Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN

There’s a new show on CNN called GPS for “Global Public Square” and despite the dumb name the show, hosted by Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek, is brilliant – exactly the kind of dialog Americans need to hear as we face the complex challenges of the coming years.


NOTE: This is NOT a blog by Mr. Zakaria: Go HERE For official CNN show site: http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/fareed.zakaria.gps/

Frankly I’ll be surprised if the show can last for long – the Larry King demographic is not going to tune this in, even if they jazz things up as Anderson Cooper has effectively done with AC360 in an effort to pull in younger viewers and a more mainstream news audience.    In fact the weakest part of the show was the clever but insulting “GW Bush as idiot” sketch to close, effectively undermining the show’s (correct) contention that it’s going to bring together insiders and ask them very good questions.   Note to Fareed – you’re a great example of a respectful but edgy correspondent.  Don’t allow others to violate the trust this inspires in your interview folks.   I noted that Doug Fieth, an excellent spokesperson for the neoconservative cause, hardly spoke or was severely edited.   This was unfortunate as he was the only person on the panel with complete insider knowledge of the situation in Iraq.    Don’t let your guests and their *opinions* undermine interviews with people who were the architects of the still-active Iraq policies.

Zakaria is one of the best observers of the global state of affairs.   He balances the open, democratic, globalized, and entrepreneurial sensibilities we enjoy in the USA with the fact that most of the rest of the world does not share those sensibilities and in many cases *does not want to share them*.  This simple realization separates his views from the more common, and naive, idea that everybody wants to be … just like us.


47 thoughts on “Fareed Zakaria’s GPS on CNN

  1. I’ve been looking forward to your show, and finally there it is. It is what it suppose to be, very informative. One of my concern is to cover a little bit of the Island that is been suffering under the policy of this government. George Bush approval rating is so low, nothing is going well. why not ask the French, Germany, Russia ect. to remove him like he did for Democrat elected Haitian President, knowing after that the country goes into chaos.

    • I think and hope that u will be surprised and that GPS will develop a sustainable if not always huge audience.(A lot of us are DVRing it) Many of us are hungry for intelligent, civilized, non headline-bating interviewing and commentary from a bright, knowledgeable host. Do ratings always have to be pure numbers. Could need, quality of guests and steadiness of existing audience be considered. Naive,huh! Please persist!!
      P.S. does that Indian I-Pad “speak” English and can it be purchased here. I hope I’m not lost in cyberspace!!!

  2. Thank You!

    Your program addresses international viewpoints on issues. I appreciate that change of focus.

    The U.S.A. is not the world, not even center of the world, but a member of the world community. I think your program will introduce that viewpoint better than any program has to date.

    Bj Brown
    Edmonds, Washington

  3. Hello Sir,

    An excellent program!!!

    I usually find CNN and BBC repetative and monotonous, however with programs such as GPS viewers get some insights on questions not often asked.

    I loved the interview with Kissinger…one thing I would like to know why is it fine for other countries to have nuclear …(whatever) and not Iran. N.Korea even says they will use it for not so-safe reasons, but yet the US does not invade it!

    At any rate, I enjoyed it immensely.

    Thank you, I watch it in the Sultanate of Oman.


  4. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t seem to be well-balanced in presenting the different views of issues and sticking to the facts. Case in point: a recent roundtable on immigration in the United States focused only on the view that anyone against illegal immigration was racist and anti-immigrant, forgetting that we are a nation of immigrants. This is not a issue unique to the United States. Countries such as France are also dealing with illegal immigration and the effects that undermine a rational, reasonable, metered flow of immigrants into a country that it can support based upon it’s culture, social and civic services, rate of assimilation, and basic economic structure.
    If the guests of the roundtable can’t speak on the facts without prejudicial bias, then it’s not much of an intelligent forum.

  5. I’m a Zachariah fan from his occasional round table appearances on This Week. He had a great show on PBS called Foreign Exchange, which he passed on to Daljit Dhaliwal, who is doing a poor job. I watched GPS once. It was good, but I expect it to be better the next time I watch it.

  6. Fareed Zakaria is a welcome change to the cable news pablum, which narrows our information away from the world in which we live. I find myself turning to PBS news programs. Please consider moving GPS to a primtime hour during the week so that he and his guests may give Americans another point of view. A global way to think about who we are in relation to other countries/governments/people. You are our man Fareed. Keep fighting for your voice. Thank you for caring.

