Commentary Magazine


Fareed Zakaria for Secretary of State?

Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon reports on speculation that the Obama administration might consider CNN talk show host Fareed Zakaria for a senior diplomatic post, perhaps even Secretary of State. Kredo raises concern regarding Zakaria’s naiveté regarding Iran, and to this one could add his pronounced lack of appreciation for fundamental tenets such as freedom and liberty.

What concerns me more about Zakaria, however, is his willing 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.