Not riveting stuff so far as I'm sure you'll agree, however it does get interesting, the left wing blog Harry's Place put up a post going into the debate and suggested that journalists who develop a reputation for making things up, as Hari clearly did, will find that it damages there careers.
I would link to the post or the follow up, but that is sadly impossible as they have been threatened with a libel suit by the fraudster It is a disgusting attempt to stifle criticism and it is noticeable that many others who have brought up Hari's penchant for fiction have not been sued. They include:
a) Documented his lies about taking ecstasy
b) Ditto about seeing a protester being shot dead in Genoa
c) Talking to the Iraqi public before the war when in fact he admitted elsewhere that he couldn't get anyone to talk him, well hardly anyone.
"I've never admitted, or even merely stated, any such thing - and note that that's an attributed statement, not a paraphrase. To advance his criticism, Johann has just made up the evidence.".
Counterpunch's Carol Lipton: "
"Joseph was "explaining that his trip had shocked him back to reality". Yet Hari never states to whom Joseph did the "explaining", or where. He recounts Joseph's story as if it were his own"
National Review's Jay Nordlinger:
Highlighted the similarities of Hari article to an old Stephen Glass piece who was later exposed as a fraud. Suggested The New Republic's editors had been worried about it.
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting:
a) Reported distortion by Hari about Palestinian infant mortality rates, Hari implied that they had risen dramtically under Israeli occupation when in fact they had fallen substantially. As they say "facts do not get in the way of Hari's need to tell a good story about alleged Jewish callousness.".
b) They add "For Hari, a gripping story trumps a truthful representation of the situation. He relates how the Islamic Jihad terrorist he interviews “described how he slashed the throats of four female Israeli soldiers in an illegal settlement in 2002, and he chuckled as he described how they cried for their mothers.”
However, the terrorist’s gruesome deed appears to be an idle boast; no such incident occurred. "
"My book What’s Left? is about deceit and the rich world’s left, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the most deceitful piece to be written about it in any journal in any country should appear in a magazine of the intellectual left produced in New York (“Choosing Sides,” by Johann Hari, Dissent, Summer 2007)."
All of these people have made accusations about Hari lying that are far clearer and unambiguous than anything that was said at Harry's Place. All of them have access to the funds needed to fight a frivolous libel action. Therein lies the difference, this is an attempt to bully critics into silence and it should not succeed.
Hari not only lies a lot he even lies about how he conducts libel suits on people who highlight his lying. He claimed that " I'm glad the site accepts that what they said has abolutely no evidence for it at all, and had to be withdrawn immediately". He knew full well that they removed the post because they could not afford to defend a frivolous suit. He even lies about his attitude towards libel laws claiming that "I've always defended the libel laws if they are used properly - to prevent people saying outrageously, howlingly untrue things about you.". In fact less than a month prior to this contretemps he had written that "The only legitimate restriction on free speech is where it involves a direct incitement to kill.". Sadly Harry's Place have made no attempt at causing Hari physical harm.
I'm not particularly worried about suffering a libel suit myself for the simple reason that there is a 99% probability that he is lying about that also.
Update: Dumbjon has also written about this, including Hari's boasting about getting people to drunk to refuse sex.