Pages

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Who is David Rose?


Addendum:

In September 2011, the columnist Johann Hari admitted to being "David Rose", an internet alias he had used in an systemic exercise over many years to dishonestly promote his own reputation and to maliciously smear those with whom he disagreed. I write about this admission, and the role of the post below, here and here.

I have now been asked by some people with the name "David Rose" to make it clear to anyone coming across this blogpost (by Google or otherwise) that the post below does not relate to anyone actually named David Rose. In particular, I am happy to point out that "David Rose" is not the David Rose who is Assistant News Editor of The Times, or the David Rose, formerly of the Guardian, Observer and BBC, and who currently writes for the Mail on Sunday and Vanity Fair, or the David Rose currently studying at Cambridge University. Nor is it any of the many other David Roses identified below.

However, I have kept the references to these David Roses below, as they are part of the fascinating story which unfolds in the post and then in the comments; for this post and the comments comprise the extraordinary story of the unmasking of "David Rose".




My friend Nick Cohen wrote an intriguing diary at this week's Spectator. It is now online and worth reading in full.

It features a curious figure called 'David r from Meth Productions’ - who is introduced as follows:

I learned that Johann Hari was a journalist who was better at attention-seeking than truth-telling when a small American journal asked me to reply to his review of What’s Left, a book of mine on the dark forces in liberal-left politics. I looked at it and was astonished. It was not that he disliked my ideas — he was entitled to disagree — but that he had attacked a book I had not written. He pretended that I believed the West had been right to support Saddam Hussein while he was gassing the Kurds when I had said the opposite. He made up stories about my parents, good people he had never met, to show me in a bad light. Every second paragraph contained a howler. Well, I thought, get a book wrong and the text will confound you. I typed out the passages that proved that he was at best an incompetent reviewer and filed my reply. ‘Get out of that,’ I muttered as I hit the send button.

I thought no more about it until I looked at my entry on Wikipedia. As well as learning that I was a probable alcoholic, a hypocrite and a supporter of Sarah Palin, I noticed that all reviews of my work were missing except Hari’s effort. Far from saying that he had made wild allegations and I had responded by quoting from the book, a writer working under the pseudonym ‘David r from Meth Productions’ suggested that I had made wild allegations while Hari ‘had offered quotes from Cohen which he argued backed up his claims’.



Cohen adds that Cristina Odone was also subjected to this "David r":

She was a ‘homophobe’ and an ‘anti-Semite’, the site alleged, and such a disastrous journalist that the Catholic Herald had fired her. Her husband, Edward Lucas, went online to defend her reputation, but ‘David r from Meth Productions’ tried to stop him. Mr ‘r’ gave the same treatment to Francis Wheen, Andrew Roberts and Niall Ferguson after they had spats with Hari. It didn’t stop there. Lucas noticed that anonymous editors had inserted Hari’s views on a wide range of people and issues into the relevant Wikipedia pages, while Hari himself had a glowing Wikipedia profile — until the scandal broke, that is — much of it written by ‘David r’.

Cohen then concludes:

Because Wikipedia lets contributors write anonymously, it cannot tell its readers if ‘David r’ is Johann Hari, or a fan of Hari’s with detailed knowledge of his life, or someone with an interest in promoting his career. But just as the effect of Hari’s phoney interviews was to make it seem that he elicited quotes no other journalist could match, so the effect of Wikipedia is to make him seem one of the essential writers of our times. In truth he disgraced himself because he was an ambitious man who might have been a good journalist, but yearned to be a great one, and so tried to summon a talent he could never possess by bragging and scheming.


So who could this "David r" be?

Well here Sourcewatch helps us, for there is a "Talk Page" about some of the edits, which makes very interesting reading.

David tells us:

I proposed the edits, and no, I am not Johann Hari. I know him a bit, we were at university together, and I have done some work on his website. You can e-mail me at methuselahproductions@hotmail.com


He assures us about a libel threat:

I mentioned litigation only to shock you into realsing that your words have consequences; I also made it clear that Johann is a free speech nut and would never sue anyone.


