In an embarrassing blow for a figurehead of public affairs journalism, Fareed Zakaria’s TIME column and popular CNN show were suspended Friday after media watchers uncovered plagiarism in the work of the much-lauded writer with degrees from both Harvard and Yale.
News of the plagiarism allegations sped across the internet Friday after the conservative NewsBusters website published a piece early in the morning highlighting an uncanny similarity between a paragraph from “The Case for Gun Control,” a new installment of Zakaria’s column, and a paragraph from an April New Yorker piece on gun control by Harvard history professor Jill Lepore.
Below is the paragraph NewsBusters pulled from Zakaria’s piece: “Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA, documents the actual history in Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. Guns were regulated in the U.S. from the earliest years of the Republic. Laws that banned the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. Other states soon followed: Indiana in 1820, Tennessee and Virginia in 1838, Alabama in 1839 and Ohio in 1859. Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas (Texas!) explained in 1893, the ‘mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.’”
The conservative site juxtaposed this with a paragraph from Lepore’s piece, which they said reads: “As Adam Winkler, a constitutional-law scholar at U.C.L.A., demonstrates in a remarkably nuanced new book, “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America,” firearms have been regulated in the United States from the start. Laws banning the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813, and other states soon followed: Indiana (1820), Tennessee and Virginia (1838), Alabama (1839), and Ohio (1859). Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas explained in 1893, the ‘mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.’”
Later in the day, Zakaria was forced to release a statement confirming the allegations of plagiarism.
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