I have read and dismissed a lot of Johann Hari over the years. Not for any political reason other than much of his flowery, overly-ambitious copy goes against my very being.
However, it never came as any surprise to me that such writing would garner awards from across the world of journalism.
Well, from the world of journalism that puts so much stock in whether a former editor and a Channel 4 news presenter removed from what many would call the 'coal face' these days thinks of you after reading your stuff, with only a 250-word piece you've written blowing smoke up your own arse and a complete lack of any 'real' context for company, anyway.
I must admit to being hugely surprised at his actions, however, and I am attempting to stick to those which he has admitted himself were wrong, involving using previously spoken quotes in his own interview pieces.
I am also surprised at the amount of support he has had. Who the fuck thinks this is okay?
The Independent? Surely not.
Fuck how flowery he can make his copy, simply put yourself in this situation, if you can remember being anywhere but a completely self-facing, patronising place as most national newsrooms are these days.
Your reporter returns from an interview of some importance, yet when you ask how it went and what he or she got, they respond with a blank face and say '[whomever they interviewed] didn't say much, but not to worry as I'll whack in some quotes form their book or from other interviews and write well around it'.
What would you do?
Please do not tell me - while expecting me to keep a straight face - that your reaction would be to pat him on the head, tell him what a good job he was doing and endorse the cheeky little fucker's nomination for a prestigious award.