Hari Lifted Orwell Prize Piece From Spiegel

As the outrage about journalistic practices spreads, it would be easy to forget the ongoing drama around the Independent’s Johnan Hari, and the investigation into his shameless plagiarism. Other bloggers have started to unravel Hari’s strange online antics, with lots of questions about Hari’s alternative personality online spinner “David R”. Who mysteriously shares an IP address with the Indy…


Currently having his 2008 Orwell Prize reviewed, Guido would like to point the committee to some alarming similarities between one of the articles that Hari submitted for the prize, and a feature in the German magazine Spiegel.

  • Take a read of the first six paragraphs of Johann’s award-winning piece “How Multiculturalism is Betraying Women”. Powerful stuff.
  • Then take a read of the first six paragraphs of Spiegel’s  “Paving the Way for a Muslim Parallel Society”. How odd.

Though he goes on to credit Spiegel with having“documented a long list” mentioned later in the piece, Johann fails to mention he gutted the German introduction, stealing its narrative, facts and quotes. It relies on the same individual cases and lifts a quote from German Minister for Integration Armin Laschet, that was sourced by another journalist If the Orwell Prize committee haven’t read both pieces then they can find them here and here.

And it wasn’t just the Germans that Johann ripped off. In the piece Johann states:

“As the Iranian author Azar Nafisi puts it: “I very much resent it when people – maybe with good intentions or from a progressive point of view – keep telling me, ‘It’s their culture’ … It’s like saying the culture of Massachusetts is burning witches.”

In Johann’s critical review of Nick Cohen’s “What’s Left?” he wrote:

“Cohen quotes the Iranian author Azar Nafisi: “I very much resent it when people – maybe with good intentions or from a progressive point of view – keep telling me, ‘It’s their culture’… It’s like saying the culture of Massachusetts is burning witches.””

It seems odd given how scathing Hari was of Cohen in the review that he would go on to quote “What’s Left” without crediting his source. Well it would odd if it was anyone but Hari…

N.B. Lest Guido should be accused of “doing a Hari”, the above points are largely based on original research by Hopi Sen, see also this comment from Hopi.



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