June 29th, 2011

Full Text of Hari’s Mea Culpa

Guido doesn’t usually quote articles verbatim, but since this isn’t online and in the interests of doing a full “intellectual portrait” here it is:

The Lessons I Must Draw From These Attacks On My Journalism

It’s clearly not plagiarism or churnalism, but was it an error in another way? Yes. I now see it was wrong and I wouldn’t do it again

Yesterday on Twitter I was accused of plagiarism. This accusation is totally false – but I have reflected seriously on this and do have something to apologise for. When you interview a writer – especially but not only when English isn’t their first language – they will sometimes make a point that sounds clear when you hear it, but turns out to be incomprehensible or confusing on the page. In those instances, I have sometimes substituted a passage they have written or said more clearly elsewhere on the same subject for what they said to me, so the reader understands their point as clearly as possible. The quotes are always accurate representations of their words, inserted into the interview at the point where they made substantively the same argument using similar but less clear language. I did not and never have taken words from another context and twisted them to mean something different – I only ever substituted clearer expressions of the same sentiment, so the reader knew what the subject thinks in the most comprehensible possible words.

I stress: I have only ever done this where the interviewee was making the same or similar point to me in the interview that they had already made more clearly in print. Where I described their body language, for example, I was describing their body language as they made the same point that I was quoting – I was simply using the clearer words from their writing so the reader understood the point best. This is one reason why none of my interviewees have, to my knowledge, ever said they were misquoted in my nearly 10 years with The Independent, even when they feel I’ve been very critical of them in other ways. My critics have focused on my interview with Gideon Levy as supposedly distorted. So what does Gideon Levy say? These are his words: “I stand behind everything that was published in the interview. It was a totally accurate representation of my thoughts and words.”

This does not fit any definition of plagiarism. Plagiarism is presenting somebody else’s intellectual work as your own – whereas I have always accurately attributed the ideas of (say) Gideon Levy to Gideon Levy. Nor can it be regarded as churnalism. Churnalism is a journalist taking a press release and mindlessly recycling it. It is not a journalist carefully reading over all a writer’s books and quoting it to best reflect how they think.

Over the years I have interviewed some people who have messages we desperately need to hear – from Gideon Levy about Israel, to Malalai Joya about Afghanistan, to Gerry Adams about how to end a sectarian war. Just this week, I interviewed one of the bravest people I have ever met – Shirin Ebadi. I would hate people to not hear these vital messages because they incorrectly think the subjects have been falsely quoted. Every word I have quoted has been said by my interviewee, and accurately represents their view. I hope people continue to hear their words.

When I’ve been wrong in the past – as I shamefully was over the Iraq War – I have admitted it publicly, tried to think through how I got it wrong, and corrected myself. So I’ve thought carefully about whether I have been wrong here. It’s clearly not plagiarism or churnalism – but was it an error in another way? Yes. I now see it was wrong, and I wouldn’t do it again.

Why? Because an interview is not just an essayistic representation of what a person thinks; it is a report on an encounter between the interviewer and the interviewee. If (for example) a person doesn’t speak very good English, or is simply unclear, it may be better to quote their slightly broken or garbled English than to quote their more precise written work, and let that speak for itself. It depends on whether you prefer the intellectual accuracy of describing their ideas in their most considered words, or the reportorial accuracy of describing their ideas in the words they used on that particular afternoon. Since my interviews are long intellectual profiles, not ones where I’m trying to ferret out a scoop or exclusive, I have, in the past, prioritised the former. That was, on reflection, a mistake, because it wasn’t clear to the reader.

I’m sorry, and I’m grateful to the people who pointed out this error of judgement. I will make sure I learn from it.

UPDATE: Noam Chomsky has accused Hari of fabricating quotes from him supposedly spoken in conversation, calling them a “flight of the Hari imagination”.

UPDATE II: Rowan Wilson alleges that contrary to the blended “intellectual portrait” / interview / fictional account of a meeting with Antonio Negri “that there was no taxi called, I didn’t say the things ascribed to me, Negri wasn’t behaving arrogantly as suggested, there was no angry confontation with ICA staff” all of which “casts serious doubt on the veracity of anything that Hari says.”