It is all very unfair:

Johann writes almost entirely on left-wing issues from a left-wing perspective. Check out his website. Your impugning of his integrity will be used, I suspect, mainly by Zionist groups and anti-environmentalists in their mailing lists to undermine his writing about Palestine and climate change. (The Private Eye attack began after Johann attacked their homophobia). It's frustrating to see a decent guy who works hard for left-wing causes being pulled down by his own side (using right-wing allegations!) because they disagreed with him on one issue.


The comparison with Jayson Blair is dismissed:

About Jayson Blair. You cannot compare a reporter who fabricated stories, pretended to be places he wasn't etc, to a reporter who repeated a very widely circulated and reported story (the Iraq Pastor thing) which then turned out to be wrong and was corrected when he knew about it. They are not the same thing, and it's bizarre to claim they are.

Anywaya, you have shown you are honourable people and keep up the good work on (bad) journalists



Then on 25 January 2005, one of the Wikipedia editors notices something odd about the IP address of David:

DavidR, you have a curious IP address:

IP: 217.118.112.0/20
descr: Interoute Telecommunications (UK) Ltd
origin: AS8928
notify: hostmaster@interoute.net
mnt-by: INTEROUTE-MNTNR
changed: george@interoute.net 20040211
source: RIPE
person: Franc Tundidor
address: Independent News & Media
address: Independent House
address: 191 Marsh Wall
address: London
address: E14 9RS
address: UK

Now, you wouldnt happen to be working at the Independent, would you? So you too should be "keep up the good work on (bad) journalists" (as you stated above).



But David responds:

Yes, I do shifts as a sub at the Indie sometimes (Johann got me this shiftwork, I told you up front he is a friend of mine) - you can all me on the switchboard, call the subs' desk on 02070052000 and ask for David Rose. And, yes, I do watch out for bad journos.


That would explain the IP address.

We also have his surname. His name is David Rose.

There is then a lengthy passage which includes the following:

You disagree with Johann on Iraq. I disagree with him too, as anybody who knows us or works in this office will tell you.

The difference is you accuse him of being a liar with no evidence.



So this David Rose is a Cambridge friend of Hari, and at that time he works at the Independent as a sub on shifts. He is also well-known in the office for his disagreements with Hari.

David Rose is also something to do with Methuselah Productions. It is used as his hotmail address and (in abbreviated form) his Wikipedia address. Unfortunately whatever productions Methuselah Productions produced were not successful, as it has no easily identifiable trace on internet.


Intrigued, I asked another friend of mine - Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads what he could find. He is very good on internet searches and this sort of thing.

[EDIT 20/9/2011 text and edits removed - explanation and background here.]

The email address also pops up for this comment:

I have also worked at the Spectator, Reuters and CNN's website doing subbing. What does that reveal? It's extraordinary that confronted with actual facts, you guys scramble like hyenas for some scrap of personal information to use against me, even going to the point of retreiving sick porn from the web. Whatever makes you feel better...


So the author of this comment is at least that he is aware of some porn connection to the email address. It, of course, does not prove that he wrote it or was in any way aware of it in any detail.

More importantly for our purposes, David Rose tells us more of his subbing career. Not only has he done shifts for the Independent, he also has worked for Spectator, Reuters, and CNN.


Back at Wikipedia, David Rose now has his own user page.

One theme of the page is David's defence of Hari against his critics. For example:

I'll tell you something else that's generally frowned on in wikipedia: inserting lies into entries, blatantly trying to impose your POV on entries of people you hate, imposing your own political bias, insulting real people as sockpuppets...


The last entry of David on that user page is 12 March 2007. It is just after he announces he has emailed something to Hari.


So far, this has been a bit one-sided. It is all about David Rose and the connections he claims with Hari. Nothing so far even shows that Hari is even aware of his devoted champion. David Rose could be some Walter Mitty pretending to know a famous journalist.

But then there is this post by Johann Hari, hosted on his own website.

Referring to the confrontational comments threads which I have quoted above, Hari states:

A friend has just e-mailed me a link to the comments section of the 'Daily Ablution', a blog by right-wing writer Scott Burgess. It's quite amusing. Check it out - it's the first comments box on the page.

Burgess is very fond of writing to left-wing newspapers and demanding corrections in print. Daily journalism written to tight deadlines inevitably involves errors - I make them myself, like everyone else - and all sorts of gadflies can be helpful in pointing them out, even when they have a pretty ugly agendas like Burgess. That's why I'm grateful to him for pointing out an error I made in citing Louis Emmanuel, the hurricane expert, a few weeks ago, for example. As soon as I found out about it I posted a correction, and thanks to him I won't make that mistake again.

