“Look,” said Johann, his dark eyes welling up with emotion. “I can talk to you about why what happened in my life happened. But I just think that’s a way of trying to invite sympathy, and that would be weaselly.
Thinking this was the moment, Guido leaned in closer to the disgraced former Indy columnist, waiting for that magic word to come from Hari’s lips:
“If you tell a detailed personal story about yourself, you’re inherently asking people to sympathise with you, and actually I don’t think people should be sympathetic to me. I’m ashamed of what I did. I did some things that were really nasty and cruel.”
“I’m very reluctant to go into a personal narrative and give the why,’ the disgraced columnist sighed. “Most people restrain their self-aggrandising and cruel impulses, and I failed to. I failed badly. I think when you do that, when you harm people, you should shut up, go away and reflect on what happened.”
Or say sorry, thought the interviewer…
“Going on about myself would just be arrogant and actually repeating being nasty, and that’s what I’m trying not to be. When you fuck up, you should privately reckon with the harm you have caused and you should pay a big price.”
And apologise perhaps, but still no…
Of course Johann Hari didn’t say any of this to Guido, but to Decca Aitkin of the Guardian.
See attribution isn’t so hard after all.
Apparently Hari is back promoting his new novel about drug addiction.
So much for shutting up and going away to reflect on what happened…