  1. 1
    smoggie says:

    You just made Dirty Hari’s day, Punk.

  2. 2
    Bazz says:

    Crap of the first order

  3. 3
    Kevin T says:

    Well if he says he won’t do it again…!

  4. 4
    Clapham Commoner says:

    Leaving aside this latest dishonesty, I always felt that Hari’s columns read like a cut-and-paste job anyway.

    He seems so book-bound. His experience of real-life seems “sought”and contrived.

    His ex-colleague the excellent Jeremy Warner summed him up perfectly as the “Independent’s resident know-all”.

    Richard Littlejohn’s comment, which he gave to me between gulps as he sipped his coffee, was even more apt – “an over-promoted works experience” gofer.


  5. 5
    Tom says:

    Back-pedalling idiot.

  6. 6
    smoggie says:

    He was quoting from the interview he had with the Yorkshire Ripper.

  7. 7
    Trinny says:

    Did he interview himself and use any of his own past quotes?

  8. 8
    Kieran E says:

    It sounds quite a bit like a politician’s non-apology apology.

    “I did nothing wrong in this, but idiots are complaining and I blame myself for giving unintentional fodder for idiots, so will try not to do it again” is how I would characterize this article’s main point, but I concede this is not what Mr Hari said in exact words, or indeed written elsewhere as far as I am aware, so I make that clear.

  9. 9
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Pollly Toynbee strikes again !! That’ll get her tax bill down. Take THAT, higher-education funding.

  10. 10
    Eeu to me says:

    I haven’t got a clue who this nonentity is and I don’t really care as I don’t buy newspapers, prefering to get my news from foreign sources than listen or watch the garbage they pretend is news but is only goverment crap dressed up as news.

  11. 11
    Ken Clarke says:

    Since the newspaper industry has just about given up on training and hopes that it can just employer the most hopeful-looking bloggers to do the same job, I suppose we’d better get used to it. ‘Journalists’ were never exactly the model of high moral standing, but there was some idea of what was and wasn’t appropriate.
    People who think they’re more important than the story are likey to committ Hari-kuri this way.

  12. 12
    Pork Scratchings says:

    Simon Carr is loving this outing of the precious Johann.

  13. 13
    Hari the Liar says:

    What a slimy, self-serving scumbag! He wanted to make his interviews seem fabulous by inserting his interviewees’ ‘greatest hits’ into the dialogue.

    “So”, I asked Frank Sinatra, “how did you overcome so many obstacles to become successful?” He stared back at me and took a long draw on his cigar. “I took the blows – and did it my way”, he responded.

  14. 14
    Unwilling Funder of Left Wing Social Engineering (still unwilling under CMD) says:

    You Hoon, he Huhnes, they Hari.

  15. 15
    the last quango in paris says:

    so if I use quotes from his article there can I say that I have interviewed him?

  16. 16
    Talybont-on-Usk Boyo says:

    Just what is the point of Wales?

  17. 17

    Stupid Boy !

  18. 18
    Time for a quiet puke says:

    Aaaaqh! And he writes for such a quality rag..

  19. 19
    Clarence says:

    Spot the difference:

    Hari: I have sometimes substituted a passage they have written or said more clearly elsewhere on the same subject for what they said to me, so the reader understands their point as clearly as possible.

    Toynbee (via Twitter – I won’t post the link): Hari didn’t pretend someone else’s words were his own. Minor peccadillo, unwise, not wicked. Yes, I’d say same of any right wing writer too.

    So Hari actually admitted that he has used other people’s words without attribution; Toynbee says he didn’t use other people’s words.

    PS: Toynbee (also via Twitter) says, “Johann Hari, one the best, is no plagiarist. Save your wrath for the abominartions and harrassments by the Murdoch/Mail press.”

    So the poster-girl of the Left, a £100k+ Guardian columnist with a permanent seat at the BBC, cannot spell ‘harassment’. I’ll forgive her for her ‘abominartions’ because that was clearly a typo.

  20. 20
    Chocolate Moussa says:

    I love the unions and their poodle political wing that is the Labour Party.

  21. 21
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    VeryDroll! A priceless send-up of Hari’s style. Good one.

