Fareed Zakaria was suspended today after it was learned he plagarized parts of a column on gun control. Ann Coulter had some rather unattractive words for 46-year old Yale and Harvard alum, via Twitter:
“CNN thinks physical unattractiveness is a substitute for intelligence. Fareed Zakaria Suspended for Plagiarism.”
No doubt were a reputable pundit or journalist to make a similar comment about Coulter’s attractiveness and intelligence, she would be on the attack. Ad hominen attacks on a person’s “physical attractiveness” and/or intelligence are terribly ugly and yet, reveal the true nature of the commenter. Just as beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, comments about another’s “physical unattractiveness” or intelligence equally belong to the mouth of the utterer.
Meanwhile, The New York Times today reported:
“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,” said Ali Zelenko, a spokeswoman for the magazine. “As a result, we are suspending Fareed’s column for a month, pending further review.”
CNN, which like Time magazine is owned by Time Warner, said it would be suspending the weekly foreign-affairs show “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”
In a statement, CNN said: “We have reviewed Fareed Zakaria’s Time column, for which he has apologized. He wrote a shorter blog post on CNN.com on the same issue which included similar unattributed excerpts. That blog post has been removed and CNN has suspended Fareed Zakaria while this matter is under review.”
Some passages in Mr. Zakaria’s column, “The Case for Gun Control,” closely tracked those in a longer article on guns in America by the historian Jill Lepore in the April 23 issue of The New Yorker. Earlier this year, Mr. Zakaria was criticized for giving a commencement speech at Harvard that was very similar to the one he had earlier given at Duke.
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