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Posted by on Aug 6, 2010 in Media, Politics, Religion | 0 comments

CNN’s and Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria Returns ADL Award Due to Group’s Anti-Mosque Stand

Fareed Zakaria, the high profile, high quality Newsweek staffer who is also a rising star as a CNN host, has returned an award he received from the Anti-Defamation League to the ADL due to the group’s stand opposing a mosque two blocks away from 9/11’s Ground Zero.

The Huffington Post reports:

Newsweek writer and CNN host Fareed Zakaria has returned an award he received in 2005 from the Anti-Defamation League over the Jewish group’s opposition towards the Ground Zero mosque.

“Five years ago, the ADL honored me with its Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize,” Zakaria writes in next week’s Newsweek. “I was thrilled to get the award from an organization that I had long admired. But I cannot in good conscience keep it anymore. I have returned both the handsome plaque and the $10,000 honorarium that came with it. I urge the ADL to reverse its decision. Admitting an error is a small price to pay to regain a reputation.”

The ADL has responded as could be predicted: with deepest regret while reaffirming its original reasons for its stand, which has been opposed by some Jewish groups and individuals who’d normally support the ADL.

“I am not only saddened but stunned and somewhat speechless by your decision to return the ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize, you accepted in 2005,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said in a letter to Zakaria. “As someone I greatly respect for engaging in discussion and dialogue with an open mind I would have expected you to reach out to me before coming to judgment.”

Foxman added that the League “did not oppose the right for an Islamic Center or a mosque to be built” but rather “[made] an appeal based solely on the issues of location and sensitivity.”

That quote is a bit ironic: arguing that Zakaria should have reached out to the ADL first rather than handing back the ADL award in protest after the ADL itself pulled away…

There’s more in the Huffington Post article but there are two things you can say about this:

1) It won’t help the ADL’s reputation among some of its supporters who do not agree at all with the group’s position. And this probably includes some donors.

And

2) If Zakaria ever loses his CNN job he probably shouldn’t apply at Fox News.

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