December 7, 2017

I am very glad to see that MSNBC reversed its decision to fire Sam Seder.

 2 days ago, I wrote about the Sam Seder firing, in "At MSNBC, in the time of The Reckoning, there's zero tolerance for sarcasm aimed at the rich and powerful" ("I'd never even heard of Sam Seder, but apparently he had a show on MSNBC and now he's lost it, all because of a joke he made in a.. tweet back in 2009... retaliating against him for that tweet is... willfully stupid").

And I was going to blog about him again this morning, as I was reading something that Vox put up yesterday, "How the alt-right duped MSNBC into firing one of its contributors/An online community weaponized the political commentator Sam Seder’s satirical 2009 tweet."

But now I'm seeing (at The Intercept): "MSNBC REVERSES DECISION TO FIRE CONTRIBUTOR SAM SEDER."
Seder and MSNBC were set to part ways when his contributor contract expired next year, with reports indicating the departure had to do with a 2009 tweet from Seder surfaced by the far-right provocateur Mike Cernovich. After initially caving in to right-wing internet outrage over the tweet, MSNBC reversed its decision to not renew Seder’s contract....

“Sometimes you just get one wrong,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a statement to The Intercept, “and 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. 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.”
Good. Maybe this is a sign that people are going to use their brains as they proceed through The Reckoning. Maybe a sense of humor and a commitment to treating people fairly will survive.

Here's Seder defending himself (before MSNBC reversed its decision):

58 comments:

MikeR said...

"Maybe this is a sign that people are going to use their brains". I'm not sure firing someone as a knee-jerk reaction, following by backing off in response to justified outrage, counts.
But really impressive trolling job, alt-right extremists!

Nonapod said...

Maybe a sense of humor and a commitment to treating people fairly will survive.

Nonsense. The mob must be placated. I mean, what else are we gonna do with all these torches and pitchforks?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

He wasn't under "assault" by the alt-right. He was trolled by them. He was fired by the fascist left.

rhhardin said...

If people were going to use their brains, they'd be discussing why this all is supposed to be a public problem, other than hysterical women being hysterical.

Individual deals, personal moral problem, no state interest.

It maybe good or bad, but explain the hysteria.

It's hysteria because that's what women do to entertain themselves.

The high point for women in Thurber's The War Between Men and Women was the capture of three physics professors, who didn't look unhappy to be captured by the way.

Quaestor said...

Contributorsone (n) an especially toxic male hormone which compels leftish males to tweet satirically about serial sex abusers on the Left.

Ann Althouse said...

It's really lame to let yourself get played by your opponents. Blaming them for tricking you is also lame. Pay attention. Use your head. It's a wonder these people can get through the day, they are so stupid.

Ann Althouse said...

"Contributorsone (n) an especially toxic male hormone which compels leftish males to tweet satirically about serial sex abusers on the Left."

LOL

Sorry I fixed the typo and stepped on your joke.

Achilles said...

His tweet: "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."


The problem is you can't tell if he is serious or joking. The left has been giving Polanski standing ovations for years. You have leftists saying it was OK that Bill the rapist abused women because abortion.

Even if Seder was joking, which is giving a leftist the benefit of the doubt at this point, it is the type of joke that only a leftist could make and not have to face howling mobs.

Sebastian said...

"they are so stupid." Strictly speaking, by normal intellectual standards, they are, of course. But they also aren't: progs in prog precincts carefully assess their audience, and outrage avoidance must rank high in their calculations. Hence "stupid," spineless university administrators, media honchos, and so on, as humorless as the people they serve.

Jupiter said...

". 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.”

Of course, Roman Polanski will also be welcome going forward, because what he does is also actually in line with their values.

David Begley said...

Keep him on MSNBC. They have the Murders Row of TDS victims. Hayes, Madddow, Matthews, Larry, Reid, Mika, Donny the D and Joe Scar.

I like to tune in from time to time to confirm my own sanity.

Mike said...

Personally I will need a LOT more evidence before I believe people in the media and on the left (excuse the redundancy) are using their heads.

Rick said...

I'm not sure how I feel about his reinstatement. It was stupid to fire him. But now both he and MSNBC are blaming the right for their own incompetence reacting to a left wing movement.

I like Sam Seder less than last week when I'd never heard of him.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

"Maybe this is a sign that people are going to use their brains".

Judging by Vox's take: the alt-right made them do it! oooga booga! I'd say signs point to no.

Gretchen said...

Everyone needs to keep the facts of the Polanski case clear. It was beyond statutory rape. He gave a 13-year old alcohol and a quaalude and raped her orally, vaginally and rectally. She said "no" each time. He is repulsive. If there is a definition of "rape-rape, that's it.

Besides, that, anyone who says Nazi and alt-right in response to getting called out for a tweet that mentions your own child being raped is a moral and intellectual idiot.

Achilles said...

Gretchen said...
Everyone needs to keep the facts of the Polanski case clear. It was beyond statutory rape. He gave a 13-year old alcohol and a quaalude and raped her orally, vaginally and rectally. She said "no" each time. He is repulsive. If there is a definition of "rape-rape, that's it.

The left has made it perfectly clear they place their own power over others above any normal definition of decency.

Comanche Voter said...

Mike--the folks on the left at MSNBC can't use their heads. They are in storage---in some deep dark place where the Sun don't shine. They pull them out occasionally--but not very often.

Sebastian said...

"The left has made it perfectly clear they place their own power over others above any normal definition of decency."

Art above morality, power above principle.

Freeman Hunt said...

Good! Nice that some things end well.

Clyde said...

The Left doesn't like it when the Right starts playing by the same rules, like contacting the person's advertisers and complaining and threatening boycotts. The Left has been doing that against conservative commentators for a long time. Goose, gander.

Sebastian said...

Question for the Reckoners: is the unwanted sexual groping of women's body parts worse than the unwanted sexual transmission of viruses that cause disease and death? If the sexual transmission involves a consensual act, does that make it right?

Drago said...

Lefties: Sam, Sam. You know we would never hurt you. It's just Trump and this damned war!!!

MadisonMan said...

What nonsense to blame anyone but MSNBC for the firing. I guess Sam can't actually blame his bosses, though, even if they deserve it. Bosses don't like to be blamed by mere underlings.

Rick said...

Maybe a ...commitment to treating people fairly will survive.

People sure. But I see no evidence this will extend beyond to include conservatives or other non-leftists.

Quaestor said...

...the folks on the left at MSNBC can't use their heads. They are in storage---in some deep dark place where the Sun don't shine.

Eeeew! And I have these nice crystal brain jars with engraved nameplates ready for all of them (except Reverend Al, even Quaestor has his standards) and now you tell where they've been all these years. Thanks for spoiling my hobby, Comanche.

eric said...

Put me down as a no. They won't start using their brains.

This decision and the reversal isn't a sign of using brains. It's a sign they don't want to ever get caught going along with the "Nazis" even if it's the right thing to do. If tomorrow someone they consider to be a Nazi, which is a lot of America, tells them they love the Maddow show, they'd probably cancel Maddow.

pacwest said...

"The Reckoning"

I guess it is all out war from here on in. Or did you mean there is going to be some sort of Second Coming that will bring hell and brimstone to the males?

While I understand the desire to make this a learning moment, the phrase 'this how you get more Trump' translates to 'this is how you get less male support' in this instance.

madAsHell said...

I'm not sure I give a fuck about Sam Seder. He's just another talking-head propagandist.

"At this point, what difference does it make."

Ray said...

I thought he was Alt Right? Was there a new poll out that said that no longer worked?

Why is the term Far Left never used?

>far-right provocateur Mike Cernovich

Curious George said...

If he was a man he would tell MSNBC to fuck off.

Char Char Binks said...

The lefties got tricked into being as unfair to their own as they are to conservatives-- sad. Sam Seder made it through all right, but too bad about Al Franken. At least they know he'll be replaced by someone at least as regressive.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Good. Maybe this is a sign that people are going to use their brains as they proceed through The Reckoning. Maybe a sense of humor and a commitment to treating people fairly will survive.

