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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.
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.