Monday, 20 August 2012

Does the punishment fit the crime...

Fareed Zakaria seems to be paying a high price for an unintentional error he has publicly apologised for, and  further more for which he has taken full and unequivocal accountability for without passing the buck or attempting to pin the blame on to anyone on his research team. Yet the backlash from the corridors of power that silently dictate management policies regarding print and news media can be seen rearing their ugly racial heads, thus showing the true nature of immigrant minority bias. The reputation and contribution of this gentleman that precedes this rather trivial error seems to have been erased in a blink of an eye by those who are  whipping up this storm in a tea cup. That the Washington Post wrongly accused Fareed of earlier instances of plagiarism and then had to publicly apologise for their salacious inaccuracies,  becomes a mere quiet one liner in the reportage that has taken on an attack mode, is interesting to note. Has that particular reporter been suspended? I very much doubt that.

What comes through for those who are following the story is simply this: successful immigrants appear to make the establishment feel rather uncomfortable especially if they are known to not kowtow to pro-American views on foreign policy or other government agendas. The other interesting point in question is whether the confidence that Fareed Zakaria exudes and the  respect that he commands becomes the thorn in the flesh of others who then secretly desire to see him "put in his place", so to speak, out of sheer envy for the clout he does in fact possess as a serious political analyst and media person whose views are either sought or referred to by officials of significance,  around the world.

But true to human nature, admiration so often turns to dislike via envy and frustration. The decisiveness of strong minded people triggers interesting responses. People often imitate such individuals with the desire to be like them, and when the substance isn't quite there to create the clone (!) then anger takes over and suppressed antagonism starts to grow. Fareed Zakaria must have rubbed many people the wrong way just by being the way he is- efficient and an achiever who is not coy about his success. So what happens then: the moment the man has been human and made a mistake which he in no way denies or excuses, he is being crucified by his detractors with a rather perverse intensity to "nail the little brown b....r!"

I remain unconvinced that the suspension meted out by the TV networks and the newspapers that host  Zakaria's opinions, is an action that fits the crime. An enquiry yes that would have led to a rigorous evaluation of the situation,  but certainly not this extreme knee jerk response that jumped the gun to incriminate him and sully his reputation that he has worked years to establish. I am positive that an anglo-saxon would not have been treated this shabbily for a similar occurrence. But then what else can be expected from a society that blatantly displays it's political double standards on so many issues, and yet takes the moral high ground at all times. Hold high standards by all means, but for heaven sake don't degenerate into moral posturing at the drop of a hat that so transparently exposes bigotry and bias. 

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