Friday’s Yale Daily News tells us that Fareed Zakaria, CNN’s host of a news interview show and Editor-at-Large at Time Magazine, admitted to and apologized for plagiarizing in a recent article he authored on gun control.
Zakaria, a best-selling author and sometimes advisor to President Obama, is also reported, by Michael Rubin of Commentary, to be in great demand as a guest speaker. Rubin reports that Zakaria commands as much as $75,000 an event for his speeches. That’s rock star territory.
CNN is investigating his actions and Time has suspended him, but there is one affiliation he has that we’ve yet to hear from and that’s the most prestigious and some might say most influential one: Yale University. Zakaria is a Corporator of the Yale Corporation, an all powerful position made even more important since he also chairs the Yale University Educational Policy Committee. He also sits on Yale’s Investments Committee.
Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post comments that while “plagiarism is a horrible thing in the media, it is about the biggest academic crime known to man.”
Rubin of Commentary weighs in: “Whether Yale President Richard Levin will do the right thing, however, is another issue. While Levin has distinguished himself as a master fundraiser, he has also shown a disturbing willingness to undercut free speech, (and) compromise academic integrity to foreign interests…” He goes on to say that it’s time to “give Zakaria the boot.”
The Future of Capitalism’s Ira Stoll writes in Reason Magazine that Zakaria’s problems are not just with plagiarism. He also has a tendency to play fast and loose with the facts in his on-air commentary. Stoll elaborates on a number of these incidents that range from a gross mischaracterization of tax policies during the Bush years to spurious and completely unsubstantiated charges that certain industries, in this instance the prison industry, are corrupt and have “bought most state politicians in America.”
Another example of this was pointed out by the meticulous media watch group CAMERA, where Zakaria, referring to an incorrect conclusion that Israel had annexed Gaza and the West Bank, offered up the inflammatory statement that “Israel has gotten used to a self-defeating spiral in which it shoots first and deals with the fallout afterwards.”
While we wait to hear what President Levin at Yale has to say about Zakaria’s transgression, it is worth noting that Zakaria held his high position at Yale throughout the period that the Yale Institute for Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA), was denied due process and made to unaffiliate with Yale. We’d also note that he has already received more consideration from Yale than YIISA did during that period.