Writing on HuffPo, Jim Sleeper gives notice that he really, really doesn’t think much of Fareed Zakaria.
Also: that given Yale’s tough stance on plagiarism, and that the person Zakaria plagiarized from has a Ph.D. from Yale, Zakaria should resign or be suspended from the Yale Corporation.
And he reports one tidbit that I didn’t know but am astounded by: Zakaria charges $75, 000 for a speaking appearance—and he gets it.
So I repeat the point: There is a certain kind of journalist who writes primarily in order to be hired for more lucrative gigs—Gladwell, Lehrer, Zakaria. (In fairness, Gladwell’s written work is pretty lucrative in its own right, the other two’s somewhat less so.)
And at $75, 000 for an hour or so’s work, speechifying is attractive—I could make my annual salary in a morning. That’d be nice. There’s your kid’s private school tuition paid for at breakfast. Who would say no to that? Not me. (No one’s ever offered.)
But for $75, 000…you really ought to write your own stuff. That some people stop doing so shows how corrupting the speechifying et al can be.
I do wonder what Yale will do about Zakaria’s trusteeship. As Sleeper points out, Zakaria came to Yale’s aid on the debate over the Singapore campus, writing a vociferous (particularly by his standards) Yale Daily News article defending the wisdom of opening a campus in a country that doesn’t have freedom of speech.
Yale owes him one. Will this be payback time? And if so, will that be another compromising effect of the Singapore campus?