International relations specialist and writer Fareed Zakaria delivered a speech entitled “The Future of Freedom” in the Palestra on Saturday, commenting on globalization, economic power and other topics.

“I have never met anyone so knowledgeable about all affairs going on in the world,” Political Science Undergraduate Council member and sophomore Dan Snow said. “He had a complete and thought out answer on everything from the state of Detroit carworkers to the Prime Minister of Taiwan’s positions on Chinese foreign policy.”

Zakaria is the editor of Newsweek International, managing all of Newsweek’s editions overseas. He also writes a column for Newsweek and occasionally writing for the Washington Post.

Zakaria also contributes to ABC News’s “This Week with George Stephanapoulos” and hosts “Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria” on PBS.

In his address, Zakaria discussed the current and future economic power of India, China and Japan, in addition to other current issues of globalization.

“I felt that he did a good job summing up the current international state of affairs and how it involves the US,” PSUGC member and sophomore John Kreckel said. “There is competition out there but the US still has an edge because of its universities, which I thought was a good testament to UR that Zakaria mentioned.”

Perhaps more interesting, however, was the conference held after the speech in the Hale Room. Zakaria and Political Science department chair Gerald Gamm sat down with members of the Political Science Undergraduate Council to discuss relevant issues in the field today.

“It was phenomenal – everyone asked really good questions,” Director of Development at the Office of College Advancement Mary Jo Ferr said. “Zakaria sent Professor Gamm an email the next day saying that the students were unique in their warmth and hospitality.”

In the discussion, Zakaria expanded on points he made in his speech, in addition to answering questions on other topics such as possible new European Union-style collective governing organizations in Africa and South America, among other areas.

“The EU is very unusual,” Zakaria said. “It’s really ahistorical – it never happened before and, probably, in my view, will not again.”

On a lighter note, Zakaria commented on his appearances on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report.”

“Stephen Colbert is a very nice guy,” Zakaria said. “I thought that he hadn’t figured out one thing about his show – is he always going to be in character? Is he always going to be this buffoonish Bill O’Reilly parody? I think that’s a broader problem with the show – it’s hilarious, because O’Reilly is very parody-able. But can you sustain that forever?”

Still, Zakaria considered Colbert’s controversial speech at this year’s White House press dinner to be well-done and made a broader point about the role of the media in general.

“There is no such thing as ‘the media,'” Zakaria said. “If you look at the best three newspapers in the country, they are all owned by families. They think that it is important that the country has high-quality media.”

Still, Zakaria believes that in some cases media outlets are sacrificing content in order to boost profits or in some cases to even stay afloat. “My hope is that we are a rich enough country that we have forces that are willing to sustain serious media coverage,” Zakaria said.Majarian can be reached at mmajarian@campustimes.org.



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