Folks, I bring terrible news! There's trouble in Toyland. Our betters on the Left have fallen out with each other. Were all those conflict resolution classes for nothing ? Maybe the UN could intervene ?
Speaking personally, I don't bother tracking these Lefty spats. I adopt the same approach as Edward Woodward in The Wickerman:
May Morrison: Can I do anything for you, Sergeant?
Sergeant Howie: No, I doubt it, seeing you're all raving mad!
Still, this case really is particularly crazy delicious. Full story over here
, but executive summary is as follows: Johann Hari files a review of Nick Cohen's book 'What's Left ?' which starts by noting that Cohen's parents were Orwell fanboys, a childhood trauma which left Cohen desperate to sell himself as this century's Eric Blair. Au contrair
says Cohen: his parents were hard-core commies, and sure as hell weren't going to say anything nice about a sell-out like Orwell. Harry's Place posts the relevant excerpt from Cohen, with commentary to the effect that a reputation for making stuff up ought to be a career killer in journalism at which point Hari threatened to sue Harry's Place - but not Cohen.
OK, with me so far ? If not, here's a summary of the summary: Hari publishes an anecdote, Cohen denies it, HP points out a reputation for fantasy is bad, Hari threatens HP.
How does that work ? What ? Yes, Mr Pedant, I know repeating a libel is treated legally as the same as originating it, but Cohen is in the clear, while Hari wants to sue HP for what is, after all, a truism. Who thinks that a reputation for lying should be a plus point in journalism ? Come to think of it, why on earth would Hari imagine that any talk of journalists making stuff up would apply to him ? Does he have something he wants to tell us ?
As it happens, it's not the first time one of Hari's would-be killer anecdotes has been questioned
. Then again, that hardly matters with libel laws. No matter how unworthy the case, there's still plenty of scope for the plaintiff to bleed the defendant even without the tedium of going to trial. Hey, is it just me, or is there something really funny about a guy who poses as the Che Guevara of the MSM running off to Nanny Law to try and shut down his critics. Anarchy!
Meanwhile, the 'decent' Left are enraged at the thought of someone using the threat of vexatious legal actions to chill criticism. Two words: 'hate speech'. Hell, if Hari had only claimed to be a victim of homophobia, half the Left would have rallied to his cause even if he'd come out in favour of molesting children.
Oops - he already did that,
writing in favour of 'embracing despised minorities like gypsies and paedophiles
'. Hey, Conservatives get accused of not liking blacks, but at least we've
never bracketed them with Ian Huntley.
But if you think that's bad, you ain't seen nothing ye
I sat next to Ross from Oregon on the first day of the "conference". He was my age - 23 - and approximately twice my size. Picture the Incredible Hulk, but considerably less green and only moderately less angry, and you've got the idea. We made polite small talk about how evil blacks or gays or some other minority group are; he told me an unpublishably disgusting joke, and I chortled along and - what can I say? - I fancied him.....
He was a harder nut to crack, but at least he could (and did) drink an awful lot of vodka. I'll spare you the details: suffice it to say that Germany did successfully invade Poland.... there's something uniquely rewarding about bagging a homophobe.
OK, point one: if the MSM must publish this garbage, could we at least have one of the sub-editors pointing out that the verb for 'having sex with someone when they're incapable from narcotics' is not 'seduced'.
There's more to it than that though. Yes, it's technically true that there still remains the vestigial remnants of morality in the supposed 'decent' Left, but this case shows just how warped the mainstream Left is. Maybe Hari lies, maybe he doesn't, but what is certain is that we have a (still) well-respected mainstream Leftist writer who's whole ideology is based around the promotion of depravity and evil. Forget the quotations from Orwell and John Stuart Mill, is there no one there who'll say 'screw you Hari, we're not embracing people who rape kids, we're jailing them!' ? Nope - they're all tied up arguing over whether or not Cohen's mum was a commie or not.
Ross lays out the full scurvy truth
about Hari's love of creative writing.