MSNBC Commits to ‘Thoroughly’ Covering Hamas Attacks ‘In All Their Dimensions’ After Reports of Benching Muslim Anchors

The network says lineup changes involving Ali Velshi and others, as reported Friday by Semafor, were “coincidental” 

Ayman Mohyeldin, Ali Velshi and Mehdi Hasan
Ayman Mohyeldin, Ali Velshi and Mehdi Hasan Getty Images

MSNBC has pushed back against a Semafor report that it sidelined Muslim anchors Mehdi Hasan, Ayman Mohyeldin, and Ali Velshi while covering the Israel-Hamas war. 

“We have and will continue to cover the barbaric terrorist attacks on defenseless civilians in Israel last weekend and the tragic war it has provoked thoroughly and in all their dimensions,” an NBCU News Group spokesperson told TheWrap on Monday.

A network source denied that Hasan, Velshi, and Mohyeldin were “benched” or “silenced” over their beliefs on the conflict, saying there was “no truth” to those reports.

Velshi has been reporting from the ground in Israel and served as anchor from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Mohyeldin has appeared on multiple MSNBC programs throughout the network’s coverage of the war. He was in the anchor chair from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and appeared Monday on “Katy Tur Reports.”

As for Hasan, the network opted to run breaking news coverage instead. of his pre-taped Peacock show last week. “The Mehdi Hasan Show” host is also set to appear soon on “The ReidOut” with Joy Reid.

Semafor’s report, published on Friday, said that the network quietly took the three anchors out of the previously scheduled rotation after Hamas’ attack on Israel and the outbreak of war. 

The report included that some MSNBC staff are concerned about the lineup changes as they feel “all three hosts have some of the deepest knowledge of the conflict.”


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