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.
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.”
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftAmerican Discourse Needs More Mehdi Hasan, Not Less
At a time when there is so much criticism of major media outlets for their lack of seriousness, depth, and insight, MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan’s September 6 segment with Republican presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy offered a reminder of just how powerful a television interview can be when the questioner is relentless in pursuit of the truth. Hasan grilled the candidate—who, at the time, was still rising in the polls—on his wildly mixed signals regarding Donald Trump’s assault on democracy, on allegations that he engaged in unethical business practices, and on his dalliances...
From the CenterGlenn Greenwald on X
One thing Mehdi specialized in was smearing opponents of the Dem Party as racists, bigots, anti-Semites, etc. That got him a lot of social media love. But inside corporate media, you can only step out of line -- as he did on Israel -- if you're a star with a huge audience.
For sure Mehdi conducted good, hard-hitting interviews with some people. Credit to him for that, and for his willingness to be so off-key on Israel/Gaza. But Comcast doesn't care about Twitter popularity, only ratings. Mehdi had none, so...
From the RightMSNBC Replaces Pro-Hamas Host Mehdi Hasan…With a Pro-Hamas Host, Plus Media Layoffs Abound
It was about a week after the attack on Israeli citizens on October 7 when a ratings anomaly was spotted. While most news outlets were experiencing a sharp rise in the ratings, MSNBC actually saw a drop in its audience. This was attributed to the fact that many of its news hosts – especially those on the weekend shift when the violence broke out – were decidedly taking a sympathetic approach to the Palestinian cause. Among the most vocal in this was host Mehdi Hasan.
Following that cratering of the...