Fareed Zakaria Reinstated By Time And CNN

One week after being suspended by both of the media outlets he was working for, which happen to be owned by the same company by the way, Fareed Zakaria has been reinstated:

Time magazine and CNN are reinstating the commentator Fareed Zakariaafter a review of his work in light of his admission that he plagiarized parts of a New Yorker article in a recent column for Time.

“We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria’s columns for Time, and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologized,” a Time spokeswoman said in a statement on Thursday. “We look forward to having Fareed’s thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on Sept. 7.”

The magazine suspended Mr. Zakaria, 48, on Friday after he apologized for copying sections of his column on gun control — in the Aug. 20 issue — from an article written by the historian Jill Lepore of Harvard in The New Yorker.

After the news, CNN also suspended him as host of the weekly program “Fareed Zakaria GPS” and said that a shorter blog post that he had written for CNN’s Web site had similarly unattributed excerpts. CNN and Time magazine are both part of Time Warner.

The network said in a statement on Thursday that it, too, had completed an internal review of Mr. Zakaria’s work. “We found nothing that merited continuing the suspension,” the statement reads, adding, “Zakaria has apologized for a journalistic lapse. CNN and Zakaria will work together to strengthen further the procedures for his show and blog.” His program will return on Aug. 26.

The Washington Post later announced that it would conduct a review of his columns. But a Post spokeswoman said she expected him to continue his column in September.

Unless there were evidence of serial abuse, and the recent allegations by one Washington Post reporter have been thoroughly debunked, then this seems like an appropriate outcome to me. Zakaria made a mistake in the parallel gun control columns he wrote for CNN and Time, but it doesn’t strike me that one such mistake should be a career ender.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Joe Carter says:

    . . . his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologized. . .

    Translation: We fired the junior staffer that actually wrote the column and hired someone more competent to ghostwrite Zakaria’s articles.

  2. OldSouth says:

    This blatant plagiarism, which is what it is–not a ‘mistake’–, would have resulted in Mr. Zakaria’s failure in classes and perhaps dismissal from any number of universities that insist their 20-year-olds actually do their own work, and write their own words. As the father of one of those kids who lives with this risk, I object.

    But, since Mr. Zakaria is a champion of All Things Progressive, well–boys will be boys. Even if they are 48 years of age. Old enough to know better, still too leftist to care. After all, he was presenting a passionate case for one of our pet projects, gun control. Completely understandable mistake by one of our GoodOldBoys. He’s OneOfUs, after all. Let’s not look too hard, lest we allll come under scrutiny. Let’s just move on, nothing to see here.

    Close your eyes and imagine if the offender were of a much more conservative shade of opinion, and had plagiarized someone else’s words. I smell the tar being heated even now, as the deliveries of feathers are being signed for in every mainstream media outlet in the nation.

    The Double Standard lives, be it a thief of ideas, such as Zakaria, or a negligent destroyer of the wealth of depositors, such as Jon Corzine.

    Boys, after all, will be boys…Good Old Boys…One Of Us…

  3. @OldSouth:

    Close your eyes and imagine if the offender were of a much more conservative shade of opinion, and had plagiarized someone else’s words.

    We don´t need to imagine. In 2000, conservative Jeff Jacoby was suspended from the Boston Globe because he used a chain email without attribution in a column. Zakaria basically plagiarized a paragraph citing a tertiary source. Jacoby still writes for the Globe, you can check there.

  4. JKB says:

    Well, the copying was quite understandable given the subject matter. There are only so may ways you can spin the pro gun control argument and stay in the collective thoughts. Not to mention, they love to have many “independent” sources so a direct quote would have undermined that goal.

    Had the article argued the opposite, exercising freedom of thought from the collective, he would surely be pilloried and fired.

  5. PogueMahone says:

    @OldSouth: @JKB:

    To summarize – “biased left wing media has no standards thanks to biased left wing media.”

    Boy… Talk about not having an original thought.

  6. Franklin says:

    @OldSouth: “But, since Mr. Zakaria is a champion of All Things Progressive”

    Ahh, I see we’ve encountered someone who hasn’t really read any of Zakaria’s (original) work. I have one of his books, and therefore can assure you that one of his main themes is that capitalism works. He provides myriad examples of it working. If that is “All Things Progressive”, I’ll eat my shoe.