Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Citations Needed, Episode 17: Whitewashing America's Role in Yemen

Over 15,000 civilians dead and almost a million reported cases of cholera. 17 million people unsure of where their next meal will come from, including 7 million on the brink of starvation. Nearly 3 million people internally displaced. Hunger, disease, and bombs. That's what the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the U.S. have wrought on Yemen.

After almost three years of wanton destruction by U.S.-supported Saudi bombing campaigns and, most recently, a total land, air and sea blockade, the vast majority of Americans still haven’t heard much about the dire circumstances facing the people of Yemen. They've heard even less about how the United States is enabling, facilitating, authorizing, aiding and abetting this slaughter.

By and large, the media has almost entirely ignored the decimation of Yemen and its civilian population. When it is touched upon, America's central role in the conflict is often omitted, as is––even more inexplicably––Saudi Arabia's. The violence is routinely referred to as a regional "proxy war" between Gulf monarchies and Iran or Sunnis and Shias, rather than a U.S.-backed massacre.

On this episode, Adam and Nima, joined by Dr. Sheila Carapico and Dr. Greg Shupak, look back at the media’s coverage of this tragedy, why it let Obama off the hook for it, how the typical “cycle of violence” framing is used to obscure U.S. responsibility, and what can be done to lay blame where it belongs moving forward.

[A Patron-Only News Brief on even more recent Yemen coverage was posted on November 22.]


The Show


The Guests

Dr. Sheila Carapico is a expert on Yemen. She is a professor of political science and international studies at the University of Richmond, contributing editor of Middle East Report, and has written for many outlets including The Nation and Muftah.

Dr. Greg Shupak is an author and activist who teaches Media Studies at the University of Guelph in Canada.


Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.


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Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.


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