Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The Inconvenient Truth

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‘Dark side of Dubai’ journalist Johann Hari made much of the reaction to his article in The Independent when he put up a piece on the influential Huffington Post recently, playing the ‘poor mouth’ and using the overblown language that caused Dubai blogger Chris Saul to coin the ‘transgression too far’ mini-meme that had so many of us howling with laughter at the pompous hack’s expense.

The Dubai authorities have decreed that the article must not be read says Hari in his post, written and placed carefully up on the Internet when he knew perfectly well that the ban was not a policy decision, was not total by any means and was clearly not an official act. All facts made clear in the blog post by The National’s Jen Gerson he links to as proof of his banning.

Any honest man would have waited to see what the outcome of this clearly confused and idiotic situation was before screaming ban. But not Hari.

He links to Jen’s post as ‘one of many bloggers’ who have been discussing the ban. In fact, only two blogs have discussed the ban – mine and Jen's. If anyone knows of any others please do let me know. Mine, of course – the post that first exposed the daft Du block - is critical of The Great Hari and so wouldn't get linked to.

Hari also makes the assertion in his Huff post that he has also been told that he would be arrested or turned away at the airport if he came back to Dubai.

Who told him that? Does he really think he figures so large in the scheme of things that his name’s on every national immigration computer ready for the day that he comes back to save us once again? Is that an official response to him or a warning from a credible source? Or just another empty assertion intended to demonstrate how damaging The Great Man’s Truth has been to this evil and morally corrupt state?

It’s an example of the way that Johann Hari treats the truth – anything that doesn’t fit his purpose is quietly dropped from his skewed and distorted accounts. And that includes balance. The inconvenient truths, that his piece was not banned as a policy decision, that the ban was not called for, let alone authorised at any government level, that the Dubai authorities have decreed nothing of the sort and that it is highly unlikely that anyone could be arsed to arrest him, are missing from his Huffington assertions. As is the very likely scenario - that 'authority' here would have been mildly horrified at Du for trying to block the piece at all.

But then there’d be no piece to demonstrate to the world that Johann Hari, scourge of the unjust and bearer of the torch of truth, is important enough to ban, would there?

And that, one suspects, would be a transgression too far...
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4 comments:

Nikhil said...

Honestly Alex, a bit sick of the phrase 'transgression too far'! But Hari's latest piece smacks of sensationalism, talk about grasping at straws...by using this to vindicate his initial report and conveniently adding in tabloid style that people have 'told him' he'd be arrested, is he not guilty of the very same 'What-Aboutery' he talked of?

Any home truths that might have struck a chord with me in his original article now feel like just silly coincidences to me; after lauding him at the start, now i too feel like he just doesn't get it, and his motives were hardly altruistic (which were already tarnished for me when he did that online radio interview, where he just seemed to be salivating over snippets from his article)

Seabee said...

I'm tempted to say that his excesses and cavalier attitude to the truth and balance will soon see him disappear - but sadly far too many people like the kind of rubbish he writes.

He's made a lucrative career out of this kind of tabloid nonsense, and I don't blame him for going for fame and fortune. What disturbs me more is that editors are prepared to run his stuff without any kind of verification of his claims. Wild personal opinions are one thing but when a 'journalist' includes what are claimed as facts they must be checked.

Jen Gerson said...

Cheers.

whiterabbitpress said...

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2006/11/11/uae-workers-abused-construction-boom

http://www.hrw.org/node/83111

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/05/18/uae-exploited-workers-building-island-happiness

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