Mehdi Hasan Departs From MSNBC Following The Cancellation Of His Primetime Show

In 2021, Hasan became a part of the network, having previously contributed to the news and commentary platform The Intercept. He also served as a presenter on Al Jazeera English, the 24-hour news channel funded by Qatar.

Mehdi Hasan, the political commentator who hosted an evening commentary show on MSNBC until its cancellation in October, has officially announced his departure from the center-left cable network. Originally from the UK and now a naturalized US citizen, Hasan was notably one of the more prominent Muslim-American voices on television. He gained attention as one of the staunchest critics of Israel during the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

In 2021, Hasan joined MSNBC after contributing to The Intercept and serving as a presenter on Al Jazeera English, the 24-hour news channel funded by Qatar.

Hasan Expresses The Need To Seek A New Challenge.

Despite expectations that he would continue as a contributor, Hasan unexpectedly declared at the end of his Sunday broadcast that it was time for him to seek a new challenge.

MSNBC’s decision to cancel Hasan’s show led to accusations of the network censoring critical perspectives on the Israel-Hamas war. In October, Hasan faced criticism for initially presenting the al-Ahli Hospital incident, involving a rocket strike by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as a likely Israeli airstrike. He later acknowledged evidence pointing in a different direction on October 19.

Additionally, Hasan faced backlash for a confrontational interview with Mark Regev, where he alleged Israel’s rejection of a proposed hostage deal with Hamas. Regev countered, stating there was no real option, labeling the question’s premise as “misinformation.” More criticism followed when Hasan drew comparisons between Israel’s role in Gaza and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

In the aftermath of the October 7 Massacre by Hamas, Max Tani of Semafor noted that MSNBC had quietly removed three Muslim broadcasters from the anchor’s chair, coinciding with a surge of sympathy for Israeli terror victims in the United States.

The post asserted that MSNBC had opted not to broadcast an episode of The Mehdi Hasan Show on the NBC streaming platform Peacock. Simultaneously, the network reportedly reversed a plan to have Ayman Mohyeldin, an Egyptian-American correspondent, replace the 7 pm host Joy Reid, and requested Alicia Menendez to fill in for Ali Velshi, also a Muslim-American, the following weekend.

“Some staff at MSNBC have expressed concerns about these decisions, believing all three hosts possess profound knowledge of the conflict,” wrote Tani. MSNBC, however, insisted that these actions were unrelated and refuted any suggestion that Hasan’s show’s cancellation aimed to censor his views on the war. Post-cancellation, MSNBC extended Mohyeldin’s on-air time to cover for Hasan, but a source close to the network hinted at stringent cost-cutting measures. The New York Post reported that MSNBC considered Hasan’s views “a little too out of the mainstream” and cited financial reasons for his departure. The newspaper also noted that Hasan’s show had relatively lower ratings, which further declined during the war, reflecting a broader restructuring at MSNBC with an increased focus on morning programming over primetime.

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