Fareed Zakaria suspended for plagiarism

Time magazine editor-at-large and CNN host Fareed Zakaria has been suspended by both Time and CNN for plagiarism. Time is suspending Zakaria for 30 days. CNN has put no expiration date on his suspension.

Zakaria stole from an essay on gun control written by Jill Lepore, published in The New Yorker on April 23.

Here is a paragraph from Lepore’s original essay:

As Adam Winkler, a constitutional-law scholar at U.C.L.A., demonstrates in a remarkably nuanced new book, “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America,” firearms have been regulated in the United States from the start. Laws banning the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813, and other states soon followed: Indiana (1820), Tennessee and Virginia (1838), Alabama (1839), and Ohio (1859). Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas explained in 1893, the “mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.

Here is a paragraph from Zakaria’s version published in Time:

Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA, documents the actual history in Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. Guns were regulated in the U.S. from the earliest years of the Republic. Laws that banned the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. Other states soon followed: Indiana in 1820, Tennessee and Virginia in 1838, Alabama in 1839 and Ohio in 1859. Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas (Texas!) explained in 1893, the “mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.”

Zakaria essentially took Lepore’s words and rephrased them into something slightly different. A simple, honest mistake this was not. This was hard-core, blatant theft.

How can anyone trust anything produced by Zakaria ever again? He has permanently lost all credibility. If his suspensions don’t become permanent, it will say a lot about the credibility of Time and CNN.

Fareed Zakaria is an awful person.

Photo: Harvard Gazette

Comments

  1. Cecilia White says

    Fareed Zakaria is not an “awful person.” He is flawed human being — as we all are — but also a brilliant mind. His CNN program is the only truly intelligent TV news program on the tube. Yes, he cocked up big-time, and has fully admitted it. No excuses — plagiariam is journalistic sin. But I do hope that as Mr. Zakaria repents, his employers will relent and continue to offer us his clear and insightful work. We need it; I know I do.

    • says

      Fareed Zakaria is not an “awful person.”

      We’ll have to agree to disagree. He stole the words of someone wrote and passed it off as his own. He’s not a kid in the 11th grade trying to cheat on a high school term paper, he’s the editor of Time magazine. He obviously knew what he did was morally reprehensible, he just did not care.

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