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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Johann Hari and his Plagarism

Johann Hari - Plagarist, and generally prone to other forms of Journalistic dishonestyJohann Hari - Plagarist,
and generally prone to other forms of Journalistic dishonesty

Johann Hari is a columnist with the London Independent, and has recently been caught Plagarising the words of others and passing them off as his own in various interviews published under his name.

See Here for more details

Johann Hari plagiarism row – in quotes

Extracts from books allegedly inserted into interviews as quotes, that have sparked plagiarism row

This comes as no surprise at all since Mr Hari has long shown a disregard for what some might call 'ethical behaviour' when it comes to his Journalism (such as it is).

I noticed Johann Hari's lack of truthfulness quite a long time ago, and am quite surprised it took other people so long to notice his lack general of candor.

Back in 2003 young Johann Hari had the dubious distinction of being billed as 'Johann Hari, Young Journalist of the Year' whenever his musings are published in the Independent.

Since discovering that Johann was, shall we say, 'economical with the actualite', I have been most skeptical of young Johanns belief in his own writings. I must, to my shame, confess that I have been now operating on the theory that young Johann will scribble 'any old tripe', as long as he receives his 30-pieces-of-silver.

On Monday, April 14, 2003 I wrote the following:

"Johann Hari is a columnist with the London Independent, and has recently observed that:

'we in the press are the least trusted of all British institutions... the number of my friends who assume that we just make up stories - even at a reputable paper such as the Inependent - is startling'

Well all I can say to that Johann, is that your friends know you pretty well then. Seems Mr Hari is not averse to bending the truth when it suits him. Like all good media-whores he never lets the facts get in the way of a good story.

Regular readers of young Johann will recall that he started his 'journalistic' career as as a lowly hack at the New Statesman. One of his first forays into the pubic sphere concerned the use of drugs among the younger generation.

In July 32001 he wrote:

'Another Cambridge (University) May Week has rolled around, and I, like half of Cambridge, celebrated with a few tabs of Ecstasy and the odd line of coke'

Now that must have been a fairly ODD' line of Coke' alright because the rumour is that little Johann has never taken ecstasy in his life.
Apparently, if rumours are to be believed, little Johann had to 'phone a friend' before writing his article in order to obtain a description of it's effects from a users point of view.

If that wasn't bad enough Hari then went on to do an encore for the London Evening Standard where he set out to defend 'the ecstasy I know and love (?)' even going so far as to offer David Blunkett (British Home Secretary at that time) the chance to accompany him to a 'decent club' in order to 'score a tab of ecstasy' Hari then went on to describe the sensations experienced when one is 'loved-up' (luckily he had that friends phone number).

So it was with much scratching of the head that we read this next piece printed in the Independent less than a month ago

'Ecstasy defined the generation of my older siblings, not mine - Ecstasy is OUT!!'

Johann, it seems all those 'tabs' that you so foolishly consumed up in Cambridge have fried your synapses old bean!. Has the memory been effected? What was that about 'tabs of ecstasy and he ODD line of coke'' - and who says drugs don't do any long-term damage - Johann is a living breathing example of 'your brain on drugs' so remember kiddies don't be like Johann - just say no (when offered cash to tell lies to gullible readers)

Johann Hari's lack of acquaintance with the truth has not suffered one bit by his fore-swearing nefarious substances - quite the contrary, it seems to have blossomed. A few weeks after his original ecstasy article he traveled to the G8 conference in Genoa. From there he sent an emotional piece regarding the death of protester Carlo Giuliani.

Take it away Johann -

'On Friday , before the real business of the summit began, the police shot him twice in the head and than ran him over. They killed him, even though he carried no weapon other than a fire-extinguisher. When I saw the scene I couldn't believe so much blood had poured from one body'

Well gee Johann that really must have been a very 'odd line of coke ' you took back there in Cambridge, because according to several witnesses, Mr Johann Hari had hopped into a taxi and high-tailed it out of there long before any trouble started - maybe the death-scene came to him in a 'flash-back' after he returned to his hotel? So much for integrity.

