Zakaria: Zucker Speaks…

Politico’s Hadas Gold gets Jeff Zucker to comment on Fareed Zakaria…

CNN President Jeff Zucker said he continues to have confidence in Fareed Zakaria in the wake of charges the CNN host plagiarized material.

“We continue to have complete confidence in Fareed,” Zucker told POLITICO after a luncheon with reporters on Tuesday.

When pressed further if that meant Zakaria would continue appearing on CNN, Zucker repeated that they have complete confidence in the host.

As I suggested Monday, this is now the wrong line of questioning to throw at CNN. The new line of questioning should be about how CNN’s standards square with the case OBM has laid out against Zakaria and how the examples OBM cites jive with those standards.

Meanwhile OBM today took a new tack, criticizing Slate’s Jacob Weisberg for pooh-poohing OBM’s accusations and citing alleged examples of plagiarism Zakaria may have made when writing at Slate.

Now a Jacob Weisberg might say, “Sure, Zakaria messed up by missing an ellipsis and not citing Rudin. But that’s nitpicking – plus, he cites Rudin later on in the piece! That should count, somehow, because he’s plugged my book!” Weisberg would be right that a few hundred words later, Zakaria then mentions Rudin’s article for the first and last time— but it’s only as a citation for the first published recipes for the martini. Zakaria doesn’t just stop there. He then proceeds to lift a number of lines from it, a decision made all the more glaring by Zakaria referring to himself personally while making the same observations as Rudin:

Zakaria lifts Rudin’s passage that in the 19th century, cocktails were known as morning “eye-openers.”

While Rudin says the martini “acquired…a glamorous mystique” in the post-war era, Zakaria thinks it “acquired an air of mystery and glamour.”

Rudin states that FDR, Cole Porter, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Nick Charles—a fictional character from the novel and movie The Thin Man—enjoyed a martini.

Fareed Zakaria not only mentions all the same people, but appears to have gotten the impression from Rudin’s article that Nick Charles, among “the most debonair men of the time,” was a real person who appeared in a movie.

Zakaria also uses Rudin’s note on FDR’s preference for a teaspoon of olive brine.


A Jacob Weisberg might say, after checking his Google Alerts for “British Ski Instructor Theory,” something like “Alright, I admit – Zakaria clearly mined the shit out of Rudin’s piece for anecdotes and language. But that’s still not theft!” Take a look at the final example below, where Zakaria somehow stumbles onto the same idea that the martini came to represent modernism and that the person to validate that quote was Paul Desmond of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Where would he ever get that idea (and the same language to express it)?

This isn’t over…but it has reached something of a they said/they said standoff. Will anyone else chime in from the MSM. Where’s David Bauder? Where’s Bill Carter?


3 Responses to “Zakaria: Zucker Speaks…”

  1. Fox is finally covering it. Howard Kurtz, on Special Report.

  2. Brian Stelter took on the Fareed Zakaria plagiarism story today and I was impressed by his take.

    Neither Zakaria nor CNN would go on air to defend their positions so he was left to give his personal opinion which is pretty much that FZ cut corners in attribution but it was more carelessness and laziness than deliberate stealing of content. He also was not impressed by the anonymous bloggers that are pushing the story in what he sees as a personal attack on Zakaria.

    Because I haven’t bothered to read all the charges and view the evidence personally I have no opinion as to whether Zakaria is guilty of plagiarism or not and whether Stelter was covering for Zakaria or not. My impression is, much like Stelter’s, that this is a case of FZ, for whatever reason, just not enough paying attention to attribution.

    My only criticism with the RS editorial is that Stelter didn’t bring on any of Zakaria’s critics like Byers or even Spud to present the case against Zakaria. My guess is we may here more about this in the future.

  3. […] If this approach sounds familiar, it should… […]

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