’m not a fan of his because of the anti-Semitism he’s expressed over the years, but even I can see that in reality this is good news for Hasan and is not likely to diminish his voice at all on MSNBC.
But the Outrage Machine gotta Outrage Machine, so here we are.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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