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Zakaria is often accused of coddling the left? Do you agree?

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Dismissing what the extreme right has been saying, which includes some very ugly Islamic slurs, many right wing media outlets have accused Zakaria of being extreme leftist. I disagree but I was curious what everyone else here thought.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Well I'm a big fan of Fareed Zakaria so I'm probably not one to provide an unbiased opinion.  I see Zakaria as a liberal pragmatist, much like Obama...but this comes across as centrist.  Pragmatism requires one to be centrist in compromising. Otherwise nothing gets done.

    He is highly intellectual and global in his various perspectives.  Born in Mubai India of Muslim parents, he is a US citizen educated at a Catholic school in Mubai and later Yale and Harvard in the USA.  He has a PhD in political science from Harvard in 1993.

    I appreciate that he can carry an intelligent conversation with many foreign dignataries asking in-depth questions that the far right could never begin to comprehend.

    From Wikipedia: "Zakaria has stated that he tries not to be devoted to any type of ideology, saying "I feel that's part of my job... which is not to pick sides but to explain what I think is happening on the ground. I can't say, 'This is my team and I'm going to root for them no matter what they do.'"

    "George Stephanopoulos said of him in 2003, "He’s so well versed in politics, and he can’t be pigeonholed. I can’t be sure whenever I turn to him where he’s going to be coming from or what he’s going to say.""  I agree with Stephanopoulos.

    In his latest article in Time magazine, August 12, 2001, The Pragmatist President, he presents the pragmatist view of Barack Obama.  It is well articulated by someone that shares his own pragmatist views. Zakaria closes that article with a quote from the late Bart Giamatti, a former president of Yale and former baseball commissioner:

    “My middle view is the view of the centrist,” he said, before quoting law professor Alexander Bickel, “who would ... fix ‘our eyes on that middle distance, where values are provisionally held, are tested, and evolve within the legal order derived ... from the morality of consent.’ To set one’s course by such a centrist view is to leave oneself open to the charges, hurled by the completely faithful of some extreme, of being relativistic, opportunistically flexible, secular, passive, passionless ... Be of good cheer ... To act according to an open and principled pragmatism, to believe in the power of process, is in fact to work for the good.”

    Zakaria used that quote to define Obama, but I think it also defines Fareed Zakaria.  Many on the extremes, especially the far right, will not agree.

     

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    It is difficult to criticize Zakaria in the context of contemporary television, as he is one of, if not the most well-spoken, intelligent, and rational commentators today. On Sunday, Sept. 4th, he opened, talking about the number of vacation days on average which American workers have available, compared to those in other advanced democracies. He concluded by urging Americans to take more vacation time. Unfortunately, his studied avoidance of politics presented a contrast which was utterly misrepresented.  Europeans have more vacation time because vacation is a matter of public policy, and the rights of working people in this regard are determined by law - by democratic process, that is. Were legislation to be seriously suggested in Congress - or in State capitols - providing anything approaching the number of days available by law for the humblest European worker, outraged Republicans would argue that such a law "takes property away from businesses unconstitutionally."  
    And American workers simply do not have the choice - or the political power - to take more vacation time than they have. For most Americans happily being hired entails accepting wholesale the conditions of an employment agreement which they cannot change - and which typically defines them as "at will" employees who can be terminated for any, or for no reason, at any time by the employer - including active nonacceptance of the most miserly vacation provisions anywhere in the developed world.
    Dr. Zakaria did not attempt to explain that the difference is a political one, and one which corresponds to the existence of labor parties elsewhere than the United States, to the higher rates of voting among working class citizens, higher rates of union membership, and an entirely different view, even on the part of businesspeople, of the responsibility of government to its citizens and of the desirability or undesirabilty of immense differentials in income, wealth, and economic class - which exist in the US far beyond modern European societies.
  • Republican
    Gilbert, AZ
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    I look forward to GPS every Sunday and find Fareed to be very unbiased on most topics.  Occasionally, I can see him slip a little to the left, but he is after all entitled to his position.  I would not by any stretch of the imagination classify him as extreme in anything.  Of course, the Far Right streches the imagination quite a bit these days.