But what's so funny is that when Burgess' own factual errors - real whoppers, like citing scientists who say exactly the opposite of what he claims, part of his total illiteracy on the question of global warming - were exposed by Alex Higgins on this website, Burgess posted no corrections. Nothing. Recently David Rose has been writing in his comments box, asking how to contact Burgess' readers' editor to request a correction.

And Burgess has been... totally silent. It has been left to barely-literate posters in his comments box to respond, accusing people like David with real scientific knowledge (a starred first from a degree speicalising in environmental science at Cambridge, and extensive work in Antarctica observing the effects of global warming) of being "stupid" and "twerps."

David is quite right when he says, "If Scott doesn't respond to [Alex Higgins'] fair and accurate critique, then I'm afraid his ability to fact-check and critique others is simply shot to pieces."

Next time you read him trying to fact-check a liberal, remember that he has been proven to have no respect for facts - none - himself.



So David is not just a Cambridge friend and colleague of Hari who has worked at a number of great newspapers as a sub-editor on shifts, he also has a "starred first" from Cambridge and has worked extensively in Antarctica observing the effects of global warming.

It may well be that the "Wikipedia" David Rose is not the same as the "global warming commenter" David Rose. We only have circumstantial evidence. But it is clear that Hari knows at least the latter and that he knows Hari.

In view of the comments of Nick Cohen in the Spectator this week, it would be fascinating to know what this David Rose is up to now. As Hari may still be in touch with him, I have tweeted him to see if he can also put me in touch with his friend David Rose.

At the time of writing, Hari has not got back to me.





(Many thanks to Nick Cohen, Tim Ireland, Guy Walters, and Jeremy Duns in respect of this post. However, this post is entirely my responsibility.)



COMMENTS MODERATION

No purely anonymous comments will be published; always use a name for ease of reference by other commenters. No defmatory comments wil be published.

144 comments:

Tom said...

Though I happen to think Cohen is a prime rim, this Rose bloke is out of line without a shadow of a doubt.

Guy said...

The user "David r from meth productions" has also been in trouble for edits to Richard Littlejohn's article. This annoys me: it pains me to have to be fair to someone like Littlejohn, who I consider one of the nastiest people in journalism.

If anyone has more information re abuse of Wikipedia by this individual they are welcome to contact me privately or at . This is not acceptable at all.

John S said...

Surely it should be easy enough to discover the graduation lists for King's Cambridge around 2000-2001. Especially as we know the subject and grade.

It does seem odd that an environmental science star would be subbing at the Indy, but stranger things have happened.

If you check David r's edit history on Wikipedia, you'll see some purely factual edits from 2006 about Johann Hari's old school, John Lyon School. Perhaps they were schoolmates too.

You could also familiarize yourselves with the twist in the plot to the film 'Fight Club'.

Venex def Esse said...

Very interesting. Some of that was quite unimagined!

It's interesting that this line

"I mentioned litigation only to shock you into realsing that your words have consequences; I also made it clear that Johann is a free speech nut and would never sue anyone."

would appear not to tally entirely with truth.

Hari DID threaten to sue a blog (on which at one time he had previously been an author, before his political opinions, especially vis a vis Iraq, radically changed), Harry's Place, in 2007, after it published a piece accusing him (with textual evidence - and it is related to Hari's review of Nick Cohen's book on Orwell) of "making things up"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2007/oct/11/bloggersturnbritainslibell

The piece that so provoked Hari's ire was captured before the blog took it down, and can still be seen at http://bp1.blogger.com/_MUXJsZn4hVY/Rq8qeLC4R8I/AAAAAAAAAHc/2OBvYLhHTqg/s1600-h/hp.jpg

It's hard, four years later, to do anything but agree profusely with the conclusion of the deleted Harry's Place post

"If you aspire to be a serious academic commentator or non-tabloid journalist, a reputation for making things up should spell career death"

As for incest porn....blimey.

Jennie Kermode said...

I would need more Rose text to do a full linguistic analysis, but even on the basis of these snippets I can tell you that his prose and Hari's have an unusual number of features in common.

