MSNBC Backstage: Scahill tweets Koch name-calling

U.S. cable news talking heads have been facing off on the Israel-flotilla mayhem since the over-the-top helicopter commando boarding took place this week. Salon’s Glenn Greenwald against Eliot Spitzer and Co (including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former Chief of Staff) on MSNBC was a good start. Wednesday we had former New York Mayor Ed Koch going up against U.S. lefty journalist and Israel foreign policy critic Jeremy Scahill, also on MSNBC. It’s hard to imagine Ed Koch not defending pretty much anything Israel does as justified because Hamas will “not renounce violence,” as he puts it. (“You start!” Hamas’s Khaled Mashaal might likely say to Netanyahu if and when the two finally appear on MSNBC instead of all of these proxy people.) Koch and Scahill predictably went at it onscreen pretty well. According to Scahill’s Twitter feed, offscreen things were apparently cooking, too.

That above is the onscreen action, of course. Scahill tweeted in the middle of it that Koch called him a “terrorist supporter” during the break. “Say it on air,” Scahill said he said to Koch, who didn’t say it on the air, knowing full well that, in the years after Bush-Rove, calling someone a terrorist or a terrorist supporter is the new last refuge of all scoundrels in debate.

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