Lately Johann has been doing the rounds on UK TV proclaiming his support for a war against Saddam. The Iraqis want to be bombed - he knows because he's been to see them. 'Last October, I spent a month seeing the reality of life under Saddam. Most of the Iraqi people would hug me and offer 'coded support'' (please come back and bring the bombers with you next time, johann) Jan 10 Indie
amazingly enough Hari had actually visited Iraq as a tourist visiting archaeological sites.

He wrote about it in the Guardian on 3 December 2002. In that article however , he claimed that it was ' very difficult to get Iraqi's to express their feelings (or may the feelings you want them to express, Johann?)... I blundered about asking fairly direct political questions, which caused many people to recoil in horror...Many people asked quite genuinely _'why your Government hate the Arab world'. The only person who eventually offered 'coded' support, was an old man in a market who had visited London in the 1970's 'After much oblique prodding, he said warmly 'I admire British democracy and freedom' He held my gaze 'I very much admire them' he added 'we do not know what is coming. the news we receive here is ...unclear''

Seems straight forward enough but not for our Johann. In an article for the Independent on Feb 15, Hari claimed that Iraqi's had asked him ' When will you come to free us? When will we be able to live again ?'' Since these pleas for bombers to arrive must have struck Mr Hari as newsworthy why didn't he mention them in his earlier Guardian piece?? Could it be that Johann 's friends know him only too well? After all a mans got to earn a living in these dark times.

Is anything you write believable Johann? "

"As you can see, I come not to praise Johann Hari but to demonise him." - Lenin's Tomb

I'm not the only one to notice Johann Hari's lack of honesty:

LENIN'S TOMB - Tuesday, July 24, 2007
"In which I becomes a diverting anecdote" - posted by lenin
It isn't all that worrying that I didn't say the things that Johann Hari thinks I said. Who doesn't sometimes get that treatment? Practically everyone else who is referenced in the article is dealt with in a similarly unfair fashion


On Friday, April 18, 2003, I wrote the following concerning Johann Hari:

"Having read his latest offering entitled 'There will never be a better time to go for the euro' we were left feeling a little mean-spirited. Perhaps, we pondered, we had been far too harsh on young Johann, a chap has to earn a crust after all. He is, we can assure you, considered to be the cream of the crop; 'Johann Hari, Young Journalist of the Year' and his musings are much discussed by other 'bright young things' as a simple search of Google, using the term 'johann hari', will demonstrate :)

We here are rather cynical, as you may by now have noticed. So we couldn't help but dig a little deeper and try to discover the grounds for young Johann's strident championing of the Euro.

Let us firstly examine the Independent. This is a British Daily with few 'stars' in its stable , most people online know it as the home of Robert Fisk, decidedly anti-war war-correspondent.

According to this excellent article by Guardian Media-Correspondent Roy Greenslade

''Are readers of the anti-war Independent overwhelmingly opposed to the war? Is the bulk of the Daily Telegraph's readership standing four-square behind the coalition? What about the people who read the Daily Mirror: do they support its consistent criticism of the Bush-Blair war?
In an attempt to answer these questions, the polling company ICM asked people whether they approved or disapproved of the war and then discovered which daily newspapers each respondent regularly reads.
The results are, I must add, somewhat tentative. The sample size for a couple of titles was small and these should be taken only as indicative. But despite that health warning, which probably affects the Independent more than any other, the figures from this exercise - the first of its kind - are fascinating. ''

As we said the Independent, is considered on-line, to have a basically anti-war stance, mainly because of the articles of Robert Fisk. However things in the real world are not so clear cut. Back to Greenslade in the Guardian again:

''Independent also has more than a third of pro-war readers. Though its sample was small, the editor, Simon Kelner, wasn't in the least surprised at the result. "It's broadly in line with what I'd expect," he says. "Our postbag reflects those sorts of figures too."

