Fareed Zakaria, Time Columnist And CNN Host, Admits To Plagiarism: Twitter Reacts To His Suspension And Apology

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Fareed Zakaria, a columnist for Time magazine and a CNN host, has apologized to Jill Lepore for plagiarizing her work in the New Yorker. Some sections of Zakaria's column called "The Case for Gun Control" were closely tied to a lengthier article on guns written by historian Jill Lepore in April.

On Friday afternoon, Zakaria apologized, owning up to his "mistake."

"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," he said in a statement to the Atlantic Wire. "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."

The column that Zakaria wrote for Time's Aug. 20 issue contains a paragraph that is almost identical to that of Lepore's New Yorker article about the National Rifle Association. According to Politico, these similarities were first noted by NRANews.com and reported by Tim Graham of Newsbusters, the conservative watchdog group.

Time magazine said it "takes any accusation of plagiarism by any of our journalists very seriously, and we will carefully examine the facts before saying anything else on the matter" in its initial statement Friday, the New York Times reported.

The news of Zakaria's plagiarism and apology had sparked a strong reaction among the Twitter population on Friday afternoon, with readers, fans, and the journalism community voicing their opinions on the social-media website.

"And still they think they can get away with plagiarism! (Fareed Zakaria was caught stealing from Jill Lepore)," Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Technology Review Jason Pontin tweeted on Friday.

"Every time a big fish like Jonah Lehrer or Fareed Zakaria gets caught for plagiarism, I wonder how many small fish are doing it unnoticed," foreign-policy writer and analyst for EA World View Josh Shahryar posted on Twitter.

"Fareed Zakaria should program his Fareed Zakaria GPS to send him to Journalism Jail right guys right," Alex Pareene, politics writer for Salon.com tweeted.

The magazine has suspended Zakaria for this offense, Time representative Ali Zelenko said in a statement, according to the Atlantic Wire.

"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."

This month, another journalist from the New Yorker was in the spotlight for being caught in a journalism scandal. Michael C. Moynihan, the journalist who realized Jonah Lehrer had fabricated quotes from Bob Dylan, said that he found more issues with the former New Yorker writer's work.

"I found fake interviews, quotes that can't be located, and plagiarism," Moynihan said, according to Poynter, when referring to a previous book written by Lehrer titled "How We Decide." Moynihan added, "So while one can reasonably debate how serious a crime it is to fudge a handful of Dylan quotes (pretty serious, if you ask me), always remember: no one ever does this kind of thing once, or just in one chapter."

Jayson Blair, one of the most widely recognizable names in plagiarized journalism, empathized with Lehrer when he spoke to the Huffington Post.

"I think we underestimate how much pressure there is out there for young people to perform at a certain level. A lot of this is self-inflicted pressure," he told Arin Greenwood this month.

To see the striking similarities between Zakaria's work and Lepore's, read the reproduced text featured in Dylan Byers' column in Politico.

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