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Time magazine suspended journalist Fareed Zakaria for plagiarism Friday night, after a blog discovered similarities between his recent column on gun control and a New yorker essay on the same subject. Zakaria has issued a statement acknowledging what he called a “terrible mistake.” CNN, which airs a show hosted by Zakaria, also announced that it will suspend him.
Conservative media blog NewsBusters.com is being credited as the first site to spot the similarities between Zakaria’s Time column “The Case For Gun Control” and Jill Lapore’s New Yorker essay “Battleground America.” Zakaria’s piece was published after the Aurora, Colorado shootings, while Lapore’s was written in response to the killing of Trayvon Martin and posted in April.
Zakaria sent a statement to The Atlantic Wire acknowledging the mistake and taking responsibility.
“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 23rd issue of The New Yorker. They are right. I made a terrible mistake,” Zakaria wrote. “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.”
Time later added its own statement to Zakaria’s column, writing, “TIME accepts Fareed's apology, but what he did violates our own standards for our columnists, which is that their work must not only be factual but original; their views must not only be their own but their words as well. As a result, we are suspending Fareed's column for a month, pending further review.”
CNN, which is also owned by Time Warner, issued its own statement that said that it has removed a blog post he wrote on gun control and that it has “suspended Fareed Zakaria while this matter is under review.”
Zakaria also writes for the Washington Post, which also said that it will begin to more closely review his work.
The Huffington Post reports that Zakaria has been accused of plagiarism in the past. Back in 2009, columnist Jeffrey Goldberg said Zakaria pulled quotes without citing him.
This is the second case of a major journalist having a lapse in judgement. Just last week, New Yorker writer Jonah Lehrer admitted to including fake Bob Dylan quotes in his book and resigned from his post at the magazine.