It may also be worth noting that Hari does not have David Rose listed as a friend on Facebook - odd given that his list of friends is lengthy, and that one would think an ambitious young journalist so proud of their association would value that visible connection.

Jeremy Duns said...

It may be worth noting that in the link to Sourcewatch, the self-identified David Rose stated in 2005 that he is Johann Hari's webmaster: 'What do you mean, why do I know his work? Because he's my mate and I put all his articles on his website for him. Your cheap insiuations are a bit... cheap.'

Presumably, then, Johann Hari would be able to confirm whether the David Rose he wrote about who is a friend of his, got a starred first from Cambridge and worked as a sub-editor at The Independent, The Spectator and elsewhere is the same as the David Rose who claims to be a friend of his, knew him at Cambridge, worked as a sub-editor at The Independent and in 2005 claimed to be his webmaster. And whether they are the same man or two different men, Hari knows one of them, so he can presumably provide contact details for him so someone can call him to ask him about this and clear it all up...

Oliver said...

When I was at Cambridge (some times ago) I don't believe there was a part II natural sciences option that one could describe as "specialising in environmental science" and this http://www.cam.ac.uk/about/natscitripos/ps/p2/ would tend to suggest there still isn't. There's a climate change course in Part II Geological Sciences, but environmental science is not one of the 5 "cores" to part II https://www.esc.cam.ac.uk/esc/files/Department/teaching/Part%20II%20Guide%202010-11.pdf
and doesn't seem to figure strongly in third year Geography syllabus either
http://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/prospectus/thirdyear.html

Bob said...

Anyone rung the Indy subs desk and asked for David Rose?

bensix said...

Hari seems to have a lot of quite devoted friends...

http://unspeak.net/postmodernists/#comment-4049

http://www.atangledweb.org/?p=3119#comment-61427

Anonymous said...

It sounds like David Rose would have had some link to the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.

Perhaps it's the David Rose listed here http://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/people/owens/

Andy

c98a883a-aa5c-11e0-8753-000bcdca4d7a said...

Dave Rose and Hari have a problem typing the letter 't' in the right order. Why? I venture it is because they are both passionate highly strung people.

Any closer symbiosis is not really provable and not desirable to prove in my mind. David Rose could be a PhD thesis for someone who loves travelling through links (maybe I get a double first in that? ; I am following this too closely for sanity). But just in case it matters (I can always claim I have higher functioning aspergers if I get sued) the fact the DaveR made mention of Rita Hayworth's hairline in 2006 and Johann used Dave's research on that subject in 2008 must mean they are far closer than they seem to say about each other ;)

Andrew Richards said...

David Rose could quite easily be a journalist -

A simple google search turns up a David Rose who writes for the Times

http://journalisted.com/david-rose-1

while a David Rose is referred to as a "superb digger" in a 2003 Evening Standard piece re the Observer and Iraq (somewhat amusingly, the piece below is titled "Moral vacuum at the Indy"

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-3125107-the-observer-has-chosen-war.do

and a David Rose has also written in the not-quite-so-left-wing Daily Mail - in this article, writing on the environment but toeing a very Daily Mail line, which doesn't tally with the wikipedia quotes from above

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1235395/SPECIAL-INVESTIGATION-Climate-change-emails-row-deepens--Russians-admit-DID-send-them.html

The King of Wrong said...

Well, we don't know the subject or the college for certain - I'd guess Natural Sciences, and King's seems plausible, but the Reporter class lists are organised by subject anyway.

I don't have class lists before 2003, and none of them to hand - and sadly they're not online either.

As John S says, it should be relatively simple. It only takes a couple of hours to find someone's subject and grade from a name, and we have more information than that in this blog post...

Dr Aust said...

There may be quite a few David Roses around, as there appears to be one that has written for the Guardian, and also a 'David Rose' that has written for the Daily Mail. This last one is excoriated by George Monbiot here, in an article which seems to suggest Rose (Guardian) and Rose (Mail) may be one and the same.

I am confused.

A thought - I wonder if one or other of the Roses (if more than one) might be an identity some newspapers use to mean:

'contributor (or contributors) who do/es not wish to be identified by name, so we will be using this generic nom de plume.'

A bit like, even, the letters the civil service sends out with the signature of a fictitious official on them.

Nemesis said...

