Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Plagiarism Kerfuffle

Fareed Zakaria is back and cleared of all crimes of plagiarism. Yea!!! But is he still tarnished? Probably.  This Daily Beast article postulates why all of it happened and why the attacks upon Zakaria were so vicious.:

It’s lonely at the top. As the traditional news media shrivel and other platforms proliferate, celebrity public intellectuals like Zakaria (think, also, of Tom Friedman and David Brooks) become the only bankable resource left. Recognizable across all the mediums, the branded few become mini-industries unto themselves. Simultaneously, a huge cloud of excluded people, regular civilians and workaday journalists alike, can now respond on the Internet, many of them resentful that their voices go unheard while the Zakarias loom ever larger. So they pick over every word. For celebrity journalists, equally, a potent pressure has grown: the pressure to stay aloft at 40,000 feet, to stay prolific, and flawless. Zakaria must project omniscience to survive: so he writes short and long, on everything from al Qaeda to American gun control, the topic on which he was tripped up by the plagiarism McCarthyites. So he cribbed a little: he read a lot; took notes; things got jumbled. Is that worth a man’s career? I think not, and to his credit he thought not too. One admires him for fighting back, especially as those who called for his head were so pious, and yet so inhumane.

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