MSNBC faced a blizzard of backlash Thursday after announcing that popular liberal host Mehdi Hasan would lose his Sunday-night show as part of a broader restructuring of the network’s weekend lineup.
The network said the changes, which include a new weekend panel show, were made with 2024 election coverage in mind. But fans and prominent liberals questioned whether Hasan, one of the few Muslim hosts in cable news, was being penalized for his criticism of the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza and strong support for the Palestinian people.
Although Hasan was not among MSNBC’s top-rated stars, his segments often went viral on social media, where users celebrated his takedowns of conservatives such as former Trump adviser John Bolton and Israeli government adviser Mark Regev. During a Nov. 16 interview on his show for NBC’s Peacock streaming service, Hasan pressed Regev on the children killed in Gaza by Israeli strikes. When Regev said that Hasan had seen photos of dead children “because they’re the pictures Hamas wants you to see,” the host responded, “and also because they’re dead, Mark. They’re also people your government has killed.”