Ok, so according to The Reporter (issue of 07/07/2002), a "Rose, David Gareth" graduated from Trinity College in 2002.

Stephen Wigmore said...

Call me a bit naive. But doesn't this all seem a bit superfluous.

Johann Hari has already admitted in print to being a lying bastard.

Surely going to all this effort just to possibly prove he's a bit more of a lying bastard is rather unnecessary at this juncture.

Nemesis said...

A "David Gareth Rose" graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2002.

NewShoot said...

So he's a sub writing under the name of Rose - perhaps sub rosa ;-)

Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware that there was an "Environmental Science" tripos at Cambridge.

Malefract said...

As someone at Cambridge myself (and sorry if this has already been brought up): I think it would be very easy to check the existence of a David Rose by checking past class lists, particularly if he got a starred first. Cambridge publishes and archives all exam results, although it's only since 2009 that they've been put up on the web (by students).

Jess The Dog said...

There is a David Rose of the Guardian, who looks like the kind of person Mr Hari would like to be.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/davidrose

Jeremy Duns said...

Dr Aust, that's the same David Rose: he has written for Vanity Fair, The Observer and The Mail: http://www.vanityfair.com/contributors/david-rose As he's been a journalist since 1981 I doubt he is obsessively tracking Johann Hari's career and has made over 900 edits to Wikipedia in support of Hari and his friends and accusing Hari's critics. But who knows - stranger things have occurred...

I should also say that I phoned the number David Rose gave in the above-mentioned 2005 online conversation earlier today. As that was 6 years ago, I wasn't expecting much. Someone picked up the phone after a few rings and said: 'Hello, Dave here'.
'Is that David Rose?' I asked.
'No.'
'Oh. Can I speak to David Rose, please?'
'Sorry, nobody called that works here.'
'Can I ask who I'm speaking to.'
(Curtly): 'No. Goodbye.'
And he hung up on me.

I've also emailed methadoneproductions@hotmail.com but had no response yet.

Jack of Kent said...

From an anonymous Cambridge graduate student. NONE OF THESE SHOULD BE NECESSARILY CONNECTED TO DAVID ROSE(S) MENTIONED IN THE POST ABOVE.

All of this is publicly available.

The official notices of Cambridge University (including degree confirmations of all the undergraduates who are graduating) are published in a book known as "The Reporter".

Here's the Reporter graduation list for the year Hari graduated, you can see that he was a member of Kings and that his degree was confirmed in July 2001 http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter/2000-01/weekly/5852/37.html There was no David Rose in Hari's year across the whole university.

I've searched two years behind and two years ahead of him in order to find any overlap with a David Rose.

Academic year 1998-9 http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter/1998-99/weekly/5781/24.html No David Rose

Academic year 1999-2000 http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter/1999-2000/weekly/5816/25.html No David Rose

Academic year 2001-02 http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/cam-only/reporter/2001-02/weekly/5891/s1.html A David Gareth Rose graduated from Trinity in this year. I can't find any more information out about this person as no subject information is retained. There is also a Matthew David Rose who graduated from Christ's.

Academic year 2002-03 http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/cam-only/reporter/2002-03/weekly/5930/s5.html An Andrew David Rose graduated in this year from Churchill.

tyrell said...

http://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/people/owens/

This Cambridge environmental scientist has a David Rose listed among students she supervises. Interestingly he's the only one of four without a link to a biog page.

I guess it's a more common name than expected.

John S said...

Here's something curious.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/higher/degree-classification-have-the-desmond-and-vorderman-had-their-day-516620.html

Skip to the voxes at the end of on degree classification in, of all places, The Independent. There's a David Rose there...graduated from Cambridge in 2002. Not a double first though.

Charles Barry said...

From the archives of Wikipedia's 'Talk:Johann_Hari':

Disputed Photo
"This is a dispute regarding whether this image is appropriate for inclusion in the body of the Johann Hari article. The previously involved editors may offer more details below, but basically, the dispute is this:
*Felix-felix would like to include the picture. He thinks that it is a good illustration of the subject, Johann Hari, pursuing his profession (journalism), and would therefore be a positive addition to the article.
...
*David r [from meth productions] opposes the use of the image at issue. Dave reports that Hari has confirmed to him in e-mail that (1) the picture isn't him, and (2) the clothes in the picture aren't his. In addition to believing that the picture isn't Hari, Dave also opposes the picture because Dave believes the picture to be unflattering. Dave has offered for Felix or I to e-mail Hari and confirm the e-mails, but we believe him."

