The Hill Fires Progressive Host After She Defends Hamas, Rolls Eyes at Israeli Hostage’s Sister

Bernie Sanders’ former press secretary Briahna Joy Gray was dismissed after numerous controversial comments

Briahna Joy Gray at SXSW 2019 (Photo: Creative Commons

The Hill fired video show cohost Briahna Joy Gray on Thursday following a controversial interview she conducted with the sister of an Israeli woman abducted by Hamas in which Gray rolled her eyes at a closing comment from her interview subject. Gray announced her firing on social media.

Gray, who previously served as Bernie Sanders’ press secretary in the 2020 Democratic primary campaign, has been a controversial figure, particularly due to her comments about the conflict between Israel and Hamas and the war in Gaza.

Those comments include stating last month that Hamas wasn’t seeking to kill all of the Jews in Israel. Her remarks came during a panel at the Dissident Dialogues festival debating whether Israel’s war in Gaza is just.

“When Hamas is talking about eliminating Israel, it’s not talking about killing all the Jews,” she said, causing fellow panelist Eli Lake to erupt in laughter. She continued, “It’s about eliminating the idea of a Jewish state — ending a Jewish state, ending an ethno-nationalist state and having a state more like what we have in the United States of America.”

Following the panel, Gray told the moderator, “This is the most Islamophobic, racist audience I’ve ever seen,” the New Republic reported. “It’s disgusting. I hope someone drops a bomb on this entire building.”

Pro-Israel nonprofit watchdog StopAntisemitism is among those who’ve called out Gray’s comments, including listing her as “Antisemite of the Week” on May 17. They launched a campaign at the time seeking to get Gray fired from The Hill.

Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres was also among those who’ve expressed outrage at Gray’s comments.

In what seems to have been the final straw leading to her firing, Gray interviewed Yarden Gonen in her role as cohost of The Hill’s YouTube show “Rising” earlier this week, which she cohosted alongside libertarian journalist Robby Soave.

As the interview wrapped up, Gonen told Gray, “I really hope that you, specifically, will believe women when they say that they got hurt.”

Gray sighed and rolled her eyes at the comment before moving on to break ahead of the show’s next segment. Watch that moment in the interview here:

Soave has objected to Gray’s firing, according to Gray. Gray promised to speak more about her firing on her “Bad Faith” podcast. The Hill is owned by center-right media company Nexstar.

Watch the full “Rising” interview with Yarden Gonen here:


2 responses to “The Hill Fires Progressive Host After She Defends Hamas, Rolls Eyes at Israeli Hostage’s Sister”

  1. John Thomas Avatar
    John Thomas

    Gray’s comments were only “controversial” because she looked fairly at the Palestinian side. The side that is being massacred by Israel. This is a measure of how much the U.S. is now controlled by Israel, AIPAC and other Israeli lobbies. It’s outrageous and MUST end!

    The false charges of “anti-semitism” against people who advocate for Palestinians must end, too. It’s clear the vast majority of the world and most Americans want an immediate ceasefire in Gaza an end to the cruel apartheid state Palestinians have been forced to live in and an end to U.S. shipments of weapons to Israel that are being used in the slaughter of innocent Palestinians.

    STOP this insane persecution of journalists who want to tell both sides of the story!

    1. Jonathan Bein Avatar
      Jonathan Bein

      The issue is not that she tells the Palestinian side. The issue is that she denies or minimizes the genuine trauma on the Israeli side including those who were raped on 10/7. She seems to be angling for a leadership role in the “me-too unless you are a Jew” group.

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