The U.S. Elite's Favorite Television Show: Showtime's 'Homeland' Demonizes Arabs and Prepares Americans For Bombing Iran
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Indeed the plot of the new season is quite incredible. In light of the fictional Israeli bombing, it seems the virulently anti-Shiite and anti-Iran Al-Qaida is now plotting with the Shiite Lebanese group Hizbullah to attack America in revenge for the Israeli bombing of Iran. It is in this context that Carrie goes to Beirut in brown disguise to meet Berenson and her abused Hizbullah female contact (the Beirut scenes were reportedly shot in Israel). Lest too many objections be raised against the show as too racist by having Carrie go to Beirut in brownface, only Carrie’s blond hair is dyed brown and her blue eyes are covered up with brown contact lenses but her white skin, thankfully, remains intact. Beirut’s nouveaux-riches who spent billions of dollars (of the Lebanese people’s money) making the city look like a fun and modern western city are surely outraged that their city is depicted like some poor remote Afghani village. Indeed the multi-billion dollar Rafiq Hariri Airport looks more like a bus stop in war-ravaged rural Iraq than a modern airport. More recently, Lebanese tourism minister Fadi Abboud told the Associated Press that he is so upset about the portrayal of Beirut on the show that he is considering a lawsuit.
Still, it seems Hezbollah operatives, who are represented as in control of the airport (!), are so well trained in anti-Semitism, that they recognise Berenson as “Jewish” based solely on his last name and ask him to confirm their finding: “Jewish, yes?” A victimized look appears on his face momentarily and is quickly replaced by strength and determination as he asserts in response: “American!”
Homeland’s plot is hardly original. Its story is borrowed from the world of fiction and reality. While the plot resembles that of the 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate, and the anxiety about the enemy within, the drone attacks that kill hundreds of innocent children (and hundreds more innocent adult civilians) have been a real Obama specialty for years, extending from Pakistan to Afghanistan and Yemen. In that, perhaps Obama does see the show as something he can identify with personally. Since autobiography is what informs Obama’s taste in television shows, as a half-black president who always reminded the (white) public that he was raised by his white mother and her family, one can safely bet that his favorite television shows growing up must have been “Different Strokes” and “Webster.” That American shows are now equal-opportunity offenders in their racism against internal and external others is hardly news, but that the first black American president is a fan of them should be.