  22. 22
    Sir William Waad says:

    “……and so you see, officer, that although my DNA was on the axe and I stood to gain £10million from Jack Cuttle’s death, it couldn’t possibly have been me because I was going for a long nocturnal walk in a very thinly populated part of Cumbria the time…..”

  23. 23
    Anonymous says:

    It would be good to see an honest conversation about what people think are the values to uphold here rather than this rather silly mudslinging.

    I’m sorry, I don’t see what’s wrong with someone explaining the reasons why they were committed to any point of action. We can all learn from screw-ups.

  24. 24
    the last quango in paris says:

    she was using tuscan spelling.

  25. 25
    Witty Commentator No 32 says:

    He was caught doing what Hacks do every day.

    If they can’t plagiarize it they make it up.

    They never lets fact and truth get in the way of a good story…or even a crap one!

  26. 26
    DrakesDrum says:

    So Hari will understand if police officers etc when giving evidence use statements which the accused has said, or may have said, or possibly did not say but sounded like his words!

    That was called being stitched up.

    Whatever way you look at it. It was shoddy, it was wrong and unprofessional. More importantly it suggests that he has done it before.

    How can you believe this man anymore?

  27. 27
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Martin Luther King thought differnently.

  28. 28
    The voice of unreason says:

    So, he’s basically saying that his journalistic skills are so bad that he has to resort to using the interviewees words (written elsewhere) to produce something coherent?

    This puts him in an even worse light. Is this guy really supposed to be one of the best the loony left have?

  29. 29
    Cheryl Elise Kendall Gillan says:

    Where’s the Welsh fast train line that goes through my back passage post gone to?

  30. 30
    ST says:

    Excellent, if we can see Laurie Penny go down in flames my year will be made. They are both over prompted and deliberately so as self concious representatives of today’s “young people”.

    Don’t expect the older, battle scarred journos to go easy on these bright young things.

  31. 31
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    “The Lessons I Must Draw From These Attacks On My Journalism”.

    The ghastly little boy has the effrontery to set himself up as a victim!

  32. 32
    Polly aid says:

  33. 33
    Archer Karcher says:

    ‘Is this guy really supposed to be one of the best the loony left have?’

    Indeed he is, bullshitter and imposter, would be a more apt description.

  34. 34
    Ed Balls, Shallow Chancer says:

    Repeat the Liebour mantra after me, ‘ We have learnt the lessons, we have drawn a line under this and are moving on’.

    To quote the Master Liar, Tony B£iar, ‘ Confess and avoid’.

  35. 35
    Tooth fairy says:

    Does he have interpersonal relationship problems with his colleague? Perhaps someone who actually knows this guy Hari could enlighten the rest of us who have never met him.

  36. 36
    Elvis says:

    I bet she would! Patronising, hypocritical, overpaid waste of air (Both of them)!

  37. 37
    Archer Karcher says:

    Don’t forget Labour’s media complex Choccy, the BBC.

  38. 38
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Possibly because those with an analytical mind and a knowledge of the world and it’s ways will see Hari’s apologia as facile, infantile and disengenuous – e.g. pitched at about the level of a year 8 schoolboy making an excuse for not doing his homework.

  39. 39
    Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur says:

    Yes he really is a nauseating little tw*t.

    Anyone who has had the misfortune to read any of his sanctimonious nonsense in the Independent will be getting massive enjoyment out of all this.

    Now can we just find a way to do the same thing to Yasmin Alibhai Brown with her professional victimhood and racist views.

  40. 40
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Did you ever believe this man before?

  41. 41
    Julie says:

    But how can I be sure you are accurately describing their body language etc. if you haven’t been accurately transcribing what they said?

  42. 42
    Snotrocket says:

    So, If Hari interviews me some time ago on subject ‘A’, and I say ‘A’ equals ‘B'; and then some time later I change my mind and decide ‘A’ really equals ‘C’, if Hari then re-interviews me and doesn’t like the fact that I changed my mind he says he feels free to remove my change of mind and substitute my original thoughts on the matter. Hmmm. Bet Hari doesn’t use a laptop or WORD; he uses a Speakwrite!

  43. 43
    Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur says:

    Look at his rivals –

    Polly Toynbee wets her knickers every time she spots a new “star” in the Labour Party and appears to fabricate any statistics she uses in her articles.

    Toilets Maguire is just a mouthpiece for Ed Balls which is akin to being a sewage outlet.

    Yasmin Alibhai Brown believes everyone is picking on her because she is a) a Muslim and b) a woman (although she doesn’t like to discuss how Muslim men treat Muslim women).

    Seamus Milne is the secret conduit the SWP have into the mainstream media.

    They are f*cking barking – the whole lot of them.

  44. 44
    Bernard Levin says:

    Using Hari’s useless excuse doesn’t cut it. In an interview with say John Prescott part of the story would be that the man couldn’t string a meaningful sentence together. If interviewe’s quotes have to be polished up or refined the whole essence of the interview is lost. He’s been caught with his hands in his sisters knickers bang to rights and he needs to be sacked.. If you want the highest standards from politicians shouldn’t we have the same from “hacks” as well?

  45. 45
    Comprehensive says:


  46. 46
    Polly and the right wing Press says:

  47. 47
    Ed Balls says:

    You called?

  48. 48
    Comprehensive says:

    MOT Garage- what’s up with your car Tony?

    Tony Blair – I can only go one way. I’ve not got a reverse gear.

  49. 49
    Postlethwaite says:

    Obviously paid by the number of words . . .

  50. 50
    Llewellyn ap Griffith says:

    The point of Wales is show the world how good neighbours behave, the point of England is to prove that God had a sense of humour when he created Eden and landed us with neighbours like the Brummies, Scousers and worse of all Cockneys who make Geordies and Mancers seem normal!

  51. 51
    Sir William Waad says:

    Can we please distinguish between the quality of the post (high) and whether we agree with the quotation? This post deserves a thumbs up.

  52. 52
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    He’s finished. Or should be. If they keep him on the The Independent will be renamed The Unbelievable.

  53. 53
    Postlethwaite says:


  54. 54
    The Quoting Public says:

    As he told me only the other day when we were in his kitchen discussing his various off-road vehicles and their ability to go mountains, he had ‘a dream’. Probably a Land Rover.

  55. 55
    Montgomery Cheddar says:

    Why does Polly always use that photo of herself where she’s got a gob like the world’s biggest mantrap?

  56. 56
    Osborne fucking the economy says:

    King told MPs on the all-party Treasury select committee: “We expect to see relatively weak consumer spending. The fall in house prices has come back a bit, activity is very weak.

    “The reason we would raise interest rates would be in the context of a much stronger economy with unemployment falling rather than rising,” he added.

    Several economists have warned that the UK economy, which has flatlined for the last six months, is struggling to recover in the face of restrictions on bank lending, severe public spending cuts and low consumer confidence.


  57. 57
    Johann Hari says:

    A person’s body language may often be unclear. He or she may be constrained by a tight-fitting armchair or a recently-sustained broken rib. Or, I may have dropped my pencil and may miss a nuance of their gestures while I search for it on the floor. In those circumstances it gives a truer intellectual portrait of the subject if I describe body language that they have, or might or should have, used on other occasions, as seen by me or described to me, or otherwise.

    I have never plagiarised other people’s body language. To make that clear, I am busy tying myself in knots.

  58. 58
    smoggie says:

    Would he be where he is today if he had a boring, normal name like John Harrison?

  59. 59
    John McEnroe says:

    You cannot be serious!

  60. 60
    labourunionsbbc we are one says:

    Lessons will be learnt, and err, that’s it.

  61. 61
    Desperate Dan says:

    Who the hell is Gideon Levy? And why bother interviewing him at all when apparently he always says and writes the same thing over and over again.

  62. 62
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    That’s not what i meant *at* *all*

  63. 63
    Desperate Dan says:

    How uncharacteristically forgiving.

  64. 64
    Anonymous says:

    Just because Brown fucked it doesn’t mean Osborne has to fuck it as well. Conservatives were voted to sort the mess not to fuck it.

  65. 65
    Red Ed's Blank Sheet of Paper says:

    I have no idea who this man is. Is he related to Hari Krishna or Hari Kiri ??

