CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter took time on his show Sunday to address the ongoing accusations of plagiarism against his colleague Fareed Zakaria.
“[M]y reporting leads me to believe that Zakaria’s program made some attribution mistakes,” Stelter said on “Reliable Sources.”
“A small number, to be fair — but they are the kinds of mistakes that other journalists can learn from, and viewers too,” he continued.
Stelter was responding to several articles from anonymous bloggers who go by the names @blippoblappo and @crushingbort. The pair has accused Zakaria of serial plagiarism, and their latest article focused on segments of his show “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” Stelter said several scripts of the program appeared to be “inspired” by articles in The New York Times, The Economist, and various other outlets.
“It seems like he took raw material from the articles, reworded a bit of it, and then added his own insights,” the host said.
Stelter also noted that many TV scripts are written by producers.
He added that Zakaria refused to be interviewed by him and CNN’s PR people declined to comment, simply releasing a portion of the statement originally made after the first post by @blippoblappo and @crushingbort.
Stelter said the alleged plagiarism amounted to a series of “misdemeanors” and concluded with a broad prescription for all TV journalists:
“For people like Zakaria, for people like me — for people who read scripts on television — the pressure is on us to be generous with attribution, to figure out ways to give credit where it is due without bogging down our scripts.”