Thursday, September 15, 2011

Johann Hari: As I said, scandal will do him no harm whatsoever

As I wrote on June 28, the fuss over columnist Johann Hari will do him no harm whatsoever. So I told you so. Many privately assured me that he would lose his job at the Independent but I knew better. Once you understand that newspaper editors are craven in the court of celebrity - even a micro-celebrity created by themselves or predecessors - it was rapidly deducible that a laundering formula would be found to retain Hari's services which did not include the words 'You're fired!'

What impresses me most is that Hari has clearly paid attention to Madame Arcati. In my piece (linked above), I lectured that a celeb interview is an 'encounter' not an 'intellectual portrait' as he self-servingly put it: so, in yesterday's apology, what word does he use to display his new wisdom and describe a celebrity interview? 'Encounter'. He learns fast. No wonder he's good at exams.

At heart is not Hari's lack of journalistic education - as his new editor claimed ludicrously last night on Newsnight - but his very low opinion of journalism. You don't stuff up your interviews with quotes from elsewhere and then pass them off as your own work unless you think that no-one will notice or care. You don't pinch someone's name to attack critics on Wikipedia unless you imagine colleagues are stupid. Ease of career passage has bequeathed Hari nothing but contempt and cynicism. His 'apology' is a lesson in cynicism.

Hari does not need yet more education. What he needs is to find a new career he can respect.

8 comments:

Rachel at Catalan Cooking said...

I agree Madame. I think he should go and do something else. Maybe Jemima Khan can take over as she is now editing at The Independent.

Jonathan King said...

A particularly intelligent assessment; I do love Madame.

The late Godfrey Winn said...

Satire aside, Hari gets away with making up quotes, conducting vendettas, lying, having some sort of mental breakdown, what else? I think you should explore his horoscope, Madame. Baloney demands baloney.

Green Goddess said...

Ouch.
To terribly paraphrase Dorothy Parker
"I don't care what is written about me as long as it isn't written by Johan Hari.

Ciaran Rehill said...

I support Hari (well, a bit, anyway) but am pissed off that censorship is growing on the Indy, what happened to "Independent Minds" I wonder?

Muggins said...

Good lord it's Winfrey God! Back from the nether world! How's Francis?

Hari - this story is getting darker and darker. Zome do zay he wrote some unpleasant porn online as well. If that can be proved....And the wiki-editing is extraordinary

Anonymous said...

And all mention of the Alt sex stories has been airbrushed out of history.....

Madame Arcati said...

Perhaps Madame should interview Mr Hari. Now, that would be interesting, no?