Time magazine’s How Gun’s Won cover story is bad enough. Fareed Zakaria’s column The Case for Gun Control is worse. Not only is it poorly argued, it’s poorly researched. Wait. Make that too well researched. To wit: “On Friday, August 10, Fareed Zakaria issued the following statement about this article: ‘Media reporters have pointed out that paragraphs in my TIME column this week bear close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore’s essay in the April 22nd issue of The New Yorker. They are right. I made a terrible mistake. It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault. I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at TIME, and to my readers.'” To which Time’s Eds added . . .

TIME has since issued its own statement: “TIME accepts Fareed’s apology, but 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. As a result, we are suspending Fareed’s column for a month, pending further review.”

CNN, for which Fareed blogs and commentates, has also suspended the writer. Too bad they didn’t suspend Fareed’s anti-gun rhetoric as well. You know; before he wrote it. Judging from the sycophantic simpering underneath his official apology, few of his fans would agree. Not to coin a phrase, gag me with a spoon.

Perhaps Bruce Krafft will honor us with a post-plagiarism evisceration of Fareed’s screed. After all, TTAG’s editorialist already ripped Jill Lepore’s New Yorker anti-gun polemic to shreds. Click here for Bruce’s parsing.

For now, here’s a sample of Fareed’s/Lepore’s Time column and his closing statement.

Things started to change in the 1970s as various right-wing groups coalesced to challenge gun control, overturning laws in state legislatures, Congress and the courts. But Chief Justice Warren Burger, a conservative appointed by Richard Nixon, described the new interpretation of the Second Amendment [as an individual right] in an interview after his tenure as “one of the greatest pieces of fraud–I repeat the word fraud–on the American public by special-interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.” . . .

So when people throw up their hands and say we can’t do anything about guns, tell them they’re being un-American–and unintelligent.

A plagiarist calling gun rights advocates stupid? How great is that? Or, come to think of it, original.

30 Responses to Time Mag Gun Control Advocate Admits Plagiarism

  1. Wow Robert you are quick on the draw, I was about to write in on this one hahaha.
    Amazing this isn’t the first time he has been caught in this regard.
    I can see sighting sources and referencing quotes, but outright plagiarism! Isn’t that grounds for just getting kicked out, fired, or what ever??

      • If any of these propaganda machines actually employed a conservative writer, I feel certain he/she would not have been treated so leniently.

  2. Best guy? Though you meant one of the “other” writers…lol

    Great write up and perspective on this shameful incident. But Hey I guess this guy, just like so many other fear mongers,..all he can do is repeat what he heard someone else say….you know, Like Harry Reid !!

  3. I’m currently reading “The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms.”

    It’s FASCINATING and enlightening. The entire basis of the 2A is so citizens can keep the government in check and prevent tyranny. PERIOD.

    I’m just barely into the book, and the parallels between England’s attempts to disarm American Patriots and current politicians’ rationale for attempting the same…. Wow… frighteningly similar. One refrain they have in common is that it is for our own “safety.” HA! It wasn’t true then. And, it isn’t true now. LIES!

    If our current “leaders” aren’t careful or heed what happened the last time a government tried to disarm us… well… I suspect the outcome will also be similar.

    • Congratulations on finding that book — it’s a great read, and I think it really puts to rest the notion that the Second Amendment somehow ensures only a “collective right.” I think we’d all be better off if we stopped allowing the gun-grabbers to frame the issue as one of “needing” guns, high-cap mags, etc., and focused on the firmly stated individual right to keep and bear arms. But more than that, we should focus on the reason for the Second Amendment. That reason — even for the gun-grabbers — is why we all “need” it.

      I recommend the book to all TTAG readers.

  4. “I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at TIME, and to my readers.”

    What for? All those people, and any readers who would give your “writing” any consideration, are as morally bankrupt and mentally deficient as you.

    Gotta love the unscrupulous hack scolding us “unscrupulous” gun owners. Such a shining example of everyday prog hypocrisy.

    Isn’t it interesting how “new interpretations” are entirely subjective? I can think of a few “new interpretations” to old and important documents that guaranteed everyone the right to vote, amongst many other things. Even if his assertion of this new interpretation thing was correct, who cares? Does that make the principle any less right? Or is change and new interpretation only good when you agree with it?

    Oh, right, I forgot I was talking about a leftist. Of course they are.

