Headline RoundupDecember 3rd, 2023

Why Did MSNBC Cancel Mehdi Hasan’s Show?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

MSNBC (Left bias) announced it was canceling opinion commentator Mehdi Hasan’s Sunday night show on Thursday, drawing opinions from journalists and media outlets.

For Context: Hasan is known for his debate-style interviews, and book, Win Every Argument.

A Big Mistake: An opinion for The Nation (Left bias) praised Hasan as one of the best interviewers in American media and “practitioners of accountability journalism.” It highlighted many opinions from “media scholars and commentators” critical of MSNBC’s move, and said the viral nature of many clips from Hasan’s show “put him on the cutting edge of the future of journalism.”

Corporate Decision: Glenn Greenwald (Center bias) shared opinions in threads on X. He said Hasan “specialized in… smearing opponents of the Dem Party as racists, bigots, anti-Semites, etc.,” which got him “a lot of social media love,” but emphasized that MSNBC’s owner, Comcast, cares about TV ratings, and Hasan underperformed. Greenwald praised Hasan for being “so off-key on Israel/Gaza,” but said “inside corporate media, you can only step out of line… if you're a star with a huge audience.”

Pro-Hamas Issue: An opinion for Townhall (Right bias) highlighted that many major news outlets saw a spike in ratings when the Israel-Hamas violence broke out on October 7, while MSNBC saw a drop. It claimed this resulted from many of its hosts “decidedly taking a sympathetic approach to the Palestinian cause.” The opinion said MSNBC is “sort of” addressing its “pro-Hamas issue,” by firing Hasan, and criticized his replacement Ayman Mohyeldin for also being “pro-Hamas.”

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