Newsweek Adds Plagiarism Warning to All Fareed Zakaria Articles

Newsweek Adds Plagiarism Warning to All Fareed Zakaria Articles

On Monday evening, Newsweek added a plagiarism warning to all of Fareed Zakaria’s articles for the publication. 

“Fareed Zakaria worked for Newsweek when it was under previous ownership. Readers are advised that some of his articles have been the subject of complaints claiming that they contain material that should have been attributed to others,” Newsweek’s note reads. “In addition, readers with information about articles by Mr. Zakaria that may purportedly lack proper attribution are asked to e-mail Newsweek at corrections@newsweek.com.”

As Politico noted, Zakaria “wrote for Newsweek from 1996 to 2010 and also served as editor of Newsweek International from 2000 to 2010” and “a handful of the articles he wrote for Newsweek have been included in the ongoing plagiarism accusations by Our Bad Media, a site run by two anonymous Twitter users that has dedicated nearly two months to Zakaria’s work.”

Those allegations came to light two years after Zakaria was suspended in 2012 for plagiarizing a New Yorker article. His employers at time supposedly conducted a thorough investigation of all of his previous works and came up with nothing.  

Though Politico, Esquire, The Week in addition to numerous journalism ethicists have taken Zakaria to task for his plagiarism, CNN chief Jeff Zucker said he had “complete confidence” in Zakaria, which prompted another prominent journalism professor to respond by saying he had “complete confidence” that Zakaria is a plagiarist. 

On Sunday, CNN’s media reporter cleared Zakaria of plagiarism charges and suggested CNN’s producers may have actually been the culprits. No word yet on whether Slate will follow Newsweek and add a plagiarism warning or go all-in like CNN in defending Zakaria. 

Brian Stelter, who has been unable to secure an interview Zakaria, generously said on his program that Zakaria merely “made some attribution mistakes” and allegations of plagiarism “do not hold up under close scrutiny.” He said that “perception in this case is worse than reality” and “it seems like he took raw material from the articles, reworded a bit of it, and then added his.”

“I trusted Zakaria before these allegations, and I still trust him after studying all of it,” Stelter said on his “Reliable Sources” show. “He is one of a kind, one of the sharpest thinkers on world affairs anywhere.”

After noting that “many TV scripts are written by producers,” Stelter asked, “So did Zakaria write the questionable passages himself or did his producers?”

He also quoted a CNN statement that expressed the “highest confidence in the excellence and integrity of Fareed Zakaria’s work” and emphasized that the network has “found nothing that gives us cause for concern.”

But though Stelter played one “Fareed Zakaria GPS” clip in question, he did not air the one below in which Zakaria–or his producers at CNN–rips off material nearly word for word from another documentary about Sergei Magnitsky.

Our Bad Media, the duo that has been unearthing all of Zakaria’s plagiarism, declared, “Fareed Zakaria was, is, and will be a massive plagiarist in what some in older times may have called the most extreme example of plagiarism we’ve ever seen by major news organizations.” 

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