  5. That 30 day time out will be 30 working days,,,2 weeks, deducting weekends and sick days,,,5 days.
    It’s an Organized Communist Insurection

  6. from the link to the Time story:

    “We have decided that it is, in the words of New York Times columnist David Brooks, a problem of psychology, not sociology.”
    — “we have decided”. Hey, sound the big Gong. Time Magazine has spoken. This is itself a revolutionary idea for the Left that an individual person can be responsible for something on their own and that it isn’t the fault of a social construct which can be fixed with social engineering by big government and more taxpayer funded programs.

    “there are millions of fanatical, crazy people, and very few turn into mass murderers”
    — Is this how Time views the American gun owning public? Aside from Time, most of us already know there are mega millions of emotionally unbalanced people. I walked past many of them growing up near Chicago and others when I lived in San Francisco. One-third of American women are on anti-depressants and one-in-ten women are believed to suffer from a borderline personality disorder. Lots of crazy and potentially dangerous people out there.

    “Over the past few decades, crime has been declining, except in one category”
    “the number of firearm homicides is essentially unchanged”
    — Perhaps in absolute numbers (I haven’t kept track of the stats lately). Time’s wonderful so-called journalist who cheats forgot to mention that over the past few decades the number of gun owners has increased as has the firepower potential of the average civilian gun ie from revolvers to high capacity semi-autos. Therefore, the proportion of gun homicides by guns owned has dropped.

    Time Magazine. It reminds me of the old comic Mad Magazine I read as a ten year old. Good times.

  7. Plagarize an anti-gun screed and get caught, serve a 30-day suspension. Write an original pro-gun article, get banned for life.

    When you think it through, it all makes sense, doesn’t it?

    • A differing opinion from the politically-correct collective is the greatest crime to these types. Dissension from their manufactured truth won’t be tolerated. That makes them dangerous and enemies of the very idea of liberty.

  8. Don’t forget that Burger was known to answer knocks on his door at night with a pistol in his hand-not that I blame him. But he likely would have cheerfully voted to take them from the hands of the great unwashed if given the opportunity.

  9. Damnit, Fareed was supposed to be one of the good guys. I loved to read his columns and even watch his show occasionally, although we often found things to pick nits with. The last time I remember him putting his foot in his mouth was over saying that one of our political bigwigs should have gone over to China or someplace to talk with people about things than matter, rather than meet with the folks at home. I’m all for an internationalist outlook, but he forgets himself sometime.

    Speaking of forgetting yourself: Plagiarism? You don’t do that. Kids lose their college careers over it. It drives me nuts, too. He knows better.

    I suppose somebody will try to come up with weak excuses, but I think nothing is flattering. If CNN and the media are running their reporters ragged moving from topic to topic, that’s not something to be proud about. The readers suffer from the lack of focus and the errors we get as a result.

    • my wife and I often watched Fareed’s show on Sunday mornings, not just because he was intellignet and erudite, but because he brought opposing views to the table for intelligent discussion without the yelling, screaming and overt rudness on Fox (and now Piers Morgan). He would have both liberal and conservative view points on domestic issues, and well respected columnists and academics on international issues. That’s the way it should be. For these reasons it is sad to see something like this happen, but then I was wondering when he would crack. CNN has him WAY overextended on his duties, and he took shortcuts. No doubt Lepore’s views reflect his own ( and I wish that he had hosted a debate on the subject), but this is not acceptable; it strikes at the core of his credibility. Sad sad sad.

  10. these people keep saying we need tougher gun laws. when i was a kid you could mail order guns straight to your house, no waiting period or background check. you could buy a gun at just about any hardware store, again no background check or waiting period. when i was 13 i bought a rifle at a yard sale and then rode it home on my bike. in hi school it was common to see pickups in the student parking lot with long guns hanging in the rear windows. people did not use gun safes or cable or trigger locks then. i got my first gun at 11 and it and the ammo for it went in my closet in my bedroom. the gist of all this is we didn’t have school shootings or theater shootings or any of this other stuff and guns were everywhere and easy to get.

  11. Edwin Herdman says that students lose their college careers over plagiarism. Sadly, that’s no longer the case. I’ve had department chairs and deans of students tell me that I couldn’t issue an F for the semester to a student who had obviously copied an essay from the Internet.

    In a society in which we’re too ready to forgive wrongs, even when the perpetrator has done nothing to make them right, in a society in which honoring those who stand up for themselves and do the right thing is seen as passe’, it surprises me that anyone even noticed, much less complained.

    • Greg,

      I believe you. I don’t really have any battle stories to tell, but I could mention a few things: I’ve seen some very sloppily written papers that, by my personal standards, technically should be called plagiarism, simply on account of failing to format references. If nothing else, it just makes a paper too hard to follow.

