Time, CNN suspend Fareed Zakaria over ‘serious lapse,’ plagiarism claims

Time magazine has suspended columnist Fareed Zakaria for one month following revelations that portions of his impassioned call for stronger gun control in his column were lifted from an article published in The New Yorker in April.

Zakaria today issued the following statement on the matter:

Media reporters have pointed out that 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.

CNN also has suspended Zakaria. A variation of the Time column had appeared as a blog post on CNN.com but has since been pulled.

Accusations of plagiarism have dogged Zakaria before. The Boston Globe criticized his 2012 commencement addresses to graduating classes at Harvard and Duke for being identical. The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg has also called out Zakaria for “stealing his shit.”

We realize that Time’s circulation isn’t what it used to be, but enough readers remain that Zakaria must have suspected he might be caught.

The Time column for which Zarakia was suspended concludes that those who think nothing can be done about guns are “un-American” and “unintelligent.” Those who defend Second Amendment rights, however, were smart enough to recognize plagiarism when they saw it; NewsBusters credits Cam Edwards of NRA News for discovering the similarities.

Will Zakaria return following the suspension, and if so, why?

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