CNN host Fareed Zakaria is in the crosshairs after being accused of plagiarism for a gun-control column.
The network said Friday it had suspended Zakaria, a foreign-policy expert and the host of “Fareed Zakaria GPS," after questions arose about a column he wrote this month for Time headlined “The Case for Gun Control.”
In the column, Zakaria alluded to the recent shootings at a Colorado movie theater and a Wisconsin Sikh temple, but the rest appeared to be borrowed heavily and without attribution from an April 22 New Yorker article about guns in America by Jill Lepore. For example, Zakaria cited the same striking gun statistics from Yemen and Switzerland that Lepore used.
“We have reviewed Fareed Zakaria’s Time column, for which he has apologized,” CNN said in a statement. “He wrote a shorter blog post on CNN.com on the same issue which included similar unattributed excerpts. That blog post has been removed and CNN has suspended Fareed Zakaria while this matter is under review.” Time, which is owned by the same corporate parent as CNN, said it was also suspending Zakaria, for a month.
In his own statement Friday, Zakaria wrote: “Media reporters have pointed out that the paragraphs in my Time column this week bear close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore’s essay in the April 22nd issue of The New Yorker. 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 to my readers.”
Questions about the Zakaria column were first raised by Tim Graham, a writer for the conservative website Newsbusters.org, which is dedicated to “exposing & combating liberal media bias.”
Zakaria has been accused of plagiarism before. In 2009, writer Jeffrey Goldberg complained that Zakaria, then writing for Newsweek, had lifted quotes from interviews Goldberg had conducted with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and one of his advisors.
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