CNN Editor Fired for More Than 50 Acts of Plagiarism

By Shawn Paul Wood Comment


Shia LaBeouf? Please pick up the white courtesy phone.

You think you know a network.

As PR professionals, we look up to CNN. It’s the the 800 lb. gorilla in the room–or it was before the FOX News Godzilla showed up. The network was created to broadcast something 24 hours a day. What was that thing called again? It had something to do with unbiased reporting, educated insight, and a lack of hyperbole …

NEWS! That’s right. News.

Those were the days. Now, we have exaggeration, lunacy, flat-out lying, and now plagiarism at CNN. First, it was Fareed Zakaria lifting words from a New Yorker article. He got a slap on the wrist but his reputation was seriously damaged.

This latest copying debacle is a tad more serious.

Meet CNN News Editor Marie-Louise Gumuchian.

Hailing from the London bureau, she was mainly responsible for international news. Big time, right? I mean, when you are in charge of editing you should overlook a certain flair for the network. Our editor does that here, and does a damn fine job. (You think he noticed the kissing-up there?) Anywho, editing for a national news network is no laughing matter, so it’s safe to assume when CNN showed her the door for being guilty of 50 counts of plagiarism, they grimaced a skosh.

According to the editor’s note from CNN, we have this:

CNN has discovered multiple instances of plagiarism by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, a former CNN news editor … An unpublished story flagged last week during our editing process led to an internal investigation that uncovered other examples in about 50 published stories, and our investigation is ongoing. We’ve terminated Gumuchian’s employment with CNN, and have removed the instances of plagiarism found in her pieces. In some cases, we’ve chosen to delete an entire article.

Some stories about this disclosure have reported up to 128 cases of plagiarism. In fact, here’s an interesting tidbit from the Washington Post given on the DL:

Here’s a noteworthy aspect of this case: CNN received no complaints about the plagiarism, according to a CNN source. Instead, it was discovered last Thursday in a routine editing check. From there, CNN ran the material through plagiarism-flagging software, according to the CNN source. That initial scan, says the source, turned up “two or three things,” which caused a deeper examination of “all of her work.” That uncovered an “insane” number of problems, according to the source.

Did I mention this network used to report “news”? Those really were the days.