Mehdi Hasan joins The Guardian

The Scoop

The progressive pundit Mehdi Hasan is joining The Guardian following his abrupt departure from MSNBC.

The Guardian US on Wednesday said that Hasan would join the news organization as a regular columnist, publishing his first column on Wednesday calling for President Joe Biden to pressure the Israeli government to “end this genocide” of Palestinians in Gaza.

“I have been poring over columns in the Guardian since I was a teenager. Now I get to write some of my own, in what is perhaps one of the busiest and biggest news years of my lifetime,” he told Semafor. “It’s a huge honor and a privilege.”

“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,” US Editor Betsy Reed said in a statement shared first with Semafor. “Mehdi is the latest addition to a stellar, expanding roster of opinion writers here at Guardian US, and I look forward to his contributions in the months ahead.”

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Hasan’s programs did not draw a large audience on MSNBC during his time at the network. But his fiery monologues and probing interviews helped him garner an online following, frequently making clips of his show go viral.

While the relationship was not outwardly acrimonious, Hasan had fallen out of favor at MSNBC in the months before his departure from the center-left cable news network. Semafor was the first to report that the network declined to air an episode of the outspoken opinion host’s show on Peacock in the wake of the attack on Israel by Hamas last year on Oct. 7. The network also subsequently canceled his weekend program and show on the streaming service Peacock. While MSNBC initially announced that Hasan would be a fill-in host and analyst, he decided instead to leave the channel altogether.

In recent months, the Guardian’s US arm has been staffing up, adding several well-known columnists and an investigative unit. It’s part of a larger uptick in interest in the US media market by established UK media players. The Independent said last year that it was “intensifying” its US and global expansion efforts, and conservative magazine the Spectator has slowly built out its US magazine. In December, the BBC gave a story to Axios touting a new brand campaign aimed at US audiences, as well as an expansion of its primetime evening programming based out of Washington.