  66. 66
    Jess The Dog says:

    ‘But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought,’ said George Orwell to me, in his Sutton Courtney home. (c) Johann Hari 2011.

    Note to editor: he was a bit muffled, under six feet of dirt in All Saints’ churchyard

  67. 67
    Alyingstare Campbell says:

    The Spindependent ??

  68. 68
    Desperate Dan says:

    Left wing rentaquote journalists think his behaviour is completely understandable and nothing to worry about. Presumably plagiarism is commonplace on The Guardian.

  69. 69
    I'll have a P please, Bob says:

    Going mano a mano with slotgob?

  70. 70
    Terrible But True says:

    As intrigued by his editor’s stance that the whole thing did not deserve an outing because no one had complained… until now.

    Can’t wait to see that one applied across the liberal media in future.

    At least a promising career as a police spokesperson is suggested.

  71. 71
    labourunionsbbc we are one says:

    God, putting down his cup and turning towards the window with a troubled look in his eye, replied “he’s a lying cu’nt”.

  72. 72
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    I read fleet street fox. Basically, she can’t lie about celebrities who sue.

    If you are a “nobody” a journalist can twist the truth, and its too expensive to sue.
    If you are literally “nobody”, non-existent people don’t even complain.

  73. 73
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Mick Jagger will be spinning in his grave

  74. 74
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    it would then take the page twice as long to load.

  75. 75
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    Just remember that the bulk of south Walians are descended from those who were moved out of the Seven Dials to provide cheap labour for mining coal in the valleys, Boyo. The point of Wales is to act as a windbreak for England and a source of water for the English midlands. Oh, and to give even Glaswegians somebody to feel superior over.
    And are you sure that holding out a begging bowl for 250 years is a good way for neighbours to behave?

  76. 76
    Kevin T says:

    Sheep have needs too.

  77. 77
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    Thats probably why he got away with it.

    If he wasn’t saying things that the interviewee strongly disagreed with they might well have gone “bullshit … but sod it” and ignored it.

  78. 78
    Johnny says says:

    RE the updates – it’s almost as if the insignificant Hari made so little an impression on the people he ‘interviewed’ that they never bothered to read his articles about them. Now prompted to they are finding problems.

    “plagiarism”. He has lifted quotes from somewhere else written by someone else and implied they were said to him. How is that not plagiarism?

    Newsnight last night had a short bit about it – Deborah Orr seems to need hospital treatment for a sagging head. It was almost at a right angle to her shoulders. I don’t recall any mention of his previous incidents of this kind of thing being mentioned though.

  79. 79
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    You *literally* could not have misunderstood more.

  80. 80
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    The editor let it happen so he’s in the shit too isn’t he?

    A bit like Boris and the Scousers.

  81. 81
    Am I being lied to by journalists? says:

    “No more lying, then! Everyone must tell the truth.” Ephesians Chapter 4 v 25
    Take a few moments to imagine the consequences.

  82. 82
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    2 bad decisions yesterday, Billy. Bresnan was given out lbw to a ball which pitched putside leg stump and Jayawardene should have got the benefit of the doubt. (Ball hitting outside of stump) Bring back Peter Willey!

  83. 83
    Snotrocket says:

    Guido….my 9:05 comment is still ‘awaiting moderation’. I thought it to be already quite moderate: why don’t you? :)

  84. 84
    Blears, Laws, Balls, still in parliament says:

    “If you want the highest standards from politicians ”

    Oh god, that is *so* funny.

  85. 85
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    “plagiarism” perhaps a game of semantics.

    “Taking credit for something you havent written or said” rather than
    “Taking credit for something you didnt do”

  86. 86
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    13 years of delusional economic idiocy is not sorted out by waving a magic wand and shouting, “Kazam”. The only thing George has got wrong is not shrinking the Public Sector quickly enough, but it is understandable that he wants to give the excess millions employed – sorry, paid- by the State as gentle a landing as possible.

  87. 87
    Dorian Smith says:

    If Hari is “an over-promoted works experience” gopher, then Penny Red is a glorified message board troll with middle class guilt complex and the dead eye of a shark.

  88. 88
    YorkshireLad says:

    If text is taken from any source and not referenced or acknowledged either within the piece itself or as a footnote it is plagarism…PERIOD!
    His method is at best lazy and at worst downright deceitful.

