CNN’s Fareed Zakaria Faces Plagiarism Accusations
Our friend Tim Graham at Newsbusters lays it out:
When CNN host and Time editor-at-large Fareed Zakaria wrote a new piece called “The Case for Gun Control,” it ended with a bang: “So when people throw up their hands and say we can't do anything about guns, tell them they're being un-American--and unintelligent.”
Here’s something that suggests a lack of intelligence: plagiarism. Cam Edwards at NRANews.com suggested to me that Zakaria seemed to plagiarize a paragraph from an April article in The New Yorker magazine -- with a modicum word-usage changes and interjections (Texas!) in an attempt to paper it over.
Graham then puts both paragraphs side by side.
I'm no journalist -- and therefore have no idea what rises to the level of plagiarism, but there's no question that the similarity in the paragraphs is striking.
Graham also points out that this is not the first time Zakaria has faced these accusations.
Picking up where Newsbusters left off, The Atlantic found two more, although less egregious examples of similarities between Zarakria's Time piece and the one in question in The New Yorker:
Zakaria's column also includes two more instances of similarities to Lepore's piece, the next two paragraphs after the one cited above, in fact. As the National Review's Robert VerBruggen points out (because he took issue with its accuracy) they both describe a Supreme Court decision the same way.
According to the Atlantic, neither Zakaria or The New Yorker has yet commented. Time Magazine, the publication where Zakaria's piece appeared, has said its looking into it.
Like I said, I can't comment on what reaches the definition of plagiarism, but it sure seems like the dumbest, laziest crime in the world to me. How hard is it to rewrite a paragraph and then link to the original source? How hard is it to copy and paste the paragraph like I did above so no one confuses it with your work?
Zakaria might have a legitimate explanation for this, but he will have to explain it.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC