Fareed Zakaria And CNN Wave Off Latest Plagiarism Accusations

Fareed Zakaria and CNN pushed back strongly Tuesday against the latest batch of plagiarism accusations aimed at the Peabody-winning journalist.

Earlier in the day, two anonymous Twitter users who go by the handles @blippoblappo and @crushingbort had published a report citing a dozen instances in which Zakaria appeared to have lifted passages from other writers without attribution for articles he had written. The articles appeared in Time magazine, the Washington Post and CNN.

Time and the Post quickly offered statements about the accusations, but CNN and Zakaria had their say on Tuesday evening.

A spokeswoman for CNN, Jennifer Dargan, sent this statement to TPM:

CNN has the highest confidence in the excellence and integrity of Fareed Zakaria’s work. In 2012, we conducted an extensive review of his original reporting for CNN, and beyond the initial incident for which he was suspended and apologized for, found nothing that violated our standards. In the years since we have found nothing that gives us cause for concern.

Zakaria himself issued a longer statement to Politico. He dismissed each of the dozen accusations, saying the majority of them were “facts, not someone else’s writing or opinions or expressions.”

Here’s a portion of Zakaria’s defense:

For example, in one column, I note that the national debt tripled under Ronald Reagan. The bloggers point out that this is also in Wikipedia’s Reagan entry. But it is also in hundreds of other articles, studies, and reports — just Google the phrase. Until today, I had never read the Wikipedia entry for Ronald Reagan. As it happens, it is incorrect. (There is a difference between “public debt” – Wikipedia’s words — and national debt.)

The rest of Zakaria’s statement is at Politico.

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