      Syllabi I’ve been handed, and personal talks with a few professors about plagiarism, lead me to believe that a number of students do get booted out of classes for plagiarism, if not every semester – maybe not from the university but at least given a bad course grade and a note in their academic transcript (at least that is the official sanction).

      I don’t know what happened in your case, but I would be livid if obvious plagiarism did not at least result in an incomplete grade (better yet a failure) for the course. I can’t even understand how an administration could promote such a thing – it seems like that would run afoul of college accreditation rules, at least.

      A while back I attended a talk on plagiarism by Dr. Miguel Roig of St. Johns University, and came away with a new perspective. He passed out a worksheet asking if various sentences constituted plagiarism (including sloppy paraphrases) and it demonstrated that there are subtle things one person might hesitate to call plagiarism which another will immediately flag.

      This murky area is nowhere near the clear-cut cases that most students or Fareed fall afoul of; pasting somebody else’s work into your own is unambiguously bad, for anyone; I have a hard time believing that somebody would not realize this unless they were very stupid, or completely immoral. (This has also ruined the Warhols and the Lichtensteins of the world for me, forever.) I take the attitude that everything has to be referenced (no exception for a blog post response, even). For his part, Dr. Roig ditched his original set of presentation slides, because it originally contained some quotes and cartoons from other people!

      I think higher education’s expectations and the average student are often mismatched. I still find it daunting to try to write useful papers in fields of study cluttered with famous papers, and I have the feeling that many students feel that they are being asked to come up with something new, disallowed the ability to do a review of the material that would probably be more useful and within their ability…and so an untutored mess results, even if there has been no plagiarism.

      I don’t know if this means that the paper submission model should be called less relevant for many students, but at the same time it is shameful that many students in fields that traditionally require readin’ and ‘ritin’ are leaving college without even the ability to write coherently, or use a sound process of reasoning. But there are still standouts and people who care, and I get the impression that some colleges have their own characters, like people, when it comes to academic and student quality.

      • Two problems:

        1. Colleges see themselves as businesses, not as institutions of higher learning. We’re being forced to accept the model of the customer always being right. The fact that we professors are presenting knowledge and wisdom that the students don’t have doesn’t fit with that model.

        2. We’re having a kind of No-College-Student-Left-Behind program shoved down our throats. We’ll either adopt it ourselves or the government will make us adopt its own version. The end result is industrial education

  12. They do stuff like this, and write (copy) articles bemoaning the lack of support for gun control, as they are the last vestige. Most pols will not touch the topic cause they know there is a good chance the voters will be replace them with someone who doesn’t hold these failed beliefs. So in this way, we (american people as a whole) have won…..but there can never be total victory, as these liberal authors answer pretty much to nobody and can continue spewing crap like this all day and night. If they ever read the comments on their web postings, they would have at least a perception of how poorly received their ideas are. But something tells me they don’t read them or even skim over them.

  13. To be somewhat fair to the cover article, the author did “blame” Americans’ move away from gun control, specifically the AWB, on the fact that there was no evidence it helped. He even admitted that the worst year ever for mass shootings was in 2003. He bitched the whole time that it was careless and stupid and the evil NRA’s fault, but he did admit it.

  14. the best part of this is the title “how guns won”. yay. if that title was true then all america wins. next we have to free england and the rest of europe.

  15. I have read the book quoted, it does make the case that gun laws go back a long time. But it also shows that guns have always been a right for any freemen to own. Mostly, in the west you couldn’t carry them in town because in typical “this is why we can’t have nice things”, a few people ruined it for everyone. But they never banned types of firearms or prevented anyone from keeping it in their homes.

    It makes the argument that gun ownership is a fundamental right. But it also show show they’ve been regulated for a long long time as well. But the pro-gun control journos who quote it seem to conveniently ignore 50% of the thesis of the book that disagrees with them.

    It also talks about who the KKK and Jim Crown were initially formed to disarm freed slaves and veteran union soldiers who brought back their rifles and how they feared armed people of color, because they knew than an armed man, cannot be bullied into second-class citizenship hood. They had to be disarmed first.

  16. They have to cut the guy some slack. I haven’t read his article, nor the essay it was derrived from, but I’m can pretty much list off all the arguments for gun control in those articles (and then some) from memory? Why? Because none of it is original. Not a thought. Not a word. It’s all be repeated ad nauseum.

    So, why is this guy getting suspended for his unoriginal work when all the others are praised for their unoriginal works?

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