What’s next for plagiarizer Fareed Zakaria?


Fareed Zakaria is one of the great thinkers on American foreign policy and on America itself. He’s a trusted senior editor and columnist for Time, and host of an influential weekly show on CNN.

Or was, until yesterday, when he was suspended by both Time and CNN for plagıarısm. Zakaria tweeted an apology:

“Media reporters have pointed out that paragraphs in my Time column on gun control, which was also a topic of conversation on this blog, bear close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore’s essay in the April 23rd 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 CNN, and to my readers and viewers everywhere.”

What is one to make of this sad affair? Zakaria didn’t gain his prominence through plagiarism, a la  The New York Times’s Jayson Blair. He’s not a faux journalist like Mike Barnicle or Monica Crowley or Maureen Dowd, all of whom plagiarized. He’s an accomplished, serious analyst of world affairs who’s sought out by presidents, prime ministers, and generals. They trusted him. Heck, I trusted him.

Maybe he should be treated like my business ethics students at the University of Redlands: they failed the course, but as first offenders were allowed to stay in the university. Zakaria should serve out his suspensions, then be allowed back to work. But like Barnicle, Crowley, and Dowd, he’ll long be diminished by the label, plagiarizer.


Photo from LawyerHerald.com




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7 Responses to “What’s next for plagiarizer Fareed Zakaria?”

  1. Windypundit Says:

    I’m sort of waiting to see if he has an explanation. The examples I’ve seen could have been the result of sloppy word processing — e.g. copying someone else’s work into his notes, and then using the notes to write articles, but losing track of the source info, mistaking someone else’s work for his own writing. Not good journalism, but not quite the inexplicable twist it seems to be.

    • Ethics Bob Says:

      I hope he has an explanation, but based on his apology I doubt it. Any professional writer should know to be careful not to copy anybody else’s work.

  2. janpchapman Says:

    This is so sad. You’re right, he has lost credibility, even for an admirer like me. How can they think they’re not going to get caught?

  3. Of Fareed Zakaria, Scraping, Plagiarism and Hypocrisy | Ethics Alarms Says:

    […] Spark: Ethics Bob […]

  4. sam Says:

    Fareed is one of the modern journalist who keeps up with the world affair, and should be pardon for his past mistake, should be given a second chance.

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