Fascinatingly intimate relationship this David Rose and Johann Hari have...

Thomas Atcheson said...

If you want to talk to the David Rose at the Times, you could just tweet him @DRoseTimes

Jennie Kermode said...

Initially I considered seeing what 'David Rose' might reveal as an anagram, but by the time I'd savored all the possibilities I feared that might be poorly advised or that, after all, their odd similarities could be due to shared software or avid eds in the office. I still find the parallel way their work varies odd, however. It's a cryptic situation.

Morus said...

There's a David Rose who is studying Climate Change in a preparatory year of aPhD at Cambridge, cited in this school newsletter (with a photo too) on p16

http://www.twycrosshouseschool.org.uk/images/3363%20TT%20Spring%20Aut%2010%20lr.pdf

That would match the Cambridge University Geography dept website, and the description of his talents by Hari.

Jeremy Duns said...

Regarding the plagiarism charges, Hari recently defended himself on his blog:

'I called round a few other interviewers for British newspapers and they said what I did was normal practice and they had done it themselves from time to time.'

On Twitter, I've asked several journalists - some of them friends of Hari - if they do this and they've all said no. But perhaps his friend David Rose, who he got a job at The Independent, has done it? I think if he has, he should now come forward and offer Hari some support, by sticking his neck out and standing up and declaring, Spartacus-style: 'I'm Johann Hari!'

Morus said...

David Rose at the Times has never been a shift sub-editor at the Indy, and having got drunk with him at a party once, I'd say the chances of him being a lifelong defender of Johann Hari's online reputation are not very high...

Morus said...

"David Rose graduated with a 2:1 in Philosophy from Cambridge in 2002"

From the Independent...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/higher/degree-classification-have-the-desmond-and-vorderman-had-their-day-516620.html

That's either the Trinity one or the Christs one, and I'd assume the former.

Willard Foxton said...

I have just looked through Gorkana, a PR database of Journalist & newspaper employees for any "David Roses" to try to eliminate some of the false possibles.

There are four David Roses who have worked in British newspaper journalism in the last ten years.

Mail on Sunday/Vanity Fair David Rose (Started at Time Out in 1981 - too old to be Hari-Rose)

Times David Rose (Started at the Times on a grad scheme in 2004; but has denied being the Hari-Rose on twitter)

Growthwire David Rose (30 year career in financial journalism; too old to be Hari-Rose)

Surrey Advertiser Editor in Chief David Rose: Seems to have worked entire career at Surrey advertiser, articles go back more than 10 years, so unlikely to be Hari-Rose. No evidence of having worked at other papers, either.

It's not unheard of for subs & shiftworkers not to go on Gorkana, but it's unusual, especially if they work at several organisations.

Also, while looking, I noticed the number given by Rose for the Indy sub desk is in fact wrong; it's the number for the reception desk you go through to the newsroom on. The subs desk has a different extension (73). You'd think an Indy sub would know that.

I'd conclude there's not been a sub called David Rose (or Tyler Durden) at the Independent in the last ten years - unless he has been moonlighting at the Surrey Advertiser the whole time.

c98a883a-aa5c-11e0-8753-000bcdca4d7a said...

Jennie Kermode

I can understand your reticence in venturing too far in what you have seen in your professional opinion, but gives us the features! I am a lavatory cleaner by day but amateur linguist by night and I have come up with this brief, but surely incomplete list of a concordance between Dave r's user thread and Johann Hari's (un-kelnered) blog site (means nowt obviously)

teh (the)

occassional

tehre (there)

ad infinitum

should be ashamed

puerile

impeccably

As it happens

by far

otehr

twnety

Ross said...

Bensix- It's my comment that you link to at the blog "A Tangled Web" commenting on "Niko" another online identity that was obsessed with defending Johann Hari.

I had been racking my brain trying to recall the other Hari promoting online presence so thanks for that.

tyrell said...

That would probably be the supervised student mentioned here.

http://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/people/owens/

He looks a tad young to be an undergrad contemporary of Hari, although i am terrible at judging ages (and Hari himself looks like an adolescent).