  89. 89
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    Mentioning it gives Guido terrible flashbacks.

  90. 90
    Hari is no plagiarist says:

    Apart from the plagiarism, of course.

  91. 91
    Jess The Dog says:

    Hari does seem to be guity of plagiarism. He appears to have attributed words to a person in an interview conducted by him, that were in fact uttered in a similar interview conducted by someone else (Hirschfeld, ‘Israel’s Gadfly’).

    He also appears to be an extraordinarily self-centred individual with little concept of shades other than black or white.

  92. 92
    Anonymous says:

    Grumpy Old Man says: June 29, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Only a stupid idiot will cut in UK and give it to other countries, Osborne has given over £30bn to other countries. Due to this idiot borrowing has gone up by £46bn. Its getting worse not better.

  93. 93
    Desperate Dan says:

    I was sitting on the top floor of the No 73 bus travelling towards Stoke Newington when Ed Miliband got on at Oxford Circus. He greeted me with the lopsided grimace that passes for a smile in the Miliband household. “I’m finished”, he moaned pitifully, “No-one’s ever going to vote Labour into power while I’m leader”. I had to agree with him and could only reply with a sharp slap across his face, smudging his make-up in the process. “Excuse me”, I said “I’m getting off here”.

    To Simon Kelner, Editor of The Independent: Is this the sort of thing you want?

  94. 94
    LovelyAllen says:

    Richard Littlejohn’s comment, which he gave to me between gulps as he sipped his coffee, was even more apt – “an over-promoted works experience” gofer.

    And Richard LittleJohn reminds reminds me of Jack Torrance from The Shining. An abusive, rage-filled psychopath going slowly mad whilst typing the same crap over and over again.
    (sadly this isn’t my quote but I heartily agree with it)

    ALL Journalists are reknowned for sexing up their articles. I don’t see what the huge issue is… It doesn’t matter if it’s the ‘loony left’ or the ‘self-righteous right’ – You should be more worried about REAL churnalism.

  95. 95
    Clarence says:

    Odd. Hari admits he has used other people’s words and passed them off as his own; Toynbee says he hasn’t.

    In other words, Toynbee is calling Hari a liar.


  96. 96
    Hari admits to plagiarism says:

    Are you calling him a liar the Polly?

  97. 97
    genghiz the khan says:

    Johann has worked hard in Soviet Studies this term, and his ability to fabricate falsehood and untruths is beyond reproach. I wish him well in his future career as a fearless journalistic freelancer. Master Hari will go far…Dartmoor, or Broadmoor. He will surely learn from his ideological errors, and should have plenty of time to recall and implement our motto.

    “v Pravde net izvestiy, v Izvestiyakh net pravdy”

    In the Truth there is no news, and in the News there is no truth.

  98. 98
    misterned says:

    When faced with such a massive fucking mess following a scorched earth final year with booby traps left all over the economic landscape there are two possible ways to deal with it.

    One. Bulldoze the fucking lot and start afresh.
    Two. Carefully and selectively repair what is repairable and remove what is not.

    The former would have much more pain and cause far more problems than the latter. The latter takes a hell of a long time and will include quite a lot of backward steps as well as forward ones, just as we are seeing.

  99. 99
    Jabba the Cat says:

    Stick a fork in Hari’s arse, turn him over, he’s done!

  100. 100
    Jabba the Cat says:

    Lol…all those words neatly strung together by a sheep shagger.

  101. 101
    misterned says:

    It wasn’t plagiarism. But it was misleading and inaccurate, which is something the Guardian and the BBC are leading the market in.

    The left feel that there is nothing wrong with misleading people, so long as you get your point across.

    The leaders in such thinking are the lefty environmental alarmists who do not care if they are right or not, so long as the rest of us do as they say.

  102. 102
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Jayawardene hard done by.

  103. 103
    Gusty_Yusef says:

    As a university student, my uni uses a much wider definition of plagiarism. If you quote in an interview, you are saying those exact words came from the interview unless you state otherwise. If you then smuggle in quotes, even from the same person with the same meaning, without declaring the new sources, that is very clearly plagiarism because you’ve been dishonest about the full geneses of the sources of the quotations.
    Hari says he did plagiarise but then fully admits his method of doing such.

