Fareed Zakaria, the foreign analyst of CNN was interviewed by Eliot Spitzer yesterday. During the interview, Zakaria acknowledged that he has been advising President Obama and the foreign policy team in the State Department and in the White House. The video of the Spitzer-Zakaria discussion follows.

412px Fareed Zakaria on January 28  2011

Photo by Sebastian Derungs

Glenn Beck went after Zakaria on his website today. On his program today, he discussed the issue. “Well, it is good to see that CNN keeps their standards so very, very high that they have a guy who is doing a news show that is an advisor for the president,” Beck said.

Zakaria is the host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, and is also an editor-at-large at Time Magazine. He has been a writer for Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, among a myriad of other media outlets.

The weird thing to me (once I found out that Spitzer still had a program) was that Spitzer asks the question as if it is common knowledge and common practice. Neither of them seems to indicate that there is any ethical problem when journalists provide private advice to politicians. In Spitzer’s case, I understand this. It’s unclear if Spitzer could spell integrity if we spotted him everything except the G spot. So, let me try to explain it to Zakaria, of whom I expected better.

Zakaria, in the interview, says that he has been having regular discussions with Obama and his foreign policy team, on the issues of foreign policy and national security. I watch his Sunday program more than occasionally since he presents a different view than I usually see on television or read in newspapers. But how much objectivity can he claim to have when he is part of the decision-making process. I’ve never heard him say when discussing an issue that he was involved with determining the actions of the administration.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t expect him to state that he disagrees with something where he was part of the group that made the decision. I am part of a group where I work called the institutional review board. Occasionally, I disagree with the majority decision. When the person who is affected asks me what I did, I just tell him or her what the group decided and why. So, for Fareed to defend or explain the administration’s actions makes sense; but he should have either told his viewers that he was involved in making the decision or better yet, not discuss these issues on his program. I expected more of him than he expected of himself.

Here is the video of the interview: