‘Daily Show’ hides Libya guest El-Kikhia’s affiliations, bias
I was watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart from Monday, March 28. The guest was Dr. Mansour O. El-Kikhia. El-Kikhia was introduced as being from Libya and being a political science professor at the University of Texas. It wasn’t long into the interview when El-Kikhia proclaimed his gratitude for the U.S. military intervention and credited it for saving “fifty to sixty thousand lives.” He later, when asked whether aiding the rebels in Libya will turn out to be a similar situation following the support of the mujaheddin in Afghanistan against the Soviets, expressed the Libyan people’s support of the U.S. saying how he had witnessed a group of the rebels unfurling a large American flag.
At this point I was curious as to who this guest was and where he was coming from with these seemingly ambiguous assertions. It was not long before I found the following introduction by Elliot Spitzer from a program on CNN:
SPITZER: What could be a major step today in the formation of a post-Gadhafi Libya, a new temporary government for the first time and it met today. Joining me again tonight, someone with unprecedented access to the emerging leadership. Mansour El-Kikhia is an exile Libyan opposition leader who hails from a powerful political family. He’s also a professor of political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Professor, thank you for coming back.
MANSOUR EL-KIKHIA, UNIV. OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO: Thank you for having me.
Turns out the Mr. El-Kikhia is not simply a political science professor with an objective view of the events unfolding in his native country. Provided that he is an primary actor in the events and a spokesman for the transitional government that has been established in Libya, it is intellectually dishonest to neglect to make Daily Show viewers aware of El-Kikhia’s severe bias. This man has an active stake in the ongoing process and is serving as a propaganda tool for the Libyan rebels, appearing on many mainstream television networks. It is extremely disappointing that the Daily Show failed to properly frame the discussion and allow viewers to accurately assess the arguments being made.