Fareed Zakaria suspended from Time, CNN for plagiarizing New Yorker story

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Time magazine has suspended Fareed Zakaria’s column for a month after learning that portions of his Aug. 20 Time magazine article about gun control bore strong similarities to Jill Lepore’s New Yorker about the NRA. After Zakaria apologized for “a serious lapse,” Time spokeswoman Ali Zelenko told Poynter in an emailed statement:

Time accepts Fareed’s apology, but what he did violates our own standards for our columnists, which is that their work must not only be factual but original; their views must not only be their own but their words as well. As a result, we are suspending Fareed’s column for a month, pending further review.

Zakaria didn’t offer an explanation as to what happened, saying only that it was a “mistake” and “entirely my fault.”

CNN also suspended Zakaria because he wrote a blog post for CNN.com on the same subject. CNN said that post “included similar unattributed excerpts,” reports Jack Mirkinson and Rebecca Shapiro of The Huffington Post.

“The Washington Post, which publishes a separate column by Zakaria on its op-ed page, said it was reviewing Zakaria’s work for the newspaper,” Paul Farhi reports.

Zakaria’s next column for The Post is scheduled to appear Wednesday.

“Fareed Zakaria is a valued contributor,” said The Post’s editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt. “We’ve never had any reason to doubt the integrity of his work for us. Given his acknowledgment today, we intend to review his work with him.”

Earlier Friday, NewsBusters reported that a paragraph in Zakaria’s column was remarkably similar to one in Lepore’s. Separately, in a column strafing Zakaria’s piece, National Review’s Robert VerBruggen noted another sentence that was nearly identical. The Atlantic Wire’s Alexander Abad-Santos has a complete rundown.

A Time spokesperson had responded to the accusation of plagiarism by telling me in an email: “TIME takes any accusation of plagiarism by any of our journalists very seriously, and we will carefully examine the facts before saying anything else on the matter.”

Zakaria hosts a CNN show and is the author of several bestselling books. In June, The Boston Globe reported Zakaria made “essen­tially identical” commencement speeches at Duke University and at Harvard. One of the repeated lines was “You don’t need an ethics course to know what you shouldn’t do.”

Steve Myers and Julie Moos contributed to this report.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749911534 Anonymous

    FAREED ZAKARIA GPS CNN Aired August 26, 2012 – ON AIR APOLOGY THIS WEEK, during INTRO ”A final personal note. As some of you know, two weeks ago, I wrote a column in Time Magazine and neglected to quote a New Yorker essay by Jill Lepore that I drew closely from. I was not trying to pass the work off as my own. I prominently cited the book, “Gun Fight” by Adam Winkler that contained all the historical data that both Lepore and I wrote about it, but I absolutely should have quote or cited the New Yorker essay as well. It was a mistake, but an honest one and I apologized. Time and CNN conducted exhaustive investigations looking at over 50 pages of research for that column as well as years of my commentary and found nothing to merit further action. Time said it was entirely satisfied that this was an intentional and isolated error. For my part, I just want to say again how sorry I am and let’s get started.” THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749911534 Anonymous

    FAREED ZAKARIA GPS CNN Aired August 26, 2012 – ON AIR APOLOGY THIS WEEK, during INTRO ”A final personal note. As some of you know, two weeks ago, I wrote a column in Time Magazine and neglected to quote a New Yorker essay by Jill Lepore that I drew closely from. I was not trying to pass the work off as my own. I prominently cited the book, “Gun Fight” by Adam Winkler that contained all the historical data that both Lepore and I wrote about it, but I absolutely should have quote or cited the New Yorker essay as well. It was a mistake, but an honest one and I apologized. Time and CNN conducted exhaustive investigations looking at over 50 pages of research for that column as well as years of my commentary and found nothing to merit further action. Time said it was entirely satisfied that this was an intentional and isolated error. For my part, I just want to say again how sorry I am and let’s get started.” THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sylvia-Kronstadt/1233698902 Sylvia Kronstadt

    Fareed’s vast ambition is partially to blame, of course, but the media have become very lazy in prospecting for an array of voices, sources and personalities. Whenever a bright, attractive expert surfaces, he becomes the “go-to” person, and pretty soon he is popping up on network news, PBS, NPR and in magazines whenever his specialty is in the spotlight. It’s negligent on the part of the media, and it deprives the public of the diversity of opinion it deserves. It turned Fareed into a factory boss, overseeing — not very well, apparently — the Zakaria “brand.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Egg-Man/681171228 Egg Man

    3 days ago i posted before Podhorest etc – I am wondering if by any chance FAREED himself did not commit the plagiarism but that one of his paid or summer intern staffers did the copying, without FZ’s knowing, although he must shoulder the blame? any chance THIS happened? STill, it’s wrong, but maybe it was staffer?

