Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Exclusive: Katie Halper on cancellation and media blackout on Israeli apartheid

In this exclusive interview with Katie Halper, we discuss her experience facing the true media blackout around Israeli apartheid, what it tells us about American mainstream media and political discussion writ large, and the double standard that independent, leftist political commentators face. Her “cancellation” for bringing attention to the daily horrors Palestinians face — supported by U.S. tax dollars — reveals why we’re not allowed to say the things we’re not allowed to say in mainstream media, and even more importantly, why it’s so essential that we fight back.

You know this week’s guest Katie Halper from her extensive reporting as an independent journalist, covering everything from Bernie 2020 to Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden, to issues like Medicare for All, American imperialism, and much, much more. She hosts The Katie Halper Show on YouTube (you can find it here) and co-hosts Useful Idiots with Matt Taibbi, who’s also joined us here on KK&F. Useful Idiots is also on Substack — check it out here.

Until recently, Katie was a regular contributor on The Hill’s Rising. Then, when she prepared a segment making the case that Israel is an apartheid state — in response to backlash against Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s acknowledgment of the same — she faced first censorship, then outright firing. For a few days, the segment failed to air; later, she got an email from a rep of The Hill’s parent company, letting her know she wouldn’t be brought back onto the show.

In Tuesday’s newsletter to you, we raised the point that as ironic and counterintuitive as it sounds, conservatives literally make a career out of crying “cancel culture.” And when right-wingers do face consequences (books pulled from shelves, Twitter accounts permanently banned) for spreading dangerous misinformation, you’ll notice that we keep hearing from them — now on the topic of endangered free speech. But when independent left-wing reporters like Katie tackle significant issues dealing with human rights abuses — issues that reveal the U.S.’s own hegemonic interests in the Middle East — they’re kicked off platforms that tout themselves as open-minded and intellectually diverse.

This hypocrisy reminds us how important — and difficult — it is for the American left to fight back against corrupt media institutions. For her part, Katie has done an incredible job bringing attention to the topics those institutions have deemed “taboo,” and she’s also spoken on other platforms about the significance of her firing from The Hill (you can check out this interview on the Intercept). We hope you enjoy this critical conversation with a truly important voice in international left politics, and we’re grateful to you for joining us for another week of KK&F.

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