Monday, September 8, 2014

Hari-Kiri-s On Being a Fraud

Guido regrets to report that disgraced former Indy writer Johann Hari’s re-education has not been a success. Hari has embarked on something of a comeback working for Russell Brand and making up a new book, but today forensic internet sleuth Jeremy Duns, fresh from slotting Mo Ansar, has caught him up to his old tricks once again. Hari says he’s a changed man and posts audio clips of all his interviews to back up his claims. Yet comparing Hari’s written account of a new interview with the audio posted on his website, Duns finds the same old discrepancies. He writes:

It’s the first quote from Sarah Brook. The clip is just seven seconds long. She says: ‘I was the person who found the – me and my colleague – who found the bullet in the leg.’

I’ve put it in quotes because it is a direct quote. That is what she said. But it’s a little awkward. How to render that in an article? Well, I’d probably not use that quote, but instead write something like ‘Brook and a colleague found the bullet in the leg.’ And then quote her.

But that isn’t what Hari did in his article published this month in the British Airways magazineHigh Life. Instead, he has this:

‘Then a corpse was found. It had been there a while. Most of the meat had rotted away. It was a skeleton with hooves. The horn had been chopped off, and the entire skull was found elsewhere. The tail had been cut off. ‘I was the person,’ Sarah tells me years later, in a café in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, ‘who found the bullet in the leg’. It became clear that Sarah had stumbled into a turning point in history — one she couldn’t have foreseen. She was standing over the body of the last ever Vietnamese rhino. This subspecies had survived unchanged for nine million years, and now it was gone forever.’

That quote is inaccurate. I have heard it and verified it was not said directly to Johann Hari, and you can, too. It is significantly inaccurate, too, because it leaves out a key fact – two people found the bullet. There is no valid journalistic reason to leave out the second person his interviewee has told him about. Hari has misquoted his interviewee, and in doing so risked making her come across as boastful when she was not, a  liar when she was not, and perhaps even created a problem for her with that colleague. And he has also misled us, his readers.

Bloomsbury will be reading Johann’s new book very carefully before they let it hit the shelves… Hari’s one time defenders are very quiet.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Indy Looking for ‘Augmented Reality’ Editor

According to the advert, “The Independent is seeking a digitally focused journalist with experience producing and presenting content for a daily news-driven augmented reality service”. Surely there is only one candidate.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Indy Pol Ed, UKIP and the Six Year Old Guardian Quote

Fascinating insight from the Indy’s political editor Andy Grice on Thursday last week:

“The wildcard on May 2 could be the UK Independence Party. The anti-EU party is consistently in double figures in the opinion polls and is fielding 1,001 candidates, up from 319 last year. Its best hopes are in Hull, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and West Wiltshire. Although Ukip says it would do well to gain more than 15 seats, it could prove a “spoiler” which prevents Tory victories, helping the Lib Dems in the South and Labour in the North.”

Though as Bloggers for UKIP point out:

“In actual fact, we have 1,734 candidates – up from 593 last time. Hull, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees don’t even have any Council elections this year, whilst West Wiltshire council was abolished in 2009.”

Which is odd. It appears the Indy have tipped UKIP to do well in councils without elections and even in a council that has been abolished. So where did Grice get this dodgy information? It can’t have been from the UKIP website, that clearly lists which candidates are standing where.

Well scroll back six years and those figures and locations were more accurate. It was once reported that “Ukip is fielding 1,001 candidates, with its best hopes in Hull, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and West Wiltshire”, though not by Grice in the Indy, rather by Will Woodward in the Guardian in April 2007. Can anyone remember Grice getting into this sort of trouble before?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

American Hack Sees Visions of Johann

A US journalist has been forced to resign from the New Yorker magazine after being caught making up quotes from singer Bob Dylan. Jonah Lehrer first tried to contest the allegations but yesterday conceded that he had falsified quotes from the sixties legend: “I said that they were from archival interview footage provided to me by Dylan’s representatives. This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic. I then continued to lie and say things I should not have said.” Seems Johann Hari took his old tricks with him when he fled across the pond…

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hari: Old Habits Die Hard

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dirty Hari Returning to Indy in “Four or Five Weeks”

Despite Chris Blackhurst admitting that the paper’s reputation had suffered great damage at the hands of Johann Hari, the Indy editor also confirmed to Leveson, taking a sip of water and looking directly into the camera,  that the disgraced fraudster will be “returning as a columnist” in the next four or five weeks. He’s banned from conducting interviews though…

Apparently the fact Hari produced a doctor’s note saying he was mental was enough to satisfy the internal investigation, and subsequently the fearless inquiry into press ethics. No mention of late night racist, incest fantasy stories though..

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Exclusive: Johann Hari Mails Back Orwell Prize

We are now hearing, as yet unconfirmed, that Johann Hari has returned his Orwell Prize.

In an envelope.

In the post. UPDATE: Delivered by courier.

With no note.

And no cheque…

The Orwell Prize will not confirm…

UPDATE:

Twenty minutes ago we put this story to Gavin Freeguard of the Media Standards Trust. Asked if Hari had returned the prize he said no.

Hari has admitted the whole thing. The fakery, being “David Rose”, the works. He is going to retrain, apologise and come back in 2012.

Absolute cowardice from the Indy. 

UPDATE II: Hari is apparently going to Columbia to study journalism. Pah.

UPDATE III: The Indy says: “The report on his conduct is a private one and will not be published”.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hari Confesses, Blames Depression

Guido’s man-in-the-know tells him that Johann Hari has confessed all to Andreas Whittam Smith, who is charged by the Independent with investigating the plagiarism charges. He has apparently owned up to being “David Rose”. Which means he has implicitly confessed to harassing the likes of Christina Odone, Nick Cohen and Francis Wheen, altering their Wikipedia pages to reflect negatively on them. In Odone’s case he went so far as to question her sanity and accuse her of all manner of falsehoods. He has, Guido is told, blamed his lying, cheating and smearing behaviour on “depression”. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Johann Hari: It Was Ever Thus

Cambridge contemporaries of the disgraced Johann Hari could have told you he was full of it for years. What the Indy still don’t seem to be ready to admit was on display in the November 24, 2000 edition of Varsity:

The first of many baffled readers. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Indy Newsroom’s Hari Missing Poster

One of Guido’s co-conspirators at the Indy sent this in. They are clearly worried about Johann Hari and have put this thoughtful missing poster at strategic points around the Indy’s newsroom floor at Northcliffe House.

The Council of the Orwell Prize met yesterday to consider and review Johann Hari’s cut ‘n pasting as well as evidence of plagiarism and passing off helpfully submitted by the public and readers of this blog. We await their judgement. 


Seen Elsewhere

Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges
Opinions on Key Issues By Constituency | Red Box
Britain Irrelevant Inside EU | Dan Hannan
Cameron Heading for Fall on Europe | Rachel Sylvester
Lords Speaker Spends £350 on Two Mile Limo Ride | Sun
Shapps Slaps Down Barroso “Propaganda” | City AM
Bookies v Pollsters: What We Learned From IndyRef | Paddy Power
Guido’s Column | Sun
Elite’s Obsession With Climate Change Alarmism | David Keighley


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