Or maybe things are different when you're a liberal and they treat their own more kindly than they demand. I don't remember any of this empathy and calls for common sense/an appreciation for excuses of "just joking/mocking" when CCN shitcanned Jeffrey Lord.

NYTimes: CNN Fires Jeffrey Lord

Hey, just Googling, I see some interesting people defended Lord/said he shouldn't have been fired:
EW: Maher & Reiner Defend Jeffrey Lord

But Lord stayed fired while Seder didn't. Whatever could explain such a discrepancy??
A quick search of Althouse didn't return any posts about Lord's firing, either.

I guess it only counts if the joke is about women/sexual assault, so there's no real comparison or equivalance here? That must be it.

Unknown said...

Ray, the preferred term for the left, the counterpart to "Alt-right", is that they are the "Cntl-left"

you know, another keyboardish pun.

--Vance

Quaestor said...

Why is the term Far Left never used?

It's because lately the ideological difference between left-of-center and barking mad is a nano-scale measurement.

buwaya said...

Cernovichs troll was classic.
Its jui jitsu on several levels.
It helps that the original 2009 post works so well in the current environment.
The poster was a nobody in 2009, else he could have gotten in career trouble for it then. He was criticizing very powerful people.
I wonder why he got dumped in the first place - this can only be answered by his management of course. One has to wonder what was going on in their minds.
- did his PTB really simple-mindedly jump at the "daughter" bit and freak?
- Was his original snark, now much more public, still threatening?
- Or did the release by Cernovich, plus a truly alt-right meaning to it create a suspicion of secret alt-right alignment?

Inga said...

It was obvious he was being sarcastic and not defending Polanski. It’s a wise decision to reinstate him.

Angel-Dyne said...

Good. Maybe this is a sign that people are going to use their brains as they proceed through The Reckoning.

If you mean use that part of the brain devoted to pre-rational instinctual recognition of imminent danger to oneself, yeah. No formal articulation of "the Reckoning always eats its own" to one's conscious understanding necessary. Good old reptile-brain survival instinct will do the trick.

Maybe a sense of humor and a commitment to treating people fairly will survive.

"Survive" implies that something already exists.

Angel-Dyne said...

Inga: It was obvious he was being sarcastic and not defending Polanski. It’s a wise decision to reinstate him.

I agree.

Achilles said...

Maybe this is a sign that people are going to use their brains as they proceed through The Reckoning. Maybe a sense of humor and a commitment to treating people fairly will survive.

This will not happen until the left operates in good faith. And just like every other institution full of evil people they will not do it unless forced.

And they don't act in good faith. They all knew about the groping, molesting, and raping going on but they selectively enforced standards on political enemies and let their own slide. Because power over other people.

Humor has been eliminated from our society by leftists striving for more power.

The people not using their brains are the people who let the left selectively apply standards and act in bad faith. If Sam Seder was not a leftist he would not be brought back. The people not using their brains are the people who think MSNBC ever does the right thing.

Prime example:

Freeman Hunt said...
Good! Nice that some things end well.


Good thing taking out those confederate statues wasn't a slippery slope right?

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Ann Althouse said...
It's a wonder these people can get through the day, they are so stupid

Never attribute stupidity to that which can be explained by narcissism.

Achilles said...

Inga said...
It was obvious he was being sarcastic and not defending Polanski. It’s a wise decision to reinstate him.

Prime example of a leftist who selectively offers the benefit of the doubt to people who don't deserve it. The left has been cheering Polanski for decades. The elected an admitted rapist president. They tried to elect his wife after she attacked his victims.

Rabel said...

"We made our initial decision for the right reasons — because we don’t consider rape to be a funny topic to be joked about.

Or maybe, just maybe, they did get the joke, realized that they were the target, and fired him because they didn't like being the target.

Achilles said...

