While GE-owned MSNBC is arguably the television network most associated with Mr. Obama, the ties between Obama and CNN run quite deep as well. In 2008, CNN staffers Roland Martin and Soledad O’Brien were given shout-outs by Obama’s longtime former spiritual advisor, whom the network helped “disappear” during the 2008 election to aid Obama’s candidacy. Later that same year, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria announced on-air that he was voting for Obama. The following year, a CNN anchor cautioned viewers that “it’s hard to talk when you’re tea-bagging,” and an in-field reporter berated a tea partier for his rejection of Obama’s (read the taxpayers’) stimulus funds. Speaking of which, the following year, the network presented on-air a cake to celebrate the anniversary of the president’s stillborn “stimulus” program. Earlier this year, “CNN’s Piers Morgan and Soledad O’Brien ‘Obama Bumped’ Roberta Flack at Whitney Houston’s Funeral.”
And then there’s this article in today’s Washington Free Beacon on “The Future of Fareed:”
A CNN pundit who has advocated nuclear containment of Iran and expressed antipathy towards American democracy is said to be on the short list for a top diplomatic post in a second Obama administration—perhaps even secretary of State. That is raising red flags across Capitol Hill and within foreign policy circles.
Fareed Zakaria hosts CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” a weekly program focusing on international issues and American foreign policy. Zakaria is also an editor-at-large for Time magazine and a columnist for the Washington Post, where he regularly praises the president’s policies.
Zakaria has gone to great lengths to ingratiate himself to Obama, frequently flattering the president and vociferously attacking his critics on both sides of the political aisle. This could be the reason Obama is so keen on the pundit, sources said.
“Every column he’s written in the Washington Post for the last two years has been a job application,” said one longtime Washington foreign policy insider who requested anonymity. “He’s just climbing the greasy pole.”
Commentary’s Michael Rubin isn’t too keen on the idea, given, as Rubin notes, Zakaria’s willingness to “compromise on basic American political freedoms:”
In his capacity as a trustee on the Yale Corporation, Yale University’s governing body, Zakaria counseled the university to embrace censorship ahead of its decision to interfere editorially in the nominally independent Yale University Press to censor an academic work on the Danish cartoon controversy. “You’re balancing issues of the First Amendment and academic freedom, but then you have this real question of what would be the consequences on human life,’’ he explained.
Now, Yale had received no threats whatsoever, so what Zakaria counseled was preemptive surrender. If the United States is to triumph over its enemies, ready abandonment of traditional American values is not a reflex the United States needs.
Why would Zakaria, the author of the 2008 book, The Post-American World, which candidate Obama was prominently photographed holding shortly after its publication — certainly a stark foreshadowing of what was to come — plump for traditional American values when he takes a rather punitive stance towards many Americans?
Parker asked Zakaria if he had faith the American people could handle the fiscal discipline he advocated. Zakaria used the platform as an opportunity to attack Americans and refute the notion “the American people are wonderful.” His solution: Less consumption by the American people.
“No, I think the people are the big problem,” Zakaria said. “I mean, Americans — everybody wants to say the American people are so wonderful. You know, I think that when they come to recognize that they have to make sacrifices too that it’s not just wasteful — they need to have — they need to recognize that some of what’s going to happen here is fewer. They have to consume fewer things. They have to accept slightly higher taxes. And in the long run, you will have a much better economy.”
Last year, Zakaria, with an assist from Howard Kurtz, had to spin furiously when word leaked that he was having the occasional confab with the president. If the above report from the Washington Free Beacon is true, as with this former Time-Warner-CNN employee, it sounds like Zakaria’s prepared to go all-in flacking for the president.
I wonder what the current secretary of state thinks of the idea?