MSNBC's Kayyem: Terrorism 'Analyst' or Liberal Advocate?
The very first line of Patrick Buchanan's official MSNBC bio describes him as a conservative. Fair enough. But is MSNBC as forthcoming about the political leanings of its liberal analysts? I was watching 'The Most' this afternoon when the hitherto unknown-to-me Juliette Kayyem appeared to give her assessment of a national security speech that Pres. Bush gave today before an association of military officers.
Host Alison Stewart introduced Kayyem simply as an "MSNBC terrorism analyst" who had "taken time out" from her Harvard Kennedy School teaching duties to appear.
I was struck by the relentlessly negative tone of Kayyem's comments. For example, Stewart's first question was: "The president continued to talk about us being a nation at war. Is war the right term, and who would the war be against?"
Sniffed Kayyem: "Watching this I said to myself 'I thought that after Labor Day the summer repeat shows should be over.'"
Stewart found that chuckle-worthy.
Kayyem, later: "There is not much new to this speech. We've heard the 'war, war, war' analogy forever. It is not a good analogy any more."
Some of us would say it's no analogy. It is a simple statement of fact.
Continued Kayyem: "Who we're against? There's also nothing new in this speech." Great point. Reminds me of FDR during WWII. Year after year - Germany, Italy, Japan. Couldn't he have come up with some new enemies?
She concluded by accusing the Bush administration of being "somewhat misleading" in failing to admit "what we all know" - that Iraq has become a breeding ground for terrorists.
Alison ended the segment by again identifying Kayyem only as an MSNBC analyst. But my interest was piqued. Just who is Juliette Kayyem? You won't be surprised to learn that she has a long record as . . . a partisan Democrat and liberal activist.
As per her TPM Cafe bio, she was Dick Gephardt's appointee to the National Commission on Terrorism, and earlier served as a legal adviser to Attorney General Janet Reno. Prior to that, she worked on behalf of Alabama inmates in death penalty appeals cases. She is married to a Harvard Law professor.
Well, in fairness, I thought perhaps Kayyem had been so clearly identified during past appearances in terms of her liberal, partisan leanings that Stewart deemed it unnecessary to do so today. Could it be she's an established house liberal, so to speak? No. When I ran Kayyem's name at the MSNBC web site, every hit came back identifying her only as an "analyst," "expert" or "professor." Not one word of her partisan Dem background. And if Buchanan is a "conservative", might MSNBC similarly identify Kayyem as a "liberal"? Surely you jest.
Seems that at MSNBC, when it comes to labeling, what's sauce for the conservative goose isn't sauce for the liberal gander.