  7. I love his show. His show is very informative. Topics of the shows are disciussed as it is. We need this kind of shows that make us to think openly without being biased. Most of the media fedd us with information those are not true and involves some group’s interst. His show is feeding americans with information that is very much needed

  8. Bob and Rory and md –

    I really agree that GPS is a superior kind of forum for ideas. The trick is picking the relevant thought leaders from the pack of millions and asking them good questions.

    I think Zakaria is both well connected and does not suffer from the conventional bias we see in most American media where reporters rarely even try to distance themselves from their own Americanized experiences. In fact we are now very close in the USA to effectively censoring a large base of opinion, especially from even moderate critics in the Arab and Asian worlds. It bothers me that they are so poorly represented here in the USA. Not becuase I *agree*, but becauase I want more *voices* talking about things. This last point is lost on most people who think that bias is “what I don’t believe in”.

  9. Pingback: Zakaria vs Hannity « Joe Duck

  10. Finally, a voice that is informed, skilled at interviewing and that has a handle on international views; please continue to give us the facts as they unfold, the truth in it full degree and opinions that are researched.

    Zakaria, appears the be the one voice that we can all listen and learn with. Good job, CNN!!!

  11. I was happy to see this program offered by CNN. Each program has been better than the last. Fareed Zacaria’s broad knowledge and experience provides a forum for a wide range of information lacking in general media coverage. In my opinion both parts of today’s (July 13) offered important views. Wish it had greater exposure.

  12. fareed your show is one of the interesting political show at cnn alond with larry, jack’s file. It is hope for this country to see some one in the media is trying to
    show the fact without any intention and taking side of any parties. My friend
    you are doing wonderful job, wish you the best.

  13. Dear Fareed,

    The truth is this: the Americans don’t know their Country and the power they have. That’s why they (some of them) hate what the President does and want to elect anyone who promisses them the “paradise on earth”. I have part of my family (the American side of it) in USA and they are sometimes completely lost about the situation. I live in Brazil with my wife that is American. We as a Country have faced many difficulties around here and many people were especting for a “miracle” voting in anyone who promissed them something like that.Of course it didn’t happen this way and but only after a very and long hard work for everybody.

  14. Celestino thanks for a good comment, but this is not Fareed’s website, contact him here:

    I think you are right that America has a lot to learn about our key role in the world. Ironically many Americans are finally coming to grips with the fact that the USA remains the key global player, even while our status is diminishing rapidly as the world globalizes and countries are becoming more equal players on the global stage. So I predict we will see more frustration here in the USA as our global actions and decisions carry less and less weight.

  15. Mr.Sacharius
    I would appreciate your view of my proposal to the general audience.
    I would propose that the U.S. Government issue a non-taxable grant in cash of one hybdred thousand dollars to each of the country’s one hundred eleven million households. This would cost eleven trillion dollars. The fiscal benefit to the country would come back in a heartbeat. This would be the ultimate in the “bottom up” economics of our next president Obama. Forget Wall Street and the present “Crisis”. I belueve it is simply a Bush chicken little scheme. Bottom up is a rational, honest scheme.

  16. I absolutely love your show but I really think despite your disclaimers that to give Gen Gul the opportunity to spread the very malicious stories that people within the USA perpetrated 9/10, was very mal-decided. lt will used to spread anti-Muslim sentiments within the USA. As a retired FSO I understand your intellectual position but you work for a POPULAR Tv station that does not have a terribly politically sophisticated audience. Your choice of interviewees is itself a political statement. Your questions were pointed and directed but in truth Gen Gul came off very well to people who are not politically sophisticated.

  17. A typical biased and un-objective journalism. Today’s show on the Gaza conflict exemplified Zakaria’s coverage by presenting three views of the same side of the conflict and not a SINGLE WORD from the other side. This is truly an insult to all viewers. How tragic and pathetic US news coverage of this conflict has reached…
    Shameful and not news worthy!!

  18. I was so happy to hear that you were going to introduce a program about other countries and their thoughts and cultures; however, lately it has been mostly about wars and trouble spots. Can you let us have more about countries like Scandinavia, Australia, China, Europe, Nepal, England, and so on. We would like to know more about their culture, their feelings about issues, their arts, how they govern, their medical coverage, education and so on. We are hungry to hear more on those lines about our fellow world residents. Love the idea of your show though.

  19. Fareed,
    I published Iran 101 – Perception or Reality about 6 months ago. It is about the first 25 years of my life (1961-1986). I came to USA when 17, currently 48. I am CEO of M&M Technology & have over 23 years both FT & PT teaching background at EE Dept. of UNC-Charlotte.
    I have given a number of speeches about Middle east, in particular Iran in NC.
    The purpose of this book is to learn about Iran through a pair of eyes from there, and the environmental changes as a function of the changes in a person’s life.
    My objective is to help people from east & west to come to a better understanding of one another & reduce the level of fear about unknowns – and through a common denominator – “World Of Becoming” find a way to work with one another.
    Would you like a copy of this book? And is there any advice on how to promote this book.
    Majid Babaie, PE

  20. Can you help shed some light on why both President Bush and Clinton authorized millions and possibly billions of dollars to fight Malaria in Africa and not on water that people really need. Don’t you think it is waste of public funds going projects that no one needs?

  21. Kamba malaria is a huge health crisis and solved very cheaply which is why there is a lot of interest in sending mosquito nets to areas where malaria is a big problem.

    I’m sure the Clinton Initiative supports clean water but not sure if that is their focus. Sometimes foundations choose only a few projects, esp. if other groups are involved in solving those problems.

    FYI Charity:Water http://www.charitywater.org/

  22. Your program on 3/1 was very thought provoking but with your guest talking over each other, I thought was very unproductive. I want to hear each side of the story not someone try to shovel something down my throats. Please try to give each person a chance to state their ideas without someone yelling over or cutting into their talk.

  23. I am a Canadian and I was sitting in a doctor’s office in Denver when I found your article ‘Worthwhile Canadian Initiative’. Thank-you. You might also want to look at the difference in ‘closing costs’ when you purchase a home in Canada compared to the States. I will look for your show.

  24. My thinking is that we should be friends with Israel but we have not treated and been so nice to the Arab world and certainly not with the same kind of friendship as with Israel. For years we have extracted and bought oil from the Arabs at low compensation and today we’re paying the price for our neglect of the Arabs as in the war on terror. My feeling is that the United States should try to make friends with the Arabs and begin to treat them as evenhandedly as we do Israel and other nations as well. Political people can make friends around the world and still be politicians.

  25. Israel, a tiny country whose very existence is threatened daily, is our only democratic ally in the mideast. We should not intefere with their lobbyists. We should not thwart their efforts to keep their homeland safe and productive.

  26. Just having a lazy Sunday afternoon in Abuja Nigeria, watching Fareed interview Spitzer, former governor of NY. Until now I had wondered how Spitzer could be so … for his scandal. Now? How I wish the guy is still the Governor, the guy is brilliant on this AIG issue. Somebody should talk to him in arriving at a solution. Why do I care about what is happening in the American financial sector, Am an old Pittsburgher, “You can take the little girl from the farm but she still smells the horse shit on her shoes” Tt

  27. Tt thanks for checking in from Nigeria. Even without Pittsburgh you need to be concerned as the US economy indirectly impacts Africa – potentially very severely if our boat sinks any more than it already has.

  28. Sandy where would you draw the line on that? Agree that Israel is under more threat than most in the West understand, but the problem is that you cannot simply say any action in the defense of Israel is justified. International law *matters*, and is routinely violated by Israel and her adversaries (and the USA for that matter). We need people who care about countries to be far more open to the many legitimate criticisms of their actions and policies. Unconditional support rarely serves just solutions.

  29. Fareed,
    Thank you for having GPS on air. I would say that your program is the best politically oriented program of CNN. I like most of your guests you invite to discuss the issues that concerns us. However, your last guest James Baker was very bad choice. If I would be he, I would hide myself away from the public because of his involvement in bringing G.W. Bush to power. That was the terrible mistake that cost our country and many other countries many innocent lives, devaluation of the dollar, destabilization of the world, threat to the peace in the world and the worst economic crisis many generations will pay for. When Mr. Baker had a nerve to state that with G.W. Bush we were better off than with others, I would ask you personally, please do not bring on your show people of his qualifications. He is the old war monger and his school of thoughts needs to be aired out. Also Mr. Kissinger that had been invited to the CNN studio many times belongs to the same group of unwanted people as consultants or experts of how to kill innocent people around the world.
    Fareed, please make your show that will reflect the problems properly addressed by real experts and be a real journalist of our time such as Bill Moyers or Amy Goodman but not Wolf Blitzer or Lou Dobbs.
    Thank you.

