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Brass neck

Correction: I mistakenly wrote in an earlier version of this that Hari was being sent on a course at the expense of his employer, but that is not so. He is paying for it himself. I am still not quite sure how this helps: do you need to learn how to be honest? Maybe he should read some books on ethics instead. Anyway, the error was mine.

Reading this comment about the revolting Johann Hari, a journalist who fabricated interviews and, well, basically made stuff up, I am still stunned that he has not been fired by his current employer. Instead, the creep writes a sort of mea culpa and is attending a course to learn about journalism. He should have been fired, in my opinion. There are thousands of talented people trying to make a career in the media; why should this shit be allowed to stay in the business?

Of course, in a free market, he should be able to do what he likes so long as he does so not at my expense, so I would, for example, object if he ever got a job working for the BBC, which is funded by a tax. But this sorry saga does rather suggest that if you are a leftie, self-styled preacher of idealism like Hari, that you can get away with a lot.

Here is a blog, with the beguiling title of Splintered Sunrise, by a man who obviously swings to that side of the political spectrum who is rightly appalled by Hari and his antics.

Sometimes it pays to call a spade a spade. Johann Hari is a conman. End of subject.

Christina Odone, who was on the receiving end of Hari’s behaviour, is unimpressed.

If this lowlife ever resurfaces in journalism, he should be referred to as “Johann Hari, the plagiarist”, in much the same way as Paul Krugman is sometimes dubbed “the former Enron advisor”.

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14 comments to Brass neck

  • As your Odone link explains, as well as making things up about what people said to him, Hari also used Wikipedia, among many other outlets, to spread malicious lies about people he took against, usually because for very good reasons they had taken against him. He didn’t just copy stuff. He told many lies, of many other kinds.

    The only reason, but a very good one, to keep on describing what a truly hideous person Hari is is that so many significant people continue to defend him.

    Guido Fawkes, for instance, is quite right to say, and to keep on saying, that the big story is not now Hari himself, but the Independent (a quite significant British daily newspaper), because the Indy bosses are still defending Hari instead of booting him into journalistic oblivion where he belongs.

    Personally, I hope the Indy sticks by Hari, because this will harm its reputation. Which I think would be a very good thing, given the drivel the Indy spouts on so many other subjects.

  • James of England

    I strongly agree with this, but feel that the post bolsters the Economist, and that this should always be balanced by an example of horrific Economist practice. Since I am able to borrow a copy, I looked through the contents for a likely candidate and found this gem(Link), arguing that voter ID laws are racist:

    “Tova Wang, a fellow at Demos, a public-policy think-tank, notes that this new push for stronger voter-ID laws occurred—suspiciously enough—after Republican takeovers of state legislatures and governorships in 2010.”

  • PaulH

    Not defending Hari at all, because he doesn’t deserve it, but “at the expense of his firm, is being sent on a course to learn about journalism” is incorrect according to his own account (he’s taking an unpaid leave of absence and paying for the course himself). Now I appreciate the irony of relying on his version of events, but it seems you may be wrong on this detail.

  • I am delighted by this as it just drives home the central fact that created the blogosphere as we all rode the shockwaves of 9/11… the mainsteam media is full of shit and far from being a ‘fourth estate’ and an essential pillar of liberal democratic society that speaks truth to power, they are an integral part of the power elite and as long as you are ‘one of them’ you are simply held to a different (lower) standard of behaviour.

    Many knew this and after 9/12 a great many more people figured it out. But it is good to keep getting reminders for the benefit of those who are not yet suitably illuminated.

  • pete

    It’s just another routine case of lefty double standards and hypocrisy. I can’t understand what all the fuss is about.

  • Current

    Long before the stories about Hari broke there were a lot of rumbling about him on the internet. I remember one commentator saying “I wouldn’t belive Johann Hari if he told me he was gay”, a joke I’ve been repeating for years.

    I always thought this story was very suspicious, but little has been said about it yet:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/ship-of-fools-johann-hari-sets-sail-with-americas-swashbuckling-neocons-457074.html

  • Hugo

    “If this lowlife ever resurfaces in journalism, he should be referred to as ‘Johann Hari, the plagiarist’, in much the same way as Paul Krugman is sometimes dubbed ‘the former Enron advisor’.”

    And, of course, the tax-dodging Guardian.

    (Not, of course, that there’s anything wrong in that — they’re just hypocritical.)

  • Manikmonkee

    Its been coming for along time, he fabricated a story a long time ago which was on a subject I’m an expert in…for me this has all been fun to watch…instant karma’s gonna get ya

  • Somehow I doubt that the lefty panelists such as Jeremy Hardy and Mark Steele who delight in referring to Jeffrey Archer as a ‘convicted perjurer’ will ever refer to Johann Hari as a proven liar.

  • Paul Marks

    James of England.

    Yes that is how the Economist magazine works – they do not even openly make the (absurd) charge of racism (in relation to Republicans trying to fight voter fraud) themselves. They find some other swine – and (with implied approval) quote him.

    As for the crooked journalist that J.P. writes about.

    Guido has not just been trying to draw attention to Hari the plagiarist.

    He has also (for months) been pointing out that the Trinity Mirror group of newspapers “hack” and “blag” at least as much (if not far more) than the News International ones have.

    And that “Guardian” newspaper gets up to all sorts of illegal dirty tricks.

    Reaction in Parliament (and so on).

    ZERO.

    The attack on News International was naught to do with real outrage over “hacking”, it was a way for the “liberal” elite to try and break Rupert M.

    Even those in this elite who have tried to make friends with News International people, really despise them and would like to see to see such things as “Fox News” and “Fox Business” destroyed (for the American part of News International is the real target for the left).

    Sadly the editor of the Guardian newspaper and the leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party are very much on the same page when it comes to hostility to such things as hostility to American conservatives (real ones) and libertarians (of any nationality).

    They share a general international “liberal left” consensus set of opinions.

    Whether it is the “free market” Economist and Financial Times or the openly socialist “Guardian” (basically the same on all the important issues).

    Or whether it is the son-of-swine Ed Miliband or the Eton and Oxford “Conservative” David Cameron.

    It is difficult not to despair of this country.

    The United States may well go down (the odds are against America), but millions of Americans will go down swinging.

    This country seems to me to have already gone – and to have gone with little more than a whimper.

  • James of England

    Paul: Agreed until the last sentence; I think that there’s a lot of harm been done, but there’s a lot of greatness left. A shift in the culture in the UK would find a lot more resources to work with than it would in most places.

  • Rich Rostrom

    This is fun:

    Johann Hari busted for the wrong thing

    A Venezuelan blogger republishes his 2008 demolition of Hari for “his wholesale endorsement of a tinpot autocrat’s propaganda fantasies.”

  • Paul Marks

    James of England.

    I hope you are right – and I am wrong.