Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Johann Hari: An Apology

"Following an examination by a former editor, Andreas Whittam Smith, Johann Hari, currently suspended as a writer from The Independent, is taking four months unpaid leave of absence from the newspaper, following a two month suspension that began in July. This decision has been made in accordance with Andreas' recommendation that, subject to certain conditions, Johann should be allowed to work again at the paper.
"The report on his conduct is a private one and will not be published, as would be the case with any member of our staff.
"During the next few months Johann will concentrate on a course of journalism, including ethics, in the United States, and will not be writing, tweeting or blogging for any of the group's titles or website.
"The expectation is that on successful completion of his studies, he will return to The Independent. Johann has acknowledged and admits the central accusations made against him, that of embellishment of quotations/plagiarism, and that it was he who used the pseudonym David Rose to attack his critics. Johann has also agreed to return the Orwell Prize awarded to him in 2008."

Statement From The Independent.

A Personal Apology by Johann Hari in The Independent.

'Independent columnist apologises for plagiarism' - The Independent.

Comment on L'Affaire Hari on the New Statesman blog.

Some stupid homophobic comments on Guido Fawkes blog.

"Imperfect ourselves, we must be tender towards others and be slow to impute motives" - Some bald bloke called Gandhi.
Part of me feels quite sorry for Mr Hari - we all fuck up occasionally, and none of us are saints.
You can bet that many of the journalists gloating over this have done far worse things ethically.
His "apology" seems rather self-serving - how can you give back an award that's been taken off you?
And Hari hasn't apologised for his real crime; telling lies about Iraq in the run-up to the last war.

[On re-reading this, it's a bit wet - and I'm a bit annoyed by the circlejerkery on Twitter tonight. So to clarify; what he did was wrong, he was a serial offender, and much of it wasn't even mentioned in The Independent case. Blah blah blah etc. Good day!].

Update: Toby Young picks some gaping holes in Hari's "apology" - as does Cristina Odone.


  1. The right-wing posters on Guido Fawkes blog are insane.

    Apparently 'the ends justifies the means' with 'the left.' (whoever they are, fucking straw-man politics.)

    They've really pissed me off.

  2. An interesting look at his work on Wikipedia

  3. It will be interesting to see what happens when he returns to The Independent, in terms of his tone.
    I don't see how he can maintain any kind of moral high-ground on any subject now without people immediately bringing his past up.

  4. ^ That's interesting.
    He's set a huge trap for himself, hasn't he?
    Maybe they'll just get her to write about greyhound racing or summit?

  5. I honestly thought he'd get out of journalism for a few years at least and go into some other form of writing.
    Stephen Glass tried to become a lawyer then wrote a novel, I think - incidentally, I hadn't realised that the editor at The New Republic that initially hired Glass was Andrew Sullivan.
    I know in one sense Glass's lies were much more widespread than Hari's, but as you say Hari's lies were used to support an illegal war, which is far worse.
    I don't see how he can continue to write the sort of stuff he did before...

  6. i liked his views a lot more than any other of these columnists in the papers and i think i will miss having someone whos views seemed quite cool

  7. Toby Young is a gaping hole.

    (the commenters on the Telegraph site seem even more frigthening than those on the Daily Mail)

  8. ^ Toby young certainly is a hole, but I think he's right on many of his points, sadly.

    Not sure if there's history between them, but presume so.

  9. "but I think he's right on many of his points, sadly."

    Yes, me too. I meant to say that after I inferred he was a bumhole. But I just couldn't type "Toby Young is quite ri...." no, it's no good. Just can't do it, Fagburn. :(

  10. He looks a bit like a young Anne Widdecombe in that photo.
    Just sayin :(