Fareed Zakaria: CNN And Time Suspend the Popular GPS TV Show Host for Plagiarism, Has his Credibility been Tarnished for Good?
Aug 11, 2012 12:41 PM EDT
Even someone who isn't a journalist knows- plagiarism is not a good thing. It's probably the single most disruptive thing a journalist can do for his/her career. Maybe CNN's TV show host Fareed Zakaria skipped class the day the teacher was lecturing on the dangers of plagiarism, which is what he is now being suspended for by CNN and Time.
On august 20, Time published an article on gun control, written by the popular and respected CNN GPS Host Zakaria. The article, The Case of Gun Control, appeared in Zakaria's own column with the magazine. Soon during a routine review, editors found that a few passages in the article closely resembled an article on the same topic that was published by the The New Yorker Magazine in April. Zakaria's article has since been removed from the Time webpage.
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Jill Lepore, who traced certain gun-laws in a historical context, wrote the article in question. Time editors soon realized that the star journalist had lifted sentences straight from Lepore's article.
As the Washington Post points out Lepore's article read, "Laws that banned the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. Other states soon followed...As the governor of Texas explained in 1893, the 'mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder.' "
While Zakaria's went this way, "Laws that banned the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. Other states soon followed...As the governor of Texas (Texas!) explained in 1893, the 'mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder,' " as reiterated by the Washington Post.
Zakaria has apologized to both CNN and Time. He also released an apology to his fans on the social media site, Facebook, where he said, "Media reporters have pointed out that paragraphs in my Time column on gun control...bear close similarities to ...Jill Lepore's essay ...They are right. I made a terrible mistake. It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault. I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at Time and CNN, and to my readers and viewers everywhere," Fareed Zakaria Facebook page.
Of course, given Zakaria's popularity and star power, both CNN and Time cannot risk taking a greater form of penance than a suspension for a brief while. However, the damages done to Zakaria's journalistic credibility might be permanently scared.
Time Magazine has released a statement stating that it has accepted Zakaria's apology, but announced that it would be suspending the columnist for a month.
In addition to his popular News show on CNN called Global Public Square better known as GPS, Zakaria is a columnist for Time. He has written several best sellers.