  104. 104
    Private Schultz says:

    Quite – just suggests to me that he can’t ask appropriate questions effectively. As Ms Leslie said last night on Newsnight – I never did it because I’m a proper journalist!

  105. 105
    Llewellyn ap Griffith says:

    We shag pussy as well Jabba! Now bend over like mummy taught you and take it like a whimp

  106. 106
    misterned says:

    Coffee => Monitor

    Or as the ‘kids’ write these days…. capital x followed by capital d.

  107. 107
    The Mechanical Turk says:

    Time to draw a line in the sand and move on …

  108. 108
    smoggie says:

    He should write for Pravda which is ironically the Russian word for truth.

  109. 109
    misterned says:

    Well, this conspirator from cumbria is now telling him to fuck off!

  110. 110
    loungelizard says:

    At least Grown didn’t get the IMF job. At least Brown didn’t get the IMF job. At least Brown didn’t get the IMF job. Sorry just like see it in print

  111. 111
    Maximus says:

    So, you Cretan liar, are you still beating your wife?

  112. 112
    you've been found out says:

    Methinks he does protest too much.

  113. 113
    who where what why when says:

    Surely serious news organisations can’t possibly consider continuing to employ Hari. He’s lost all credibility.

  114. 114

    Since his opening line is “It’s clearly not plagiarism”, let’s remind ourselves what plagiarism is:



  115. 115
    Boudicca says:

    Does the NCTJ still exist? That was a pretty good training ground for hacks, followed by a three year apprenticeship on a local rag. Hari wouldn’t have lasted five minutes.

  116. 116
    John Harrison says:

    What do you mean ‘boring’? I’ll have you know I’m well respected on the ‘Neasden Advertisier’ for my Nature Notes.

  117. 117
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    White shades wouldn’t be all that useful for keeping the sunlight out.

  118. 118
    Boudicca says:

    Brains bitter?

  119. 119
    Boudicca says:

    I seem to remember Private Eye exposing Hari’s journalistic creativity many years ago.

  120. 120
    Anonymous says:

    No reader will ever believe anything he ever writes again.
    His name is forever tarnished and no amount of support from mates like Polly will change that.

  121. 121
    Montgomery Cheddar says:

    Could be. Never thought of that! But then again why would I want to?

  122. 122
    Anonymous says:

    I work in a University and I deal with academic misconduct. The definition for Plagiarism is:

    ‘the verbatim or near-verbatim copying or paraphrasing without acknowledgement, from published or unpublished material which is the intellectual property of another, including the work of other students regardless of whether the work was used with or without permission from the author.’

    What I have read in Hari’s ‘apology’ is basically what I read when students are trying to explain why they have copied massive amount of text in their assignment without attributing it to the original source. And I had the same response – bollocks!

  123. 123
    ask a silly question says:

    Will this dominate the BBC and lefty newspapers for weeks like the NOTW phone-hacking story?

  124. 124
    Woodward and Bernstein says:

    You don’t know ALL journalists so stop making ridiculous generalisations.

  125. 125
    Anonymous says:

    ” The lessons I must draw from these attacks on my journalism”
    A mistake in the very first sentence as copying quotes from other sources doesn’t actually constitute journalism.

  126. 126
    Audemus Dicere says:

    Well, you would hardly call the Indy a serious news organisation anyway!

  127. 127
  128. 128
    Palf says:

    While sharing a comradely crackpipe in our dealer’s front room, I asked Johann about these allegations directly. He became pensive for a moment. “Don’t judge me”, he replied, the smoke enveloping his dark eyes momentarily. “When I’ve been wrong in the past, I never have taken words from another context and twisted them to mean something different.”

    He passed over the pipe, and looking deeply into my eyes said, “I have only ever done this where the interviewee was making the same point to me.”

    His body language became gruffer, and leaning forward he said, “This does not fit any definition of plagiarism. Plagiarism is presenting somebody else’s intellectual work as your own – whereas I, to my knowledge, never said they were misquoted, even when they feel I’ve been very critical of them in other ways. My critics have focused on my interview with Gideon Levy as supposedly distorted.”

