Time, CNN suspend Zakaria for plagiarism

CNN and Time magazine have suspended columnist and TV host Fareed Zakaria after he admitted to plagiarizing part of a New Yorker article on gun control.

Time issued a statement Friday that it had suspended Zakaria's column for a month while it investigates the matter further. CNN followed up later in the day announcing its own suspension, adding that it had removed a column by Zakaria on the same issue from its website.

Zakaria said in a statement Friday he made "a terrible mistake," adding, "It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault."

In a separate statement, Time spokesman Ali Zelenko said the magazine accepts Zakaria's apology, but would suspend his column for one month, "pending further review."

"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," Zelenko said.

CNN said in a written statement that it had reviewed the Time column before deciding to suspend him.

“He wrote a shorter blog post on CNN.com on the same issue which included similar unattributed excerpts," the CNN statement said. "That blog post has been removed and CNN has suspended Fareed Zakaria while this matter is under review.”

Media reporters had noted similarities between passages in Zakaria's column about gun control that appeared in Time's Aug. 20 issue, and paragraphs from an article by Harvard University history professor Jill Lepore published in April in The New Yorker magazine.

In Zakaria's column, titled "The Case for Gun Control," he began one paragraph with the sentences: "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."

A corresponding passage in Lenore's New Yorker essay, titled "Battleground America," begins: "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."

In Zakaria's statement, he apologized "unreservedly" to Lepore, as well as to his editors and readers.

Besides serving as an editor-at-large at Time, Zakaria is a Washington Post columnist and the host of CNN's foreign-affairs show, "GPS."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.