Johann Hari’s apology is a “lesson in cynicism”

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.

Madame Arcati on Johann Hari’s admission that he plagiarised quotes for his interviews, and also used the pseudonym of “David Rose” to maliciously edit the Wikipedia page of other journalists he had fallen out with and attempted to edit his own to make it more positive. (For more background, see Jack of Kent’s blog post).

“A necessary outbreak of journalistic self-loathing”

Journalism may be the fourth estate and have a function in a proper democratic society but I don’t think I’m sharing any secrets when I say that there is nothing democratic about the way a newsroom, or a newspaper, works. The editor is always right, even when you suspect he’s actually wrong. This is because he can fire you – and may well if you whinge in such a way that it gets back to him. It’s like most other jobs, but more so.

So newspapers are an industry full of people who joined it because they were interested in questioning authority, but who have found that in order to be able to do so in the wider world they have to learn to keep a lid on it in the office.

Emma Hartley, in one of the best responses to the phone hacking scandal I’ve yet read.