I will believe the left is taking this seriously when Senator Menendez is forced to resign and the democrats allow a republican governor to choose his replacement. We know this will never happen.

We know they will never do the right thing if it costs them power.

Angel-Dyne said...

Achilles: Prime example of a leftist who selectively offers the benefit of the doubt to people who don't deserve it.

"It was obvious he was being sarcastic and not defending Polanski" is a true statement, regardless of Inga's personal moral failings or the squirrely brain-processes that may have led her to that particular output.

Hey, even Chuck made some comments re Bake-the-Cake-Bigot that were perfectly sound. It happens.

Angel-Dyne said...

Rabel: Or maybe, just maybe, they did get the joke, realized that they were the target, and fired him because they didn't like being the target.

Bingo. It was the impiety toward Polanski (and thus themselves), not the alleged insensitivity or tastelessness of the joke.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I'd never even heard of Sam Seder, but apparently he had a show on MSNBC...

If I was a cynical person I'd suggest this was all just a PR ruse.

Now you've heard of him can hear his hot leftist takes on his newly revived MSNBC show!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Pax Dickinson sure stayed fired.

Reason: The Social Media Shaming of Pax Dickinson

I'll believe it when the Left gives this kind of break to one of their opponents. Keeping Seder is just helping one of their own and is therefore indistinguishable from the usual preferential (Media) treatment the Left usually receives. I don't think we have any evidence thus far supporting "Maybe this is a sign that people are going to use their brains" against the null hypothesis "the rules are different if you're a good Progressive."

buwaya said...

Cernovich was involved, so I dont think this was a PR ruse. Though maybe Seder himself passed the tweet, made when he was much more of a nobody, to Cernovich. Through some cutouts of course.

n.n said...

The National Socialists were leftists. They still are. Diversity (denying indiviudal dignity), Abortion (denying lives deemed unworthy), PC (political congruence), redistributive change (because the Jews have too much), chauvinists (feminist and their male conspirators), and social justice adventures (elective wars).

Yancey Ward said...

It is pretty pathetic to blame Cernovich. The point, however, is this- if Seder had a been a right-wing humorist who wrote that, it would have been pointed out by the NYTimes 8 years ago and we wouldn't even be discussing it today because he would have been fired 8 years ago. That is the point of the trolling. In the end, MSNBC got it right, but made themselves look like morons in process. Trolls 1 MSNBC -100.

CJinPA said...

Good. Maybe this is a sign that people are going to use their brains as they proceed through The Reckoning. Maybe a sense of humor and a commitment to treating people fairly will survive.

I'm afraid not. They thought their mob wanted him fired. When the mob indicated it did not, they did what the mob said.

Infinite Monkeys said...

If you can't tell the tweet is a joke, you need to stay off the internet. Or at least stay off Twitter.

I thought it was funny, with just the right amount of snark aimed at the pretentious group who think that Polanski did nothing wrong.

Char Char Binks said...

"We made our initial decision for the right reasons — because we don’t consider rape to be a funny topic to be joked about."

Seder wasn't trying to get big yuks from child rape; he very aptly used ironic, sardonic wit to ridicule and chastise those who downplayed the seriousness of Polanski's crimes,and/or excused them because of his art/genius/celebrity.

The problem is that MSNBC took Seder literally, but not seriously, which may remind us of something.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Why is the term Far Left never used?"

I prefer the term Ctrl Left.

David said...

So the "far right" is responsible for their cowardly bad decision? Glad to know that.

The Godfather said...

This begs the question. The "respectable left", particularly in Hollywood, still protects child-rapist Roman Polanski. I take Seder at his word that he was using sarcasm to criticize Polanski, but where are the Hollywood leftists demanding that Polanski be extradited to face punishment for his crime, that he be stripped of all honors and awards, that all decent people condemn him?

Bay Area Guy said...

This is progress! Seder should not have been fired, and correcting this error, within a reasonable time, is a good thing.

Mind you, MSNBC still generally sucks, but hey - credit where credit is due.

buwaya said...

The real problem here is fairness - someone on the other "side" would not have been forgiven.