  30. I cannot see pouring in more money and the Military is not doing anything tho help the people understand what the Taliban is doing to the country. I agree with President Obama, we need accounting.

  31. Concerning Taliban.
    If anybody recalls, Taliban is a product of American influence and training in the region. We gave them weapons and we taught them the tactics of the rural wars but never took into consideration the culture of the region and the religion that has a tremendous impact on the minds of local people. We also never took into consideration the fact that Taliban mostly contains very poor illiterate people highly religious and possibly with the extremist views. We should not be surprised by the action of Taliban. We should not be there to begin with. The only reason why we are there is to protect oil pipelines in the region. If American people would know the history of Afghanistan and Pakistan and the colonial powers Britain had over the region for at least a hundred years than they should not question why the Taliban is raising their heads. Taliban is a local resistance group that has extremist views because they are uneducated with very little information about the world. The government of Afghanistan is not interested to educate their people and NATO doesn’t either. From the history of Afghanistan the country was never under any foreign rules. President Korzai is a weak president and he was installed by Western powers. Therefore he has no real power to change anything in the country besides that he had three assassination attempts to his life. And as soon as NATO leaves the country they should not forget to take President Korzai with them. Longer we stay in Afghanistan, more Taliban soldiers will sign up to fight the occupiers. The only way to make peace in this part of the world is to give people education and jobs instead of giving them weapons.

  32. Long ago I despaired of watching anything news related on American television..even on your network.Along came you Mr. Zakaria and my faith is restored. Your show is the highlght of my week. Your interviews are well researched, your questions are informed and probing without the often obnoxious yelling at/over each other which occurs on other shows. If viewers in the United Sates would watch your program, they would learn facts not politcal rhetoric and perhaps make more informed decisions.Please keep up the excellent work and many thanks for your civilized program. GPS is a great concept and you are the perfect host.

  33. Interview with Russian President Medvedev did not provide better understanding about Russia and their intentions to keep peace in the world than we had from the American Institutions that still lives in the Cold War era. Observing Medvedev and his responses to the not very interesting questions make me to believe that the questions were written by one of the Cold War era pundits.
    Fareed, you missed the point and real opportunity to have a rare interview with President Medvedev of one of the powerful countries in the world by asking him: “Who is the boss?” You had many chances to ask President George W. Bush the same question but you missed that opportunity too. We are paying a big price for not asking him the same question.
    Fareed, you had a very progressive beginning of your show but lately it falls into CNN groove.

  34. Fareed:

    My wife and I do not ever miss GPS. The enlightenment you and your guests portray is a breath of fresh air. Thanks

    My comment about Alkaeda; The enemies of our country are inside and outside our borders. They are like ants,it is impossible to get rid of all with any amount of soldiers or gun powder. It is impossible to erradicate the entire planet of our enemies. Promote diplomacy not war.
    Save the 31 billion a day from afganistan alone and invest it in our infrastructure to create more jobs, social justice, erradicate fraud from big interests and a happy society will surface.

  35. Mr. Zacaria, please tell Mr. Sam Tanenhaus that conservatism is not dead. It is alive and well! The “propaganda” in his book is not as compelling as he or you might think. Anyhow, conservatism has always been under attack while liberalism continues to destroy our country. If conservatism was dead, why are the liberals changing their name to progressives? Are the problems and excesses in our society the product of liberal or conservative thinking?

  36. Dear Mr. Zacaria, is it too difficult to understand that THERE IS NO HUNGER IN GAZA? What’s missing there is JOBS because of the HAMAS regime.
    Please do not make a statement about hunger in Gaza again.

  37. Fareed.

    Thank you for having Bret Stephens from the WSJ on this morning’s program. I have read his “opinions” in the WSJ for the past two years and to say the least…they are quite “disturbing”. In fact, the increasing “right wing” vehemence exhibited by the WSJ is quite disturbing as well.

    But to get back to “Bret”, he effectively “knocked himself out of the box” with his own narrow strident views. However, the bigger problem of the “poll number” he quoted and wanted to “hang his hat on” is the real problem. The GOP will not stop their “cynical, divisive tactics” they employ to “drive wedges” in the country…until our nation gets smarter.

    Hopefully, programs like yours will raise the level of open minded understanding and awareness. The right wing “base” will never change. Fortunately, that only represents 20-25% of our nation. Please keep up your “good work” on the more educated “middle”.


    Rod Dean

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