09:13 AM ET, February 12th, 2015

Two new CNN Original Series will premiere Sunday, March 1st with Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery (produced by Nutopia) airing at 9pm ET/PT, followed by the The Wonder List with Bill Weir at 10 pm ET/PT (produced by CNN). Loved and worshipped by billions, Jesus of Nazareth is, unquestionably, the most famous person of the last […] Full Post

December 19th, 2014
07:00 PM ET

Michael Lynton, Chairman & CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment with CNN's Fareed Zakaria

The following are excerpts from an interview between Michael Lynton, chairman & CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that will air inside ANDERSON COOPER 360°.   The excerpts below relate to the recent cyberattacks upon Sony Pictures, now determined to have been launched by North Korea, and took place following the press conference with President Obama that took place earlier today.   The full interview will air tonight on CNN at 8:00pmET.


***** MANDATORY for reference and usage: “FULL INTERVIEW WILL AIR INSIDE CNN’s ANDERSON COOPER 360° TONIGHT AT 8:00PM/eSt” *****

Michael Lynton on reaction to President Obama’s recent statements about Sony Pictures decision to pull The Interview

FAREED ZAKARIA: The President says Sony made a mistake in pulling the film. Did you make a mistake?

MICHAEL LYNTON: No. I–I think actually the unfortunate part is. in this instance. the President, the Press, and the public are mistaken as to what actually happened. We do not own movie theaters. We cannot determine whether or not a movie will be played in movie theaters. So, to sort of rehearse for a moment the sequence of events, we experienced the worst cyber-attack in American history and persevered for three and a half weeks under enormous stress and enormous difficulty. Umm and all with the effort of trying to keep our business up and running and get this movie out into the public. When it came to the crucial moment– when a threat came out from what was called the GOP at the time– threatening audiences who would go to the movie theaters, the movie theaters came to us one by one over the course of a very short period of time– We were completely surprised by it and announced that they would not carry the movie. At that point in time, we had no alternative but to not proceed with the theatrical release on the 25th of December.

ZAKARIA: So you don’t…

LYNTON: That’s all we did

ZAKARIA: So you have not caved in your view?

LYNTON:  We have not caved. We have not given in. We have preserved. And we have NOT backed down. We have–We have always had every desire to have the American public see this movie”


LYNTON on options open to Sony for releasing The Interview

FAREED ZAKARIA:  Why not release it online in some form or the other – video on demand?

MICHAEL LYNTON: There are a number of options open to us and we have considered those and are considering them. As it stands right now – while there have been a number of suggestions that we go out there and deliver this movie digitally or through VOD, there has not been one major VOD – video on demand distributor – one major e-commerce site that has stepped forward and said they are willing to distribute this movie for us. Again, we don’t have that direct interface with the American public so we need to go through an intermediary to do that.


LYNTON on his prior support of President Obama – and whether that has now changed.

FAREED ZAKARIA: You are well known as somebody who supported President Obama.


ZAKARIA: Were you disappointed in what you heard today?

LYNTON: umm I would be fibbing to say I wasn’t disappointed. Ummm.. I I—You know, the President and I haven’t spoken. I don’t know exactly whether he understands the sequence of events that led up to the movies not being shown in the movie theaters. Umm… and umm therefore I would disagree with the notion that it was a mistake. It’s a generally held view by the public and the press that that’s what happened and maybe that’s how that view was –was held by uh him. But, knowing as I do the-the facts and how they’ve—how they’ve unfolded…um …You know we st-stood extremely firm in terms of making certain that this movie would appear in movie theaters.”

LYNTON on whether Sony Pictures made a mistake by producing The Interview.

FAREED ZAKARIA:  Would you make the movie again?

MICHAEL LYNTON: Ya, I would make the movie again. I think, you know, for the same reasons we made – made it in the first place. It was a funny comedy. It was a  – it,  it served as political satire, I think – I think we would have made the movie again. I, I, knowing what I know now, we might have – done something slightly differently but I think a lot of events have overtaken us in a way we had no control over the – over the facts.

FAREED ZAKARIA:  And you’re saying you still want the public to see this movie?

MICHAEL LYNTON: We would still like the public to see this movie. Absolutely.

December 14th, 2014
01:19 PM ET

Israeli econ minister, "I will not give up land to Arabs anymore."

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features an interview with Naftali Bennett, the economic minister in Prime Minister Netanyahu's cabinet and the leader of the ultra-conservative Jewish Home party, to discuss the Israeli elections, Palestinian statehood, and European divestment of Israel.


On rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state: The notion of injecting a state, dividing Jerusalem, dividing up the country and splitting and slicing it, is not sustainable. When we did it in Gaza, we gave them Gaza, right? And it turned into a terrible Afghanistan in the middle of Israel. We can't do it again. We can't commit suicide. We have to be more rational about things.”

On European divestment of Israel: “The boycott and divestment against Israel, in my opinion, is simply anti-Semitism, because we're the only country that takes care of its minorities, the only country where everyone can vote, Arabs and Jews. We're not cutting off heads. We allow women to drive, not like in other Arab countries. So to pinpoint the Jewish state as a - as a target for a boycott and divestment is blatant anti-Semitism. And I have no sympathy for that.”

Full transcript after the jump. FULL POST

December 7th, 2014
11:48 AM ET

Suki Kim's Experience in North Korea "it's the most horrific place to me in the world"

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features an interview with Suki Kim who explains how she got inside a North Korean school and the warped worldview of students there.


On North Koreans’ perception of the world:  "They, first of all, didn't know anything about the rest of the world. If any of them did, they were fearful to admit that, because every conversation that we had, even at meals in the cafeteria, there was - somebody was reporting on it. They were all watching each other. And if they were curious, you know, there was a - little slips here and there where they would be curious about democracy, for example, how it functioned in the rest of the world. At the same time, some of the students really thought people spoke Korean in the rest of the world. So the utter, utter lack of information was astounding."

On North Korea's education system: "You take away any way of critical thinking, and you literally take away the tools where people can communicate with each other, then I think that you have a nation where they just basically have the most abusive nation in the world. There - these men just own their people. It's the most horrific place to me in the world


Full transcript after the jump. FULL POST

November 30th, 2014
03:23 PM ET

Uber CEO on Beijing: "so what we're starting to see is innovation"

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features an interview with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on the link between failure and entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, the driving force behind innovation, and the cities most conducive to innovation.


On cities that are evolving into a technology hub. : Probably the most impressive is Beijing.  It's a very young but very vibrant Silicon Valley.  And I'd say that they're, you know, for a while, people thought about China as like, well, they would copy what you do and they're always behind.  What's happening is the copying is catching up. But when it catches up, there's nothing left to copy.  And so what we're starting to see is innovation.  It's starting to percolate up in China.  And I think that's really exciting.”

On innovation: The way I look at innovation is it's really about creative problem-solving.  It is - it's about, on one end, being very creative and almost being an idea person and seeing ideas and interesting ways of doing things everywhere. But on the other side, it's about being very, very analytical and very, very dedicated to details.  I like to say god is in the details. So if you're analytical and logical, almost like a machine, I'm a computer engineering - well, I went to school as a computer engineer, but bringing a creative idea and ideation piece to that, put them together, you're now a creative problem-solver. And that's where I think innovation comes from.  And here at the company, you know, I try to - we look for creative problem-solvers and we try to push people to solve things creatively, because that's where innovation is.”


Full transcript available after the jump. FULL POST

November 16th, 2014
11:14 AM ET

Jon Stewart & Maziar Bahari on Fareed Zakaria GPS

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features an interview with Jon Stewart and Iranian-born journalist Maziar Bahari to discuss Iran, the Arab Spring, and their new film Rosewater. In 2009 Maziar Bahari was arrested under the pretext of espionage following the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Green Revolution. The film Rosewater depicts the 118 days of Bahari’s mental and physical torture under the Iranian regime. Jon Stewart, director of Rosewater, tells Fareed Zakaria that he feels many people are trapped between authoritarianism and religious extremism. He points to the Iranian regime’s shortsighted approach to retaining power. Both Bahari and Stewart describe the rationality of the Iranian regime’s irrationality, which was fundamental to Bahari’s detention after the Green Movement. Text excerpts and a full interview transcript are available below.


Stewart on torture in Iran: “I think there is a rationality behind it. And to view it in that way means it can be manipulated. And it means that you can fight back against it. And so there is a banality to it. There is a - I would consider it more the bureaucracy of evil and the stupidity of evil.”

Stewart on the Arab World: “this is a part of the world that has been trapped between authoritarianism and extremism. And it's very difficult for the majority of the people who live there, who are just looking to carve out a little space for themselves and to live their lives, to get that space and create those civic institutions when you are constantly trapped between those two poles.”

Bahari on his experience in solitary confinement: “your only way to communicate with the rest of the world is through your interrogator. But when my interrogate - my - one of the prison guards, by mistake, called me Mr. Hillary Clinton, there and then I realized that there is a campaign for me. So I - that was the best moment for - for a prisoner, the worst thing is to think that he or she is alone. And that was a moment that I realized that I was not alone.”

Bahari on the principles and outcomes of the 2009 Green Movement: “It was a movement of millions of Iranians to gain their rights as citizens of the country. They did not want to be the subjects of the master, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. So the movement continues. You may not see the manifestations of the movement on the streets, but the people’s demand to be considered as citizens of the country continues.”

A full interview of the transcript is available after the jump. FULL POST

Topics: Fareed Zakaria • Fareed Zakaria GPS • Iran
November 9th, 2014
03:48 PM ET

Remembering the Berlin Wall on Fareed Zakaria GPS

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS looks back at the fall of the Berlin wall with then-US National Security Advisor, Brent Scowcroft, and  former top British foreign policy advisor, Charles Powell. Exactly 25 years from today, the geopolitical landscape changed dramatically and ushered in a new era of diplomacy. Brent Scowcroft and Charles Powell share their perspectives on the post-Cold War international system regarding China, ISIS, and Russia with Fareed Zakaria.

Scowcroft on the WH’s initial reaction to the fall of the Berlin wall: “What we were worried about was that this event would force Gorbachev to violence and all of the hopeful signs would be destroyed.”

Powell on NATO then and now: “But there's no doubt NATO is not quite the organization it once was. There is no doubt that defense spending in Europe has slipped to scandalously low levels, where it can't really play a very useful role in standing alongside the United States in dealing with these international crises. At the time of the Berlin - fall of the Berlin Wall, we were still at the height of alliance unity. And President Bush paid a very great part in that. It's what enabled us to get through the Berlin situation peacefully.”

Scowcroft on his grade of President Obama’s foreign policy: “I think not very high grades. But I do think that he is presiding over a world which is dramatically changing. “


November 2nd, 2014
11:40 AM ET

Sam Harris on GPS "Islam has been spread by the sword"

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features an interview with Sam Harris, cofounder and CEO of Project Reason. Harris speaks to Fareed Zakaria about his comments on Real Time with Bill Maher that “Islam at this moment is the mother lode of bad ideas.”


Harris on Osama bin Laden’s interpretation of Islam: “His interpretation of Islam is very straightforward and honest and you really have to split hairs and do some interpretative acrobatics in order to get it look – get it to look non-canonical.”

Harris on whether his candid views about Islam are helpful to nominal Muslims: “I hear from people living in Pakistan, for instance, who say if a liberal like you can't even speak honestly about the link between ideology and violence, what hope is there for me? I can't even tell my mother what I believe about God because I would be afraid of my own family or village killing me.”

Harris on the interpretation of the doctrine of jihad in the Qur’an:  “The reality is, an honest reading of the text and an honest reading of Muslim history makes jihad look very much like holy war.”

A full transcript of the interview is available after the jump. FULL POST

October 26th, 2014
03:41 PM ET

Freeland on the Ottawa shooting

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features an interview with Chrystia Freeland, a member of Canadian parliament who was inside Ottawa’s Centre Block as shots were fired and Michael Hayden, former Director of the NSA and CIA. Freeland and Hayden spoke with Fareed Zakaria about recent lone wolf attacks and how to react to them in the future. FULL POST

Topics: CNN • Fareed Zakaria • Fareed Zakaria GPS
October 19th, 2014
01:20 PM ET

Ebola "was an avoidable catastrophe"

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS features an interview with Peter Piot, who co-discovered Ebola, about why this outbreak is so serious and how the world should respond.


Piot on the severity of the threat:  ”This is the first Ebola epidemic where entire nations are involved, where big cities are affected. And I continue to be worried that the response to the epidemic is really running behind the virus. The virus is still running much faster.”

Piot on containing Ebola:  The good news is that both Nigeria and Senegal have been able to contain a number important cases. In Senegal, there was not even any secondary case. In Nigeria, there were a number of people who were infected and died, but it has not given rise to an outbreak in Lagos, after all, a city of more than 20 million people, or in Port Harcourt. So that's a - that shows that if you act decisively and early enough, that this is, you know, it can be controlled. This was an avoidable catastrophe.”

A full transcript of the interview is available after the jump.


Topics: CNN • Ebola • Fareed Zakaria • Fareed Zakaria GPS
October 12th, 2014
12:35 PM ET

Former PM of Kurdistan "Every Kurd wants independence"

CNN’s FAREED ZAKARIA GPS  features an interview with Barham Salih, former prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan and former deputy prime minister of Iraq, about the strength of ISIS,  the role the Peshmerga could play in fighting ISIS, and the prospects for Kurdish independence.


Salih on the Iraqi army: “At the end of the day, the military needs to be a professional institution, the type of leadership that we have had in Iraq over the past few years has politicized the army, has divided the army on sectarian lines and simply was not able to stand up to the challenge.”

Salih on the Peshmerga’s fight against ISIS: “Kurdistan has emerged as the most reliable partner of the international coalition in the fight against ISIS.”

Salih on Kurdish Independence: “Every Kurd wants independence. That's a - that's a reality of it.  But I genuinely do believe that the Kurds will be the ones who will have least problem with a united Iraq, a decent Iraq. To date, the Kurds want Iraq to succeed, a democratic federal Iraq will be good for the Kurds and we want to be partners in making Iraq a success.”

A full transcript of the interview is available after the jump.

Topics: CNN • CNN International • CNN Politics • Fareed Zakaria • Fareed Zakaria GPS • Iraq • ISIS
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