  • Steve Ross

    Some of my students and former students have been interns for Zakaria, and he has quite a few at one time. It seems obvious to me that the interns almost certainly did the deed and that Zakaria has taken responsibility, as he should. Among the NYT star columnists with hordes of interns are Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman. I’m usually forced to do my own work, thank you (!), so I don’t have a lot of sympathy — these folks are brands, not authors. But I’m somewhat forgiving on the plagiarizer accusation.

  • Anonymous

    you shouldn’t try to be everywhere http://phanmemchat.net/tai-game-iwin-online

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OSI63JSR627H2MYHULYVQSMMAM John

    You wouldn’t expect this from a paragon of journalistic virtue emanating political correctness through all of his pores…

  • http://twitter.com/Rosemar05180095 Rosemarie

    ….
    goo.gl/WmGki

  • http://twitter.com/Rosemar05180095 Rosemarie

     Kenneth replied I am shocked that someone able to earn $8183 in four weeks on the network. did you see this(Click on menu Home)

  • http://twitter.com/Rosemar05180095 Rosemarie

     Kenneth replied I am shocked that someone able to earn $8183 in four weeks on the network. did you see this(Click on menu Home)

  • http://twitter.com/Rosemar05180095 Rosemarie

     Kenneth replied I am shocked that someone able to earn $8183 in four weeks on the network. did you see this(Click on menu Home)

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully Zacharia will not be permanently fired, as his contribution is valuable, and his is my favorite show on CNN ( or any TV station), and which I look forward to all week.

  • v aa

    the fact that he repeats a sentence is not wort mentioning but suggests that repeatedly expressing one’s wievs and opinions is somehow questionable. I find this insinuation dishonest and hypocritical

  • Anonymous

    RE: In June, The Boston Globe reported Zakaria made “essen­tially identical” commencement speeches at Duke University and at Harvard. One of the repeated lines was “You don’t need an ethics course to know what you shouldn’t do.” A COUPLE OF NOTES: 1. many public speakers, lecture bureau speakers, VIP speakers like Thomas Friendman etc, give similar, soemtimes identiical speeches all over the world, with similar punch lines etc, that is all documented. But a speech is given to a specific audience at one venue, and I don’t consider this to be plagiarism. It’s not. It’s giving the same speech multiple times, but that is SPEECH to one audience, not an oped in a newspaper or magazine. Agree with me? Disagree? 2. I am wondering if by any chance FAREED himself did not commit the plagiarism but that one of his paid or summer intern staffers did the copying, without FZ’s knowing, although he must shoulder the blame? any chance THIS happened? STill, it’s wrong, but maybe it was staffer?

  • Anonymous

    My main exposure to Mr. Zakaria is the final two minutes of his CNN TV show airing just before Howie Kurtz’s “Reliable Sources”.   During those two minutes he often recommends recent books on serious subjects.  Some of those books must have dealt with the media universe of the second decade of the 21st century and the fact that EVERYTHING IS OUT THERE FOR ANYONE TO VIEW.  I’ve also seen him on Comedy Central’s “DailyShow”, a program that seems to be able to fossick up video, audio and texts going back to the Truman administration!  You’d think he’d notice.

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    Nate, Thanks for the question. The URL is from when the story was first created, and at the time he was accused of plagiarism. We didn’t update the URL as the story developed, though we did update the headline. I’m not sure why the email newsletter still contained the old headline, but it is probably a function of when it started queuing up items. –Julie Moos, Director of Poynter Online

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.kiser1 Bill Kiser

    Why wasn’t this guy fired by both CNN and Time? A low-level staffer at either place does something like this (and does it repeatedly) would be thrown through the door …

  • Anonymous

    Why do the email newsletter and the URL both both downplay Mr. Zakaria’s transgressions by saying he is ACCUSED of plagiarism when he owned up to it?

  • http://twitter.com/shreya21 Shreya Maheshwari

    This is why you shouldn’t try to be everywhere. You can’t do a TV show, write columns, give speeches, serve on panels, etc, and make all of it 100% authentic.