Journalist Rula Jebreal is speaking out against MSNBC for unfairly using her nationality to label her, after she called the network out last week for its bias towards Israel in the coverage of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict. When Jebreal — who is Palestinian, has Israeli citizenship and is married to a Jewish man — pointed out what she sees as a “disgusting bias” towards Israel in the network’s coverage, her upcoming appearances were promptly cancelled.
When the MSNBC finally did have her back on, they labeled her “Palestinian Journalist” instead of, you know, “MSNBC Contributor,” as she had been typically called for the entire two years she had worked for the network. Not cool, MSNBC. From the Huffington Post:
“I felt terrible because I was hired by MSNBC, and for two years, I was labeled as analyst, journalist, foreign policy expert, I was contributor,” Jebreal said. “I was never labeled a ‘Palestinian journalist.’”
She compared it to host Brian Stelter being labeled on air as a “white man” or Alan Dershowitz as “Jewish lawyer.”
“Who does that?” she asked, questioning the thinking behind MSNBC’s decision. Jebreal continued, “I think whoever is doing this PR campaign for MSNBC needs to rethink these issues. Did I become ‘Palestinian’ because this way you can describe me as emotional and as biased? And this way can avoid the debate about who is really biased on this issue? I think they need to give these answers not to me, to their audience.”
Or in the meantime, we can stop referring to MSNBC as a “cable news network” in favor of a more accurately descriptive label, because two can play at that game. Something like “biased media doody-brains?” It has a nice ring to it.