An MSNBC contributor used her appearance on the cable news channel Monday to sharply criticize its coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
During an interview on “Ronan Farrow Daily,” Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal unloaded on Western media outlets, including MSNBC, arguing that influence from pro-Israel forces makes the news coverage more favorable to the likes of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Because of AIPAC, and because of the money behind it, and because of Sheldon Adelson, and because of all of us in the media. We are ridiculous. We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue,” Jebreal said.
“Look at how many airtime Netanyahu and his folks have on air on a daily basis. Andrea Mitchell and others,” she continued, referring to the MSNBC stalwart whose show airs right before Farrow’s afternoon program. “I never see one Palestinian being interviewed on theses same issues.”
When Farrow pushed back gently and pointed out that Palestinian guests have been interviewed, Jebreal continued her criticism.
“Maybe 30 seconds! And then you have 25 minutes for Bibi Netanyahu, and then half an hour for Naftali Bennett and many others,” Jebreal said.
Jebreal wasn’t done. She went on to call out NBC News for the recent kerfuffle surrounding Ayman Mohyeldin, the foreign correspondent who was abruptly pulled off the network’s coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict last week.
Mohyeldin was eventually sent back to Gaza this weekend after his removal from the region — which NBC said was due to security concerns — sparked a fierce public backlash.
Jebreal, it turns out, is among the critics who believes Mohyeldin was taken off the story for political reasons.
“Listen, the Ayman Mohyeldin story, let’s talk about this. We are home and we can discuss this. Ayman Mohyeldin is covering the Palestinian side and we get upset,” she said. “It’s too pro-Palestinian. We don’t like it. We push him back and thanks for social media that brought him in.”
The criticism clearly made Farrow uncomfortable, and he could only respond to Jebreal’s points with a vague counter.
“Point taken, but 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?” he said.
“Yes, thanks to social media, and thanks for the pushback from the public opinion,” Jebreal responded. “And I’m not saying that everybody is like this, but it’s one-tenth is given to the Palestinian voice and 99 percent of the Israelis voice. And that’s why the public opinion is pro-Israeli, which is the opposite in the rest of the world.”