Johann Hari ExposedBy Seabee
It's been somewhat swamped by the Murdoch News of the World saga but it involves much the same thing, appalling standards of 'journalism'.
I'm prompted to devote time to it today by an article in this morning's The National.
It concerns Johann Hari, a columnist I've disliked for a long time and who I've slated here before, and his standards of 'journalism'. You'll remember Mr Hari for his infamous article 'The Dark Side of Dubai' written over two years ago now.
He's at last been publicly exposed for something that was apparent from that and other articles; misrepresention, misquoting and making up 'facts' to make a point.
Hari admitted exactly that when in response to the criticisms he said he had opted for "intellectual accuracy" over "reportorial accuracy".
He has quite rightly been suspended by his newspaper, The Independent, and calls are being made for his various awards for journalism to be taken back. One committee is said to be actively investigating their award to him.
The National quotes Bitish author and columnist Guy Walters as saying Hari has committed three journalistic crimes: "First, he has pretended that words spoken to other journalists were in fact said to him. That is plagiarism, pure and simple. Secondly, he makes things up. There is no doubt in my mind that many of the people he supposedly encounters - such as the girl in hot pants in Dubai - are figments of his imagination. Thirdly, he distorts the words of the real people he does manage to interview."
Certainly the second and third apply to his Dubai article, as I pointed out in my detailed response to it.
That was back in April 2009 and it's interesting that I still regularly get visitors landing on that page.
The times when news went into the bin at the end of the day have disappeared, now it stays here on the www for people to read forever. This is an example - various commentators reporting Hari's attack on Dubai linked to it and to my response, and now more than two years later people are still reading both.
Now that he's been exposed I think there's a good argument for The Independent to remove the links to any of his articles which have been called into question for containing plagiarism, lies, distortions.
I would also suggest that those of us who took him to task over his Dubai article and follow-up, and who took a lot of stick at the time from his supporters, have been exonerated.
The Dark Side of Dubai.
My post disecting it
More lies from Johann Hari.
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