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February 21, 2024

Guardian US hires Mehdi Hasan as regular columnist after quitting MSNBC

Hasan's shows on MSNBC and Peacock were cancelled this winter.

By Bron Maher

The Guardian US has hired Mehdi Hasan as a regular columnist, a few months after his show was dropped from liberal-leaning news network MSNBC.

The US edition of the title announced Hasan’s hiring alongside the publication of his first column on Wednesday, which called on President Joe Biden to “pick up the phone and end the bombing of Gaza today”.

Guardian US editor Betsy Reed said Mehdi “is the latest addition to a stellar, expanding roster of opinion writers here at Guardian US…

“We’re proud to provide a platform for his incisive political commentary, relentless advocacy for human rights and free speech, and fearless accountability for those in power.”

Hasan said: “I have been poring over columns in the Guardian since I was a teenager.

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“Now, I get to write some of my own in what is perhaps one of the busiest and biggest news years of my lifetime. It’s a huge honour and a privilege.”

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Once a news and current affairs editor for Channel 4 News, over the past 15 years Hasan worked at The New Statesman, Huffpost and Al Jazeera before landing a show on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service in October 2022. He was given a Sunday evening slot on MSNBC in February 2021.

Hasan’s show ended on Peacock in November and on MSNBC in January. Despite originally saying he would continue to contribute to the network, Hasan left MSNBC altogether later that month.

The end of his programme drew criticism from commentators on the left, with one Democratic lawmaker calling the move “bad optics… right at a time when he is vocal for human rights in Gaza”.

Hasan told Press Gazette in 2022 that, despite his progressive bona fides, he got one of his first breaks in journalism from Boris Johnson, who was then editor of The Spectator magazine.

[Read more: Mehdi Hasan on making it in America and why media can’t ‘reset the clock’ on Trump]

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Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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