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TIME's Fareed Zakaria Hit With Plagiarism Charge

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The conservative blog Newsbusters noticed a striking similarity between Fareed Zakaria's new TIME magazine piece on gun control and Jill Lepore's New Yorker article on guns in America from April.

A TIME spokesperson told TPM the magazine "takes any accusation of plagiarism by any of our journalists very seriously, and we will careful examine the facts before saying anything else on the matter."

Here are the paragraphs in question. From Zakaria's piece:

Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA, documents the actual history in Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. Guns were regulated in the U.S. from the earliest years of the Republic. Laws that banned the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. Other states soon followed: Indiana in 1820, Tennessee and Virginia in 1838, Alabama in 1839 and Ohio in 1859. Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas (Texas!) explained in 1893, the "mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man."

And from Jill Lepore's piece in the New Yorker:

As Adam Winkler, a constitutional-law scholar at U.C.L.A., demonstrates in a remarkably nuanced new book, "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America," firearms have been regulated in the United States from the start. Laws banning the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813, and other states soon followed: Indiana (1820), Tennessee and Virginia (1838), Alabama (1839), and Ohio (1859). Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas explained in 1893, the "mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man."

As The Atlantic Wire notes, Jeffrey Goldberg called out Zakaria in 2009 for lifting quotes from his interviews without attribution.

Update 1: Zakaria issued an apology Friday afternoon. Via The Atlantic Wire:

"Media reporters have pointed out that paragraphs in my Time column this week bear close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore's essay in the April 22nd issue of The New Yorker. They are right. I made a terrible mistake. It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault. I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at Time, and to my readers."

Update 2: TIME is suspending Zakaria's column for one month. In a statement, the magazine's senior vice president for communications Ali Zelenko said: "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. As a result, we are suspending Fareed's column for a month, pending further review."

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