On August 10th, Time Magazine columnist and CNN TV host Fareed Zakaria apologized for a column where he phrased a fashionable idea about gun control in a way quite like someone else's article published earlier in the New Yorker magazine. Was it really plagarism or just absent-mindedness? Pedantic hair splitters insist it was plagarism, less agenda prone observers give him the benefit of the doubt. Regardless, Time and CNN have both suspended Zakaria for plagarism.
This week, The Washington Post's Paul Farhi levelled a second charge of plagarism against Zakaria, accusing him of failure to cite the source of a quote in a book he published in 2008. After the Daily Beast pointed out that Zakaria had in fact cited his source the Washington Post retracted the accusation: “This story incorrectly states that in the initial hardcover edition of his 2008 book, The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria failed to cite the source of a quote taken from another book. In fact, Zakaria did credit author Clyde V. Prestowitz.”So why are big media journalists falling over themselves trying to ruin Zakaria's reputation? Perhaps out of envy. I can't read their minds. What I can say is that Fareed Zakari anchors one of the few shows that treats foreign policy seriously, that aims for an honest balance of views, and that doesn't treat its panelists as props for an egomaniacal host. He's also one of the few prominent liberals I know who's capable of treating an opposing point of view as something other than a slur on human decency.
I borrowed the main part of the last paragraph from another writer, without attribution. Can you tell which article it comes from? How long did it take you to discover my plagarism? Nevermind, the question is a rhetorical way of saying that in the internet age no writer of Zakaria's stature would be stupid enough to deliberately borrow words without attribution. Because even you and I can quickly spot it.
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