The smartest show nobody's watching.
Every Sunday afternoon at 1 pm ET, on CNN, Fareed Zakaria hosts a program called GPS, which features thoughtful, insightful commentary with a global perspective, interviews with significant players in some of the world's hottest trouble-spots, and erudite panels of international experts debating some of the most pressing questions of our time.
And as far as I can tell, nobody's paying the slightest attention.
The show is never covered in the blogsphere, left or right; its content is never fodder for follow-up review in the other American talking-head programs the following week; its discussions and interviews never analyzed or discussed in the print media. I read about two dozen news sources throughout the week, and as many blogs. I've never seen the show mentioned.
Most of the 'problem', I assume, is that GPS is, in the era of Dick Cheney showboating and Sean Hannity and Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly YELLING, boring. Relatively speaking, GPS is dry and probably percieved as numbingly cerebral.
And yet it's the only show I know of that steps outside the "narrative" - the story the mainstream media writes about issues and then follows slavishly. The most notable being, "Arab countries and their leaders are all nuts".
Zakaria's panel today discussing the Israel-Iranian-Palestinian problem was smart and deeply interesting and featured a bunch of people whose names would not be bold-faced in any American newspaper. So we may never hear a word of follow-up about what King Abdullah of Jordan and David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, dubbed "the 23-state solution"; or Iran's role as a potential 24th fly in the ointment of that solution. Or not.
No educated, intelligent person should consider the show unapproachably cerebral. Trading in informed subtlety, however, unfortunately, is unfashionable.