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Then there was the bizarre episode in which Mr. Zakaria first, in 2005, accepted a $10,000 check from the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish organization active on foreign policy issues, then, in 2010, returned the money after the ADL suggested maybe the organizers of a new 15-story Islamic Center mosque and swimming pool could find a more sensitive location than one adjacent to ground zero.
I hesitated to attack Mr. Zakaria after his Harvard honorary degree in part because on some level, he’s actually better than a lot of other journalists. At least he has free-market types like Mr. Norquist and Mr. Conard on his show rather than just ignoring them. Mr. Zakaria describes himself by saying, “I'm a big fan of the free market. I think it has an almost magical ability to allocate resources and generate growth.” He served for some time as a trustee of the center-right Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. One could view those things as somehow ameliorating Mr. Zakaria’s failings, but one could also view them as making those failings all the more disappointing. You’d think that he, of all people, would know better.
Such, then, is the sorry state of American journalistic standards. Borrow a line or two from the New Yorker and it’s a major punishable offense. Repeatedly serve up the flawed left-wing conventional wisdom on taxes, spending, and the Middle East, and get rewarded with your own television show and a Harvard honorary degree.