Time and CNN suspend Fareed Zakaria for plagiarism

Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:35pm EDT

Journalist and writer Fareed Zakaria (L) receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Marc Goodheart, Secretary of the Harvard Corporation, during the 361st Commencement Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts May 24, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Journalist and writer Fareed Zakaria (L) receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Marc Goodheart, Secretary of the Harvard Corporation, during the 361st Commencement Exercises at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts May 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

(Reuters) - CNN host and Time magazine contributing editor-at-large Fareed Zakaria was suspended by his employers on Friday after he acknowledged copying material for a recent column he wrote about gun control from another writer.

Time said it was suspending Zakaria for one month, "pending further review," and CNN said it had also suspended him for his journalistic misstep. CNN put no time limit on its suspension.

The sanctions came after Zakaria issued a public apology for borrowing from a recent New Yorker essay about gun control for a column he wrote for Time this week.

"Media reporters have pointed out that paragraphs in my Time column this week bear close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore's essay in the April 23rd issue of the New Yorker. They are right. I made a terrible mistake," Zakaria wrote in his apology.

"It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault."

Ali Zelenko, a spokesman for Time, said the magazine accepted Zakaria's apology but felt compelled to act against him because he had violated its standards for all columnists.

"Their work must not only be factual but original; their view must not only be their own but their words as well," Zelenko said.

CNN said its suspension of Zakaria was due to the fact that he wrote a blog post on CNN.com that was similar to his Time column and included "similar unattributed excerpts."

Indian-born Zakaria studied at Yale and Harvard, was managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine and then editor of Newsweek International for ten years before moving to CNN in 2010 to host Fareed Zakaria GPS.

Friday's public embarrassment for Zakaria followed a recent scandal involving New Yorker staff writer Jonah Lehrer, who resigned on July 30.

Lehrer, a science journalist and author, quit after admitting that he made up quotes from legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan in his book "Imagine: How Creativity Works."

(Reporting by Tom Brown; Editing by Anthony Boadle)

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Comments (11)
JamVee wrote:
With his sterling credentials and amazing resume, shame on him.

I feel sure that editors and scholars are already taking a closer look at his previous works to make sure this was a “one time slip”, and not a “common practice” that just wasn’t noticed.

Aug 10, 2012 7:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SanPa wrote:
@JamVee — I too am very surprised that Zakaria chose the lazy man’s solution.

Aug 10, 2012 8:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MitchS wrote:
Zakaria is such a self righteous fellow, would be interesting to see if this is a just a bit of one-off bit of thievery or perhaps an offence he has committed before. I would be it’s not the first time and it would behoove editors at TIME and CNN to take a closer look at his background. This happens all of the time in “journalism” of which there really isn’t very much of it left, but why is he only penalised with a month suspension? He should be fired outright. I don’t see Time’s circulation being buoyed by him and CNN’s ratings are in the toilet. Good riddance to him I say! Sadly and not surprisingly, he is another Obama supporter and makes it clear everytime he’s on the air.

Aug 10, 2012 8:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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