Politico’s Dylan Byers, the left-wing outlet’s media writer, offered up a paragraph of analysis Friday that attempted to explain why the incoming plagiarism charges against Fareed Zakaria aren’t “gaining nearly as much steam as those that brought down BuzzFeed editor Benny Johnson.”
Byers suggests that the charges don’t really add up to plagiarism.
He also suggests that the media is protecting one of its “elder statesmen.”
But why not mention Obvious Reason Number 3?
Although he eventually ended up at BuzzFeed, Benny Johnson came from a conservative background. Once the plagiarism charges became public earlier this month, Media Matters was giving this new life through social media and almost certainly through their endless personal media connections. Zakaria, on the other hand, is a leftist — a cherished leftist among the elite media and in the White House, up to and including President Obama.
Does anyone believe an “elder conservative statesman” like a Charles Krauthammer or George Will would enjoy what Zakeeria is now: a very loud silence as the elite media come together to mostly pretend these charges aren’t hanging out there?
Zakeeria was hit with a third round of charges today. This time related to his best-selling book. I can’t imagine what would be happening to Krauthammer if the same occurred around his latest best-seller.
I want to be clear on one point: I’m not looking for Zakeeria’s scalp. I don’t have the knowledge to judge what he did or didn’t do. The ethics involving plagiarism are complicated, and a man’s career and reputation are on the line. There is no pitchfork in my hand. Conservative media as a whole have taken this approach. It’s the rest of the media that’s treating this differently.
Furthermore, I recognize and appreciate that Byers is at least one member of the media not ignoring these charges.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC