Author Archives: Deepa Kumar

About Deepa Kumar

Deepa Kumar is an associate professor of Media Studies and Middle East Studies at Rutgers University. She is the author of "Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire" and "Outside the Box: Corporate Media, Globalization and the UPS Strike". You can follow her work at her website and on twitter @ProfessorKumar.

‘Telegenically Dead’: Israel’s crumbling media war

Israeli propaganda has hit a new low. While the world was still trying to come to terms with the mass deaths in Shuja’iyeh, Benjamin Netanyahu went on CNN to state that Hamas uses the “telegenically dead” to further “their cause.” But something new has been happening in the establishment media, particularly since the July 16th tragedy. For the first time, perhaps, Americans are witnessing the suffering of Palestinian people in the establishment press. Even while the framework of “Blame Hamas” dominates mainstream media coverage, the humanity of Palestinian people is cracking through the decades long, well established façade of pro-Israeli propaganda.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media | 83 Comments

Showtime’s ‘Homeland’ and the imagination of national security

Showtime’s hit TV series “Homeland” is about Obama’s war on terror. Similar to 24, a popular show during the Bush era, it provides a means for the national-security state to publicize fantasies of terrorist threat, while setting new norms of acceptability on issues like surveillance and political violence. It not only sells the public on the notion that the War on Terror has become a permanent state of emergency, but that educated, sober, ethical, and smart people are in charge and that we should trust them to guard us.

Posted in Media, Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 9 Comments

Liberalism and the national security state

Cornell West, on HBO’s Real Time, reiterated his criticism that President Obama is a “war criminal” for killing innocent people through drone strikes. He went on to make a simple, but rarely heard observation, that if you “have an empire, you’re going to have war crimes.” Critical voices like his are an exception in the mainstream. For the most part, establishment liberals have either been silent or have cheered as Obama has expanded the national security state. West chastises these liberals as “morally bankrupt” for giving Obama a pass for the same problematic policies that Bush was roundly criticized for.

Posted in US Politics, War on Terror | 12 Comments

Rebranding the War on Terror for the age of Obama: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and the promotion of extra judicial killing


The Oscar-nominated film ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ has sparked debate on its justification of torture, its misuse of facts, and its pro-CIA agenda. While the focus of the debate has been on whether torture was necessary to track Osama bin Laden, scant attention has been paid to the larger, more significant message of this film: that extra judicial killing is good.

Posted in Media, Middle East, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged | 36 Comments

Media coverage of anti-American protests turns a political clash into a cultural conflict

Eleven years after 9/11, the media are still asking the same question: Why do they hate us? And the same tired answer is being provided, but this time by the liberal imperialists wielding the “clash of civilizations” rhetoric with perhaps greater skill than their neocon predecessors.

Posted in Media, Middle East, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | 31 Comments

The GOP’s Muslim ‘southern strategy’

When Mitt Romney stated that it was Israel’s “culture” that was responsible for the country’s superior economic development he was simply recycling an argument long used to explain black poverty in the US.

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 9 Comments

Terrorizing Muslims: A bipartisan project

The clash of civilizations is also a liberal project. Liberal Democrats know how to sort out ‘good Muslims’

Posted in Middle East, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 10 Comments