Triggage said...

The greatesttrick David Rose ever performed was convincing people that he didn't exist. Journalists would tell tales of him to their children, to them he was the real deal, a boogeyman. Do i believe in him? Yes, he is the only thing that scares me.

Gordie said...

I note the trouble user David R has caused on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:David_r_from_meth_productions Starting with: You have been blocked for persisting with personal attacks at Talk:Johann Hari. in October 2006.

Matt Wardman said...

>Johann Hari has already admitted in print to being a lying bastard.

>Surely going to all this effort just to possibly prove he's a bit more of a lying bastard is rather unnecessary at this juncture.

There of plenty of constituencies out there still believing the "I made a little mistake and it really doesn't matter" line.

David Rose said...

My name is David Rose, I'm a journalist and I was at Cambridge University at the same time as Johann Hari. But I am not the David Rose that you are looking for.

I work for The Times, where I am an Assistant News Editor. I graduated in 2002 with a 2.1 in Philosophy from Trinity College, and my middle name is Gareth. Hence I am the David Gareth Rose that others have cited in the comments thread here. I am on twitter as @DRoseTimes. But I repeat, I am not the David Rose that you are looking for.

My only connection with Johann Hari is that I once had a minor part in a play that he directed at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge, which was fun but not something I wish to dwell on. I have had no contact with Johann since and certainly never edited Wikipedia entries or lobbied others on his behalf.

I am aware of several other people working in journalism who are also called David Rose - there is a freelance write who has contributed to the Observer, Vanity Fair, Mail on Sunday and has written a book on Guantanamo Bay. There is another who works on the London Review of Books, an ITN correspondent and more besides.

So there are a few of us who bear the same name. By coincidence I was at university the same time as Johann Hari and met him there. But I am not responsible for the comments above, and have never worked as a subeditor for the Independent. It was disturbing to come across this thread (via Twitter) today but I repeat: I am not the David Rose you are looking for and I hope this comment helps clear things up.

Abs said...

All very intriguing....There is no Methuselah Productions listed at Companies House either.

SadButMadLad said...

The real David Rose has popped up and said that he is not connected to Johann. It's surprising that the "fake" David Rose still hasn't popped up here to confim his identify to lambast JoK for posting "potentially libelous" comments about Johann. Considering he backs up Johann on Wiki so much I would expect him to pop up here too. He probably has a Google Alert on Johann so that he can track down all the anti-Johann comments and correct them.

Morus said...

That Wikipedia firestorm threw up a couple of nuggets

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Johann_Hari/Archive_3#Request_for_Comment:_Disputed_Photo

In the section NEUTRALITY (3rd para starting) 'Re Wheen', DavidR is quoted as saying:

"It is not hearsay to say Wheen wrote the entry; it has been confirmed to me in e-mail by Ian Hislop, editor of the Eye."

Now I know from personal experience that it's not all that easy to get hold of Mr Hislop - this lowly sub on the Indy is getting the lowdown on Wheen writing nasty things in Wikipedia confirmed personally by the editor of Private Eye!

FelixFelix also accuses DavidR of being another Hari-sockpuppet "Niko", but before I could research it, a better and faster blogger got there yesterday:

http://fountain.blogspot.com/2011/07/more-on-johann-haris-sock-puppet.html

If I don't see a birth certificate by the end of today...

English Electric said...

So Johann got 'David' a job at the Indie? I thought he was opposed to nepotism:

http://www.johannhari.com/2009/01/13/it-s-time-to-end-the-work-experience-scam

Morus1516 said...

Just read DavidR's thing on getting the email from Hislop, and it seems Hislop confirmed that the 'entry' was by Wheen.

I read this as being a Wikipedia 'entry', but it seems (from context) that Hislop was confirming that Wheen had written an 'entry' in an anonymous Private Eye article (later cited on Wikipedia), and that is what's being confirmed by Hislop in his email.

Apologies for confusion - an anonymous "entry" to me means Wikipedia, and I didn't realise it could equally refer (as I think it does) to an anonymous entry in Private Eye.

David T said...

David Rose used to email me too.

Johann did threaten to sue me

Jack of Kent said...

Now this is an interesting article.

http://www.slate.com/id/2175579

Neuroskeptic said...

Time for "an academic perspective".

