Taibbi Rips Fareed Zakaria

By Ben Cohen

I’ve never had a particular problem with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, mostly because I switch off whenever he is talking. He seems like a nice enough chap, talks politely, and never says anything too controversial. However, Matt Taibbi, who has made a career of spotting and demolishing hacks, has been paying attention. And his analysis of Zakaria’s latest intellectual offering on global capitalism isn’t pretty:

Wheras most writers grow up dreaming of using their talents to stir

up the passions, to inflame and amuse and inspire, Zakaria shoots for

the opposite effect, taking controversial and explosive topics and

trying to help rattled readers somehow navigate their way through them

to yawns, lower heart rates, and states of benign unconcern. He’s back

at it again with a new piece about the financial crisis called “The

Capitalist Manifesto,” which is one of the first serious attempts at

restoring the battered image of global capitalism in the mainstream

press.

This writer has done work like this before, using a big canvas to

rework an uncooperative chunk of history in the wake of a crisis.

Zakaria is probably best known for his post 9/11 “Why Do They Hate Us?”

article, a sort of masterpiece of milquetoast propaganda that laid the

intellectual foundation for a wide array of important War on Terror

popular misconceptions, not the least of which being the whole “They

hate us for our freedom” idea. One of Zakaria’s central arguments in

that piece was that poor struggling Arabs were driven to envious

violence by the endless pop-culture reminders of American affluence and

progress. It was just too much to take, seeing all those cool blue

jeans and all that great satellite TV.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.