The same Times story that initially referred to his busy schedule, noted that Zakaria had been criticized for giving basically the same paid graduation speech at two commencements this spring. I’m not sure how bad an offense that is, but it does raise another question: Where, other than at universities, has he been such a busy paid speaker? Has he been paid to speak to groups—such as those representing major industries or international constituencies (a group that seeks enhanced free-trade agreements, for example)—that have special interests related to issues he reports about or whose leaders have been covered in his writings or on his TV show?

A column by David Carr in the Times, also on Monday, compared Zakaria’s transgression to those of Jonah Lehrer, who was found to have plagiarized his own work by recycling it in the New Yorker, among other places, and also to have fabricated quotes in his best-selling book, Imagine. Declaring Lehrer to be the far worse actor—which based on all the available evidence is clearly true—Carr wrote this about Zakaria: “He apologized, was suspended, and Time and CNN investigated whether there was a deeper problem and decided there was not. He was reinstated on Thursday. End of story.”


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Steven Brill , the author of Class Warfare: Inside the Fight To Fix America’s Schools, has written for magazines including New York, The New Yorker, Time, Harper's, and The New York Times Magazine. He founded and ran Court TV, The American Lawyer magazine, ten regional legal newspapers, and Brill's Content magazine. He also teaches journalism at Yale, where he founded the Yale Journalism Initiative.