    These were his parting words:
    “It’s been that long, I’m not sure I’d remember how. If I ever could, dear.”

  129. 129
    LovelyAllen says:

    You’re right… I’m making ridiculous generalisations and mudslinging – That’s all Comment threads are good for, it seems….. nonetheless, I apologise.

    Now Richard Littlejohn, there’s a man who is particularly good at his generalisations.. I’ve Never seen an apology from him….

  130. 130
    Kieran E says:

    The values to be upheld in this matter have already been enumerated in many blog posts from many individuals – so I personally felt little needed to be said there. You say it would be good to see an honest conversation about what those values are, but as I see it said conversation is being played out in articles, so in a ‘comment’ section, I fail to see what is wrong about commenting as to one’s opinion solely on the matter at hand, which in this case was my interpretation of what Hari said.

    That may or may not be fair on Hari, but the ‘comment’ section of a blog is a notoriously poor place to hold a ‘conversation’ on such things, so I fail to see what you find wrong about people offering simple comment on the post in question, be it simple mudlsinging or something more considered.

  131. 131
    Anonymous says:

    His Twitter friends/fellow newspaper journalists claim he has done nothing wrong.

  132. 132
    Hari Kari says:

    Boudicca’s correct – see edition 1076, available on line:


  133. 133
    Cockney geezer says:

    Fack orrf.

  134. 134
    Ken Clarke says:

    Nope, all gone – as are the journalism courses at the London College of Printing (or whatever the receivers are going to call it). There was a popular book called ‘Essential Law for Journalists’, which if I remember rightly did touch on such delicate questions as ‘plagarism’, ‘theft’ and other obscure points of order [sic].
    Personally I think he and Toby Young should be chained together and left to cross the African continent on foot, with only their wits to sustain them. It would make good telly …

  135. 135
    MB. says:

    BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show covered this today.

    The Media Show: The Mirror and Bellfield; Johann Hari. 29 Jun 11
    Wed, 29 Jun 11
    Duration: 29 mins
    The Independent’s editor Simon Kelner explains why the paper is standing by Johann Hari after he admitted to using unattributed quotes; The Mirror journalist David Collins on the part his interview played in convicting Levi Bellfield and who should ultimately deal with complaints about BBC programmes?


  136. 136
    MB. says:

    That was very much the attitude given on The Media Show (see link below). – he is young and on the Left so should be excused.

  137. 137
  138. 138
    ichabod says:

    Er as I live in the Borders, I have to say that the landscape is beautiful, almost throughout the principality, and in some parts little visited. Also the welsh girls are extremely, well, gregarious , whilst being less obviously sluttish than their english counterparts. True the larger towns are drab, but the smaller ones are full of delights for the older folk or those who prefer the quiet life. The coastline is most impressive in parts. Also in an increasingly homogenised, americanised world at least Wales has retained someting of its own culture and identity ( I do find the language impenetrable though, but we can’t all be as gifted as George Borrow )

  139. 139
    ichabod says:

    …And of course Wales, although apparently the first UK mosque was built in Cardiff, doesn’t have many M*sl*ms in its population…

  140. 140
    Little Boy Blue says:

    The term “Hari Kari” comes to mind

  141. 141
    Can't Post on Hari's Article... says:

    Sticking to the issues as you request… I cannot understand why he didn’t simply write “he looks up, nods and then makes the same point he does in his book “insert source”, “insert unintelligible quote about Cartesianism etc”.

    More, I can’t believe that anyone else wouldn’t have done that.

    What he’s done is definitely dishonest, and undermines his credibility hugely. Nothing to do with his politics or any of the other mud thrown here.

  142. 142
    The truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth says:

    43 years of happy marriage have rendered that unnecessary my dear General. I seem to remember that you always told the truth.

  143. 143
    Boudicca says:

    Thankyou Hari Kari- so even though Private Eye alerted the nation to his journalistic shortcomings 8 years ago, he still continued to attribute quotes to his own interviews. Quite shameless.

  144. 144
    Anonymous says:

    I thought the first UK mosque was built in Woking.

  145. 145
    Kered Ybretsae says:

    Been plenty of that going on in Germany lately.

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