After causing a cable news firestorm earlier this week, former MSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal spoke to TVNewser this morning about her MSNBC appearance cancellations, contract status, and coverage criticisms.
It was your typical cable news booking scenario for Jebreal on Monday. Sitting in the makeup chair before her appearance on “Ronan Farrow Daily,” she says she was approached by producers from another MSNBC daytime show and booked for the following day. But things changed following that fiery exchange with Farrow, during which she criticized MSNBC for uneven coverage of the Israel-Gaza crisis, specifically calling out Andrea Mitchell.
Less than an hour after the Farrow appearance, she received an email from a producer cancelling her next-day booking. She would only say it was an MSNBC show with a female host. “I told the anchor I would not mention her name because I like her personally,” Jebreal told TVNewser. “She was not the person emailing me; her producers emailed me. And we talked in the evening when she found out what happened on social media, and she was very upset about it… actually she’s one of the people I admire and respect deeply.”
Jebreal responded to the email, asking if the cancellation decision was due to her on-air criticism, but didn’t receive a response. Yesterday, MSNBC issued a statement on Jebreal’s cancellations, claiming her Tuesday daytime appearances were cancelled to re-air parts of Chris Hayes’ Monday night exclusive interview with a 15-year-old Palestinian American beaten by Israeli forces. We reached out to MSNBC for this story, but did not hear back.
Jebreal’s role as a contract contributor ended a month ago. “They offered me to renew the contract, but I wanted to take some time off. I said I would come as a guest, but I wanted not to be paid, so I can take some time off.”
“I definitely have offers,” she tells us. And while her TV news future is up in the air, her perception of the coverage of the Middle East crisis isn’t. “It’s really concerning, and it’s really tragic.”