The popular and rather egomaniacal columnist Johann Hari, who has admitted lifting quotes and bolstering his own profile on Wikipedia under a pseudonym while savaging his rivals, handed back his Orwell Prize for political reporting before it was officially rescinded. But it appears he kept the cheque! His apology in today's edition of the Independent may have satisfied his editors, though most of his journo colleagues are aghast. The Oxbridge chap, a wily wannabe Christopher Hitchens without Hitch's intellectual wattage , will go on leave from his newspaper for four months, apparently to take a little refresher course in journalism and ethics at his own expense. (Some say this will be at Columbia's prestigious J-school. But how did he get admitted so quickly?) And then , folks, he is expected back at the Independent. You have been warned. Same crass company as Stephen (Shattered) Glass and Jayson Blair , although The Independent has been remarkably soft on him.
here, there, everywhere.
The Orwell Prize and Political Quarterly has invited Hari to make a
donation in the amount of the 2000 pound sterling prize to the press freedom charity, English
PEN, of which George Orwell was a member, but no donation has yet been