Anorak | Johann Hari’s Plagiarism Confession Will Make Him A Media Darling

Johann Hari’s Plagiarism Confession Will Make Him A Media Darling

by | 29th, June 2011

SOMEONE called Johann Hari, a columnist on the UK  Independent and a gadabout for various other up-there publications, has confessed to lifting quotes to beef up his celebrity interviews. If his star subject is not making much sense, Hari will pinch a better quote on the point-in-hand, truffled from the written work of the interviewee (uncredited), and pass it off as part of his own splendid cross-exam. Naughty!

Blogger scorn and fainting have greeted this confession: why, it’s even trending on Twitter as I write.

Hari’s problem, one of many I fear, may arise from what he thinks an interview is for. He imagines his interviews are ‘intellectual portraits’. Oh dear, I wish he’d spoken to Madame Arcati first. A newspaper ‘interview’ is nothing more than entertainment whether it’s in the Sun or Le Monde Diplomatique . The object of the exercise is to bring to vivid life an encounter of usually short duration. The good writer-interviewer, as the ruthless, opportunist carnivore he or she must be, will be alert for signs of weakness in the subject, ie for signs of entertainment material that makes a mockery of the PR or of the book/film/whatever that whorishly accounts for the interview in the first place.

If, say, a star interviewee-author coughs up blood and

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Posted: 29th, June 2011 | In: Key Posts Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink