MSNBC has finally found a host that’s de trop for them. Outspoken critic of Israel Mehdi Hasan had his show canceled by the network.
Semafor announced the shake up on Thursday morning as part of broader changes to MSNBC’s weekend programming. Hasan’s show has been canceled but he will remain with the network as an on-camera analyst and fill-in host. Ayman Mohyeldin’s program will expand an hour to replace the vacated slot.
Hasan has been one of MSNBC’s most outspoken supporters of Palestine. During a November 16 interview with Israeli government advisor Mark Regev, Hasan attempted to get his guest to agree that Israel has wittingly killed children. He also pushed claims that Israel bombed a Gaza hospital in October, despite evidence that the explosion was caused by a misfired Hamas rocket.
The prominent human rights attorney Noura Erakat expressed her outrage at Hasan’s expulsion and called the show “an oasis on air and more needed than ever.” Cockburn, however, was aghast to learn that Hasan, a Shi’a Muslim, has some less than humanitarian views.
Over the weekend New York Post reporter Jon Levine posted an old video in which Hasan said non-Muslims “live their lives as animals” and appeared to equate homosexuals to “pedophiles” and “sexual deviants,” perhaps taking inspiration from his comrade Joy Reid’s old blog. Equally offensive to Cockburn was his condemnation of dog lovers and music enjoyers.
“We know that keeping the moral high ground is key,” Hasan said in the clip, referring to Islam, “Once we lose the moral high ground, we are no different from the rest of the non-Muslims.”
Hasan, who was twenty-nine at the time he made the comments, apologized from them in 2019. “Like a lot of journos (human?) I’ve said things years ago that I now deeply regret. Chief among them for me is, more than a decade ago, in my twenties, when I wasn’t a public figure, I gave a bunch of speeches to students on Islam/extremism,” Hasan posted.