Occasional, but always excellent, Irish blogger Splintered Sunrise (whose real identity is known to many) tackles the thorny subject of disgraced British journalist Johann Hari again, and in his usual inimitable style:
‘To summarise, what Johann Hari has admitted to, and apologised for, is that in a handful of his long-form interviews, he’s occasionally used a quote from the subject’s written work where this was more cogent than what the subject said in the interview; and that he failed to properly acknowledge the source. This is true, as far as it goes. But, as has been shown all over the intertubes, this is just the tip of the can of worms. To summarise, without going into excruciating detail, we’re talking about:
- A somewhat unorthodox interviewing technique that includes not only unattributed lifting from the subjects’ own written work, but also the unattributed lifting of quotes from other journalists’ interviews with the subjects, explicitly framed as if these words were being spoken to Hari himself. It may be understandable that few interviewees complained when the end result showed them being fantastically articulate, but on the occasions when Hari has done hostile interviews he’s had no qualms about portraying his antagonist as inarticulate.
- A strong suspicion, at the very least, that some of his vox-pop quotes (as opposed to those from named interviewees) have been made up.
- A reportorial style that tends to be careless of the facts, straying easily into exaggeration and embellishment, sometimes into outright invention.
- Strong circumstantial evidence, though it would be hard to prove or disprove definitively, that either Hari or someone very close to him was engaged in extensive Wikipedia sockpuppetry, including the posting of allegations about critics of Hari that were flagrantly libellous. (I don’t care what you think about Cristina Odone, she is not anti-Semitic by any stretch of the imagination.)’
- Johann Hari in Africa: the crucial emails (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Porcus ex grege diaboli (via Splintered Sunrise) (ansionnachfionn.wordpress.com)
- Johann Hari suspended over plagiarism accusations (telegraph.co.uk)
- Johann Hari: Orwell That Ends Well (order-order.com)
- The Johann Hari Affair (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Johann Hari suddenly in much more trouble (salon.com)
- I fell out with Johann Hari – then ‘David Rose’ started tampering viciously with my Wikipedia entry (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Johann Hari ‘invented quotes’ in report from Central African Republic, says charity that took him there (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)