Fresh copycat charge against columnist Zakaria

Indian-American journalist and author Fareed Zakaria, who has been suspended by CNN and Time magazine after he admitted to plagiarism, is now accused of publishing without attribution a passage from a 2005 book, a charge vehemently denied by him as “totally bogus”.

The new allegation against 48-year-old Zakaria levelled by The Washington Post was, however, refuted by The Daily Beast, which said the Indian-American author did contain a citation to what he quoted in his 2008 book “The Post-American World”.

Zakaria’s book contains a quote from former Intel Corp chief executive Andy Grove about
the US economic power, The Washington Post said.

It said that the first edition of Zakaria’s book, which became a bestseller, makes no mention of the comment’s source, nor does a paperback version published in 2009.

In fact, the Post said, Grove’s comment was published three years earlier in “Three Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Power to the East,” by former Commerce Department official Clyde V Prestowitz, who is attached with the Economic Strategy Institute, an eminent think tank.

However, Zakaria defended his book. In an interview to the Post he called the allegation “totally bogus” because the book “is not an academic work where everything has to be acknowledged and footnoted.” “People are piling on with every grudge or vendetta,” Zakaria told the paper.

Allegations and counter-allegations are flying in the US media after Zakaria was suspended recently for a month by his employers CNN and Time magazine in the wake of charges that his column about gun laws for Time’s August 20 issue includes a paragraph that is remarkably similar to one Jill Lepore wrote in April for a New Yorker article on the National Rifle Association. Zakaria apologised for it.

In his interview to The Washington Post, Zakaria said: “As I write explicitly (in the book), this is not an academic work where everything has to be acknowledged and footnoted.” The book contains “hundreds” of comments and quotes that are not attributed because doing so, in context, would “interrupt the flow for the reader,” he said.

Comments (+)