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Contentions

A New Bloviator

It’s no secret that many of cable news’ most prominent hosts approach their news coverage with distinctive biases. But this Sunday, CNN foreign affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria set a new standard in agenda-driven journalism on his new program, Fareed Zakaria: GPS. Prior to airing an interview with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on a host of Middle Eastern issues, Zakaria sat for his own interview with CNN to lambaste the Bush administration’s ongoing refusal to engage Hamas. The result was a double helping of blatant editorializing, with Zakaria working the opinions he expressed during his personal interview into leading questions for his interview with Rice.

Check out the shameful synergy. Here’s Zakaria during his personal interview with CNN:

By the U.S. isolating Hamas from commerce and contact with the outside world, we are strengthening the forces of fundamentalism and extremism in Gaza. By all accounts, Hamas is stronger now than it was six months ago.

And here’s Zakaria’s chock-full-of-interruptions interview with Rice:

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about Gaza. There is some criticism of the basic approach that you have taken to Gaza, which is to isolate it, to put it under sanctions — in effect, to cut it off from the rest of the world. … What do you say to people who point out this doesn’t seem to be working. It seems as though the people in Gaza are becoming more radical. Hamas is gaining a certain amount of support. …

RICE: Well, given the violence and the intimidation that Hamas uses in Gaza, I’m not certain that Hamas is actually becoming more popular. I believe …

ZAKARIA: Well, you had the elections and they won.

RICE: No, no, no. I mean now, since the — since Gaza has been under Hamas control since the coup, as Abu Mazen has called it. … I do see things getting better in the West Bank. I don’t see things getting better in Gaza. And I think that says…

ZAKARIA: But that’s my point, that you’re isolating…

RICE: … as well…

ZAKARIA: … Gaza, and it’s doing worse.

RICE: No, but…

ZAKARIA: Why is that?

RICE: … but — well, because — Gaza is doing worse, because Hamas is isolating Gaza, and Hamas has a stranglehold on Gaza.

ZAKARIA: But isn’t that collective punishment on the people of Gaza, not on Hamas?

In short, Zakaria needs you to know that he wants the U.S. to engage Hamas. He’s even willing to waste a U.S. Secretary of State’s time if it will get your attention.



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