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Fareed Zakaria decries the “anti-Americanism” in America’s politics today

As host of “GPS (Global Public Square)” on CNN, 60-year-old Fareed Zakaria says he’s teaching international relations to the masses. “I’ve always thought of journalism as sort of, at some level, public education,” he said.

In a digital studio with plasma screen walls, Zakaria dives into global issues with scholars, U.S. presidents, and even the occasional celebrity. No shouting allowed!

Zakaria is an optimist, and he’d like to think of himself as non-partisan, at a time when it’s hard for a news anchor to go on TV and not make clear whether they support Donald Trump or not. He said, “The weirdness of the Trump presidency and candidacy and such – being such an assault on traditional American, I would argue, mores and norms – and the lies, the constant lying, so you feel as though you’re not actually taking a side when you say that, ‘This guy is lying.’ But it sounds like you’re taking a side, right? And then he attacks you. Now you’re in the ring, whether you want to be or not.”

Sanneh asked, “Is that uncomfortable for you? I get the sense that you did not get into this in order to become a partisan figure?”

“I don’t pretend that I don’t have views,” Zakaria said. “But it’s my analysis rooted in fact, rooted in history.”

In terms of his politics, Zakaria said, “I find that on most issues these days, I’m left-of-center. When I was in college, I was a Reaganite. I was more right-of-center.”

Born in Mumbai to Rafiq, a politician, and Fatma, a journalist and editor, Fareed came to America to go to college on a scholarship at Yale, which, he said, no one had heard of. “My dad, to his dying day, could never pronounce Yale. He would always call it Ale,” Zakaria said. “So he’d be like, ‘How are things at Ale?’”

His original plan was to get an education in the United States and then go back to India. “But very quickly, I have to confess, I kinda fell in love with America,” he said.


He went on to Harvard, getting a Ph.D. in political science in 1993. On the side, he gained a culinary education. “I learned how to cook by watching Jacques Pépin on public television!” he said.

By 28, he was managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine. In 2000, he joined Newsweek as a columnist. 

He initially supported the Iraq War, which, he says, he later came to regret. “In this case, I think I lost my judgment, because, as somebody who grew up Muslim, I was worried that I was not gonna seem sufficiently, you know, tough on Muslim dysfunction,” he said. “So, there was a part of me that, I think, wanted to show my patriotic credentials.”

In 2015 he called the Iraq war “a failure and a terrible mistake.” “I think the U.S. lost enormous credibility,” said Zakaria. “It was, turned out to be, a massive waste of American resources, of American lives.”

During those years, Zakaria seemed to be everywhere—a widely-read print columnist, and also a TV host, first on PBS, and then, starting in 2008, on CNN. But in 2012, he was accused of plagiarism. He was briefly suspended by Time magazine (where he was a contributing editor-at-large) and by CNN.

“I’ve had these setbacks,” he said. “And initially, you know, you get defensive, and you say to yourself, Wait a minute… Then, you have to step back and say to yourself, Was this at the level of quality that I would be comfortable with? And the answer is, no. And so I just said to myself, Okay, I’m gonna be three times more careful.

In his new book, “Age of Revolutions” (published March 26 by W.W. Norton), Zakaria writes about how societies embrace change, and resist it, too.

Source link : https://www.wsgw.com/fareed-zakaria-decries-the-anti-americanism-in-americas-politics-today/

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