    Fareed generally finds a way to ask the tough questions without making the interviews uncomfortable.  He is very articulate and intellectual . . . in short, all the attributes that the Far Right despise.  I am a moderate Republican and I like him.
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    Fareed is a strong proponent of all members of the US democratic party. He promotes the democratic party, and tries to intellectualize their failings by pasting blame on the republicans, capitalists, or others that are not aligned with them. He potshots republicans at every turn. I question how CNN which promotes itself as a news channel would allow Fareed the Democrat's answer to Bill O'Riley to have blow time. Fareed is not a news reporter or journalist. He is a democratic socialist that wants Americans to think its ok to be second best, 3rd best or top 10. He is a bacteria with a mission to rot the soul of America. CNN needs to wake up or maybe they know exactly what they are doing.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    buckfly,

    I couldn't disagree with you more. Republicans have lost touch with reality, and Zakaria exposes that new dogmatic line of thinking in his June 16, 2011 Time Magazine article, How Today's Conservatism Lost Touch with Reality:

    "Conservatives now espouse ideas drawn from abstract principles with little regard to the realities of America's present or past. This is a tragedy, because conservatism has an important role to play in modernizing the U.S."

    Zakaria goes on to describe how "conservatives used to be the ones with heads firmly based in reality...with powerful reforms addressing the market, streamlined government and empowered individuals whose "effects were large-scale and important."

    Today's brand of conservative reform, according to Zakaria, is to "just cut and starve government — a strategy that pays little attention to history or best practices from around the world and is based instead on a theory"...describing such proponents as "woolly-headed professors."

    The true intellectual conservatives of the past like William Buckley and Edmund Burke have little voice in the current political atmosphere where daily dosages of anger, fear, hate and anti-intellectualism are promoted by the new conservative "populist" media types like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.


  • Missouri
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    Zakaria is the the most intellectual of the pundits on Sunday A.M. TV.  My wife and I love to watch, because he does not echo what  the networks have said all week.  He always approaches subjects from an independent moderate viewpoint.  He always looks at the  big picture not just this week's headlines and biases. 
    The reporters from other networks sound like they have been all at the same cocktail parties listening to the same ideas.  Fareed does his research and takes a unique, well informed stance on all subjects. 
    The reason I am writing today is , He is the first reporter to put Grover Norquist on the defensive." Meet the Press etc." have always softballed questions to him.  Mr. Zakaria went right after him and asked him for specifics.  He couldn't answer and knew it. 
    This guy  runs the Republicans.  He wrote a paper on the subject of taking over a government,based on Stalin,as a graduate student.  I remind you, he was a graduate  not an undergrad.  He is scary.  No one has elected him,but he is the most powerful individual in our government next to the President.
  • Missouri
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    Sorry.  The subject of the last paragraph was Mr. Norquist.
  • Independent
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    Fareed certainly fails to ask liberals the tough questions.

    It's fine to have the inventor of Global Warming say that if Antarctica melts, the sea levels will rise (that's kind of obvious) but it might be good to point out that the theory of human influence on Climate Change is looking more and more exaggerated these days. It might also be useful to acknowledge that the idea of a carbon "charge" which could be managed as "not-a-tax" is incredibly naïve. Governments suck up all available money, as we all know.

    Similarly, his remarks on gun control are also naïve. Yes, if the government could magically disarm the entire population, there probably would be a dramatic drop in gun violence. However, that could never happen. The country is deeply divided on the issue and gun owners are very passionate about their rights. Trying to force them to give them up would require even more violence than would supposedly be averted. Similarly, his comparison to Germany is rather disingenuous. Germany is a very conformist and low crime nation. Consider Mexico, which has very stringent gun laws, but crime and violence are rampant. Shows how peaceful America actually is.

    So, yes. He is coddling the left. But that's to be expected. He doesn't pretend to be objective.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    MikeyJK Wrote: Fareed certainly fails to ask liberals the tough questions.

    Have you ever watched his show or just opining off of "things you heard?"

    MikeyJK Wrote: It's fine to have the inventor of Global Warming say that if Antarctica melts, the sea levels will rise (that's kind of obvious) but it might be good to point out that the theory of human influence on Climate Change is looking more and more exaggerated these days. It might also be useful to acknowledge that the idea of a carbon "charge" which could be managed as "not-a-tax" is incredibly naïve. Governments suck up all available money, as we all know.

    This "exaggerated" theory is backed up by 97 percent of climate scientists and is something we are witnessing before our very eyes. Just because you don't believe in it doesn't mean that it's not actually happening.

    MikeyJK Wrote: Similarly, his remarks on gun control are also naïve. Yes, if the government could magically disarm the entire population, there probably would be a dramatic drop in gun violence. However, that could never happen. The country is deeply divided on the issue and gun owners are very passionate about their rights. Trying to force them to give them up would require even more violence than would supposedly be averted. Similarly, his comparison to Germany is rather disingenuous. Germany is a very conformist and low crime nation. Consider Mexico, which has very stringent gun laws, but crime and violence are rampant. Shows how peaceful America actually is.

    Can you please point me and our members to the show where Fareed called for disarming the entire population?

    MikeyJK Wrote: So, yes. He is coddling the left. But that's to be expected. He doesn't pretend to be objective.

    I'm not so sure you understand the definition of a journalist. He has a PhD from Harvard and no one other than right wing conservatives thinks that he's a liberal. Just because he doesn't spew out Fox News talking points doesn't mean that he's coddling the left.

  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    But, but, but Faux News said he wasWink
  • Independent
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    1) Do I Watch? Yes, do you? Not sure from anything you've said. Much of his stuff is intelligent, even when I disagree with his ideas. He may have some bias, but he's no propagandist. But seemingly asks tough questions only of conservatives. Are liberals infallible?

    2)Opinion polls are not science. Data is science. Many of these "scientists" refuse even to publish their data, so how can we trust them? I have a scientific background myself and I know BS when I hear it. No one disputes that the Earth is getting warmer, it has been for millennia. but the measured rise is not tracking the accelerating carbon emissions.

    If you are willing actually to entertain a different notion check out what Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever has to say: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk60CUkf3Kw. I suspect that you are not willing, since taking things on faith is much less effort.

    3)Can you honestly deny that disarming the population is the point of "gun control"? how else is it going to reduce crime? As it is, much, if not most, gun violence is committed with illegally obtained weapons. Laws do not magically solve problems, even if you can manage to pass them.

    4) So anybody who doesn't agree with you is a right wing conservative? Is parroting Fox? Come now, that's just name calling. Your comments lack substance and I expect more intelligence from my critics.

    I am not a conservative nor a liberal, really. Too much faith is required. Rationality doesn't fit either side very well. The biggest difficulty in improving the world is understanding how it really works.

  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    Definitely, there are too many experts in this field of KNOWING how the world works. Opinions yes, but back it up with data???????????? Just where does one perceive that data does not back up the conclusions of Global Warming and/or Climate Change? Real and actual scientist in their working community are continuing to come into the belief that mankind is doing something significantly horrible to the environment. Because of societies desire for more produce, food, crops, and industry to support a growing population, we are sustaining global contamination with toxic results of reigning terror on all our life-producing elements. As dispatched satellites are measuring on a world scale the effects of the outer atmosphere of the earth, we are finding impacts to the ozone layers, and the shielding from the suns harmful rays. Scientists are measuring around the world global catastrophic affects in oxygen content, water purity, life extinctions and emerging bacterial agents that plague mankind. As society continues to produce spewing toxicity into the air and discarding toxic elements into the earth, this only helps Climate Change to continue its agenda to kill off mankind. Maybe mankind will evolve into something that can survive these changes to the environment, but in its current physical form our lives cannot be sustained by the erosion of the earth.

    Bottom-line, anybody today that has blinded themselves not understanding the effects of Climate Change are just sticking the heads in the sand not WANTING to know the truths. As we all can understand there is the notion that those that refuse to UNDERSTAND, allows the idea of a person seeing his/her profits affected by all this Climate Change talk. Yes, there ar people that desire profits and greed over working for better life that should be reserved for all our offspring. The people that are left after we are gone will know full well, why didn't somebody in this generation do something to mitigate the forces of climate change. In that reasoning, it is not so hard to understand that because of the few that refuse to work in sustaining the world, we ALL are blamed for doing nothing.

