July 30, 2015
”Lying plagiarist’ and ‘disgraced journalist; Johann Hari has remade himself as an addiction expert. Or has he?’
Hari, on the other hand, responded to his own serious wrongdoing with excuse-making, minimization, and dishonesty. Hari’s plagiarism was unique—when his interview subjects did not say what he wanted them to, he lifted quotes of theirs from other publications without attribution. He was also caught creating a fake online identity in order to make slanderous changes to his critics’ Wikipedia pages, and accused of making up an atrocity he reported on in the Central African Republic. Hari admitted to all but the last charge, was fired from the Independent—one of the UK’s largest newspapers—and stripped of a major journalism prize. (…)
Recovered addicts believe in forgiveness, but Hari still seems to be selling others’ ideas as his own. He believes he’s saying something innovative by suggesting that addiction is rooted in isolation, but every addict knows this in a way Hari will hopefully never comprehend. We also know things he appears to be ignorant about, like that opening up to an addict without clear boundaries is an invitation to disaster. And for millions of us, we know that the opposite of addiction is a sobriety gained through connection, acceptance, grace, and love, all of which are rooted in radical honesty.