Citations Needed

Citations Needed is a podcast about the intersection of media, PR, and power, hosted by Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson.

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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. With guests Dr. Sheila Carapico and Dr. Greg Shupak.


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 2017-11-29  1h9m