Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Hacks and hackers

I know some of my regular readers think I’ve been a little soft on Johann Hari. For what it’s worth, I think what he did was wrong, and I’ve never done it myself; but I’m probably guilty of other varieties of journalistic sleight of hand, and I’m pretty certain many of the hacks who joined in the digital lynching over the past week would also admit to having taken the occasional liberté with the actualité if you bought them a drink or two. In any case, if the latest revelations about the phone-hacking saga are accurate, Hari’s misdemeanours begin to look more like silly youthful indiscretions by comparison.

Anyway, in The National I’ve written a more considered piece about the ramifications of young Johann’s shenanigans. On reflection, I should perhaps have included Keats’s gag about truth and beauty, but that would have been on top of Capote and Eliot. Excessive quoting probably isn’t appropriate in this context.

PS: Some have taken exception, it seems. “Uric philosophy”, indeed.


Rog said...


I was quite relaxed about idiot but PR savvy celebs too stupid to set a password on their voicemail but this is quite something else. Rebekka Brooks should be chucked out with no payoff and criminal prosecutions started forthwith against both her and Coulson. Rupe has just made his biggest mistake in backing her yesterday.

It doesn't make Hari any less of a self-important rip-off merchant though.

Annie said...

Is this Rebekah "we paid the police" Brooks in the centre of the phone hacking? She's still there?

"Hacked Off" petition here... http://hackinginquiry.org/subs/?p=subscribe&id=1

Tim F said...

And Soham and 7/7 as well, it seems, Rog. Show them a depth and they'll plumb it.

Done, Annie.