    Thanks to all the idiots that refuse to take part in helping to resolve Climate Change. It may be too late, but if we do nothing than the inevitable will take place. Science and its DATA is already stating that FACT. I thank journalists like Zakaria for asking those tough questions.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    MikeyJK Wrote: 2)Opinion polls are not science. Data is science. Many of these "scientists" refuse even to publish their data, so how can we trust them? I have a scientific background myself and I know BS when I hear it. No one disputes that the Earth is getting warmer, it has been for millennia. but the measured rise is not tracking the accelerating carbon emissions.

    So is NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Geological Society of America, American Chemical Society, U.S. National Academy of Sciences--I could go on and on--are ALL wrong with their official positions that the globe is warming and human activity is to blame?

    The earth has always gone through warming and cooling periods, but it is now going through a warming period of our own making.

    Here's the thing with climate skeptics--they are almost always older than 50 and they are almost always conservative. They tend to look at the planet as their own playground and don't care what happens to it after they die. And they will always cling on to the handful of "scientists" who back up their twisted views and then cry foul when a media personality like Zakaria actually calls them out on their nonsense.

    MikeyJK Wrote: If you are willing actually to entertain a different notion check out what Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever has to say: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk60CUkf3Kw. I suspect that you are not willing, since taking things on faith is much less effort.

    Ivar Giaever is a physicist who earned HALF of a Nobel Prize in 1973. He is also one of the handful of scientists who doesn't believe in man made global warming.

    His talk didn't sway my opinion either. I'll trust the rest of established academia and other Nobel Laureate's who disagree wholeheartedly with him.

    Couldn't you say that you're the one who is taking things on faith considering you are searching for the handful of people who are willing to allow this planet to go up in flames before admitting that humans are to blame for the ice sheets melting, the rampant wildfires consuming our Western states, and the depletion of our natural resources going on before our very eyes?

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote:

    Definitely, there are too many experts in this field of KNOWING how the world works. Opinions yes, but back it up with data???????????? Just where does one perceive that data does not back up the conclusions of Global Warming and/or Climate Change? Real and actual scientist in their working community are continuing to come into the belief that mankind is doing something significantly horrible to the environment. Because of societies desire for more produce, food, crops, and industry to support a growing population, we are sustaining global contamination with toxic results of reigning terror on all our life-producing elements. As dispatched satellites are measuring on a world scale the effects of the outer atmosphere of the earth, we are finding impacts to the ozone layers, and the shielding from the suns harmful rays. Scientists are measuring around the world global catastrophic affects in oxygen content, water purity, life extinctions and emerging bacterial agents that plague mankind. As society continues to produce spewing toxicity into the air and discarding toxic elements into the earth, this only helps Climate Change to continue its agenda to kill off mankind. Maybe mankind will evolve into something that can survive these changes to the environment, but in its current physical form our lives cannot be sustained by the erosion of the earth.

    Bottom-line, anybody today that has blinded themselves not understanding the effects of Climate Change are just sticking the heads in the sand not WANTING to know the truths. As we all can understand there is the notion that those that refuse to UNDERSTAND, allows the idea of a person seeing his/her profits affected by all this Climate Change talk. Yes, there ar people that desire profits and greed over working for better life that should be reserved for all our offspring. The people that are left after we are gone will know full well, why didn't somebody in this generation do something to mitigate the forces of climate change. In that reasoning, it is not so hard to understand that because of the few that refuse to work in sustaining the world, we ALL are blamed for doing nothing.

    Thanks to all the idiots that refuse to take part in helping to resolve Climate Change. It may be too late, but if we do nothing than the inevitable will take place. Science and its DATA is already stating that FACT. I thank journalists like Zakaria for asking those tough questions.

    Amc, sure you got it right for a change; I only want to add that over population is also the cause; finally even the Pope starts admitting that birth control is not such a bad thing. But the damage is already done and not reversible; however nature will certainly find a solution either by viruses/ bacteria/deceases for which we have no defense yet. Nature always corrects itself one way or another including wars and huge storms. Ask the dinosaurs what happened to them.