This afternoon on the MSNBC program “Ronan Farrow Daily,” MSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal just ripped MSNBC coverage of the Israel-Hamas hostilities. “We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue,” said Jebreal in an interview with host Ronan Farrow.
“Look at how [much] air time [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and his folks all have on air on daily basis. Andrea Mitchell and others: I’ve never seen one Palestinian being interviewed on these same issues.” Jebreal is Italian-Palestinian.
Farrow interrupted: “Well, I’ll push back on that a little. We’ve had Palestinian voices on our air.”
Jebreal wasn’t fazed: “Maybe for 30 seconds and then you have 25 minutes for Bibi Netanyahu.”
Jumping on the recent controversy over NBC News’s Ayman Mohyeldin’s being pulled from Gaza before being sent back after an Internet backlash, Jebreal said, “Ayman Mohyeldin is covering the Palestinian side and we get upset: It’s too pro-Palestinian.” Farrow noted that Mohyeldin has been restored to his Palestinian beat. “Doesn’t it reveal equally our thinking that we now have Ayman Mohyeldin on air and I think there’s been very fair and balanced coverage,” said the host.
A cable news “contributor” like Jebreal receives compensation for her appearances on the network as opposed to the unpaid guests who provide free content just to get their names out there. It’s a sign of network confidence and strength when folks on the payroll can go on air and feel empowered to slam those who sign their checks. And criticism of MSNBC on MSNBC isn’t all that rare; a memorable segment from “Morning Joe” comes right to mind.
In this case, Jebreal chose to get quite specific in her allegations of media bias, with the contention about “no” Palestinian voices and so on. Most hardened allegers of media bias know better than to be so specific. There’s safety in soft claims. We’ve asked MSNBC for coverage metrics.