FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES
by Clifford May
October 22, 2014
Are the cast, crew and fans of “Homeland” — Showtime’s television series about a brilliant but neurotic CIA agent – Islamophobes? That’s the implication of articles published this month in both the Washington Post and the New York Times. In the Times, Bina Shah, a Pakistani “contributing opinion writer,” complains that “Homeland,” much of which is set in Pakistan this season, demonstrates yet again that “the world sees us one-dimensionally — as a country of terrorists and extremists, conservatives who enslave women and stone them to death, and tricky scoundrels who hate Americans and lie pathologically to our supposed allies.”
And the problem is not just “Homeland,” she writes, it’s not even just Hollywood, but also “biased journalism, originating among mainstream American journalists who care little for depth and accuracy.”
She notes that in “Homeland” and various feature films that use Pakistan as a backdrop (e.g. “A Mighty Heart,” about the kidnapping and murder of reporter Daniel Pearl, and “Zero Dark Thirty,” about the killing of Osama bin Laden) she has “seen India’s signature homemade Ambassador cars traveling down Pakistani streets; actors who play tribal Pashtuns but look Bihari; Western women wearing chadors where they don’t have to, or going around bareheaded when they should be covered.” In one scene in “Homeland,” set in Pakistan’s tribal areas, she hears “everyone speaking Urdu, not the region’s Pashto.”
That’s it? That’s the bias? Seriously?…..