He pointed to Friday's letters page, in which there were two letters questioning the validity of the "moral outrage" which informed the front-page article the day before by the Independent's reporter in Baghdad, Robert Fisk. Three other writers congratulated Fisk.

That ratio, Kelner suggests, supports the ICM finding of a 55-38% split. He points out that the response to his pro-war columnist, Johann Hari, is proportionately similar.

The Independent has been one of the major beneficiaries of the war, claiming about 9% extra on its daily sale last week.''

So it appears that the Indie is playing a 2 front game. On one side it is gaining much recognition online as an anti war- publication, but it has the problem that 'Independent also has more than a third of pro-war readers.' Therefore one can conclude that one-third of readers who actually shell out hard cash for its printed equivilant in the real-world, are not happy with the opinions of Fisk, it's main star. Hence the need for someone like Johann - who'll say exactly what the boss wants him to.

The Boss in this case is one Tony O'Reilly, head of an Irish Media group, Independent News & Media, whose worldwide holdings include


* The Independent
* Independent on Sunday
* Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland

* Irish Independent
* Sunday World

South Africa

* 14 newspapers including Cape Argus and Pretoria News

Australia and New Zealand

* 24 daily newspapers including the New Zealand Herald and Queensland Times

A rather impressive list we think you'll agree. Big media brings big problems, however. In this case very big debt problems. According to this Guardian article of April 17, 2000

''The Independent could finally break even next year but only if the advertising market returns to health, its owners said today.''

and this on November 4, 2002

''Independent hit by £16m loss : The Independent and Independent on Sunday slipped further into the red last year, posting a £15.7m loss despite a cost-cutting drive.

The figures are a blow for Sir Tony O'Reilly, the owner of parent company Independent News & Media. When he bought the papers in 1998 he claimed they would break even by 2001.''

The Indie is in deep trouble indeed. Losing money hand-over-fist is the correct expression, I believe.

Things have gotten so bad that poor Slur Tony has had to dig deep into his own pockets in the hope of halting the slide:
O'Reilly props up Independent group
''Irish entrepreneur to make £20m cash injection and sell off British regional titles to cut debt . O'Reilly has agreed to pay around ?30m (£20m) for new shares in the Independent News & Media Group he chairs as part of a ?256m restructuring plan that aims to reduce debts of more than ?1.2bn.

The Dublin-based group has launched a deeply discounted rights issue to raise ?103m in new cash to meet debt obligations that are due later this year. ''

Now the most interesting thing to note here (at least I think it is the most interesting) is that Independent News & Media Group is a Dublin-based group. Dublin being the capital city of that 'most-septic of sceptered Isles', Ireland. Hence the Independent News & Media Group, operates in Euro's and not British Pounds Sterling, which are the currency of the UK. This might indeed cause some problems for O'Reilly if his personal cash is held in Euros. Currency fluctuations have wiped the smiles from the faces of many an obese feline over the last few years. Hence Tony might indeed be very pleased were Britian to adopt the Euro.

Which, I think, brings us back to where we came in - Johann Hari ' Young Journalist of the Year' and his latest offering; 'There will never be a better time to go for the euro'

I ask myself if it's very likely that Fisk would have written such a pleasing article for SIR Tony...."


approx 9 days after writing that last piece, The Independent introduced a pay-for-view system for many of it's articles published on-line, in an effort I suppose to help shore up it's dire financial situation.

I have no idea if this system is still in operation or for how long it may have been in operation. I no longer read mainstream media on a regular basis, having learned my lessons regarding the truthfulness of such media-organs while watching the Iraq war unfold.

since writing that piece, The Independent has been sold by O'Reillly's Independent News Media Group,

Independent Sold: Now Going Free?
The UK’s tenth-placed national newspaper The Independent has been sold to Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev, as expected, for £1.

The O'Reilly-dominated Independent News Media group itself still has some financial problems, as well as some recent high-profile disagreements between the O'Reillys and another major shareholder Denis O'Brien

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