Were it true that even back in 2006, David Rose has "extensive work in Antarctica observing the effects of global warming"

- we would expect him to have published this work at some point. It would be very unlikely for an academic to do "extensive" work and not publish it within 5 years.

It would be very bad for their career, which is of course a "publish or perish" environment.

I've searched Google Scholar for any papers by D Rose mentioning "Antarctica", "Antarctic", "Climate", "Warming".

I found one matching these criteria: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/329/5998/1513.short#aff-1 It lists a "D Rose" from Germany. However further digging reveals that she is Diana Rose.

Likewise there's a paper by Dennis Rose.

There's a David Rose magazine article (not in a scientific journal) here, but the author seems most unlikely to be our David Rose as he's an American Business & Management student from Pennsylvania.

Matt Wardman said...

>The real David Rose has popped up and said that he is not connected to Johann.

*a* real David Rose.

There could be another one, or - more probably (no one can call it for sure) - someone may have borrowed the name of an acquaintance.

Anyhoo, I suggest we call the entity which is trolling for Hari 'metahari' (with apologies to sexy female spies).

Mr Eugenides said...

I think the easiest way to clear all this up would be for Johann Hari to interview David Rose. That would get us to the intellectual truth behind the issue.

Neuroskeptic said...

As I see it, the only known academic link to a yet-to-be-accounted-for David Rose is the PhD student of Professor Susan Owens: http://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/people/owens/

However, Prof Owens seems to have no interest in Antarctic work and based on her academic biography, it sounds like she is more of a theoretician, not someone who does field work.

It's not inconceivable that someone could go from doing field work to doing a more theoretical PhD.

Neuroskeptic said...

P.S. Also, bear in mind that even if David Rose had left academia and didn't bother to publish the work, science is collaborative. Someone else involved in the work would have published it by now. If he'd contributed to the research, it would be standard to list him as an author, even if he didn't actually write the paper.

Neuroskeptic said...

Oh and "just one more thing".

I have now read all of the gay porn story. I read gay porn, so you don't have to, thank me later.

In the story, the "little brother" who "learned to be a whore" is called, er, Nick.

His surname is not however mentioned.

Tim Allon said...

Around four years ago, a character called "Nero", or something like that, was trawling the internet for criticism of Hari, and sycophantically defending him. There were accusations at the time, particularly at the now-defunct Drink Soaked Trots blog, that "Nero" was Hari's sockpuppet.

I contacted Hari by e-mail to find out if this was the case, and he strenuously denied that he and "Nero" were the same person. In fact, Hari even got "Nero" to drop me a line to confirm that they were distinct indiduals. He signed himself "David Rose", and wrote from a methuselahproductions address.

Many of the details about "Rose" mentioned here are as I remember, although I recall him being an elderly fan of Hari's. Sadly, I no longer have the e-mails from Hari and "Rose", as Hotmail deletes inactive accounts.

I was unconvinced that Hari and "David Rose" were different individuals, and so when the story of Hari's plagiarism broke I was unsurprised.

However, as Hari was so helpful in putting me in touch with Rose, perhaps he'll do the same for you, as I'm sure both he and "David Rose" will be keen to clear this matter up once and for all.

Anonymous said...

Another lead that might be worth considering: on the Sourcewatch talk thread, David R says he disagreed with Hari over his support for the Iraq war, adding that he is a member of the AWL. For the uninitiated: that's the Alliance for Workers' Liberty, a small Trotskyist group. I found no mention of a David Rose in any of their web publications (other than occasional links to the aforementioned older freelancer who written a book about Guantanamo, who is definitely not David R of Methusaleh). But the AWL is not a large organisation: small enough that someone out there would know if there was a David Rose in that group at Cambridge, indeed I think it would be pretty easy to determine if there is a David Rose in the membership.
SG

Archie Valparaiso said...

I've found some further evidence/shoring-up of the webmaster explanation/excuse that's mentioned above in a blog entry on Hari's own site, from the day he disabled comments there in 2005:

Apologies to all the interesting and lovely people who have posted comments on this website for the past year, but my friend Dave (who I own a million thanks to) feels he doesn't have the time or energy to monitor the comments here any more. (His PhD is looming....)

Wikipedia edits by a certain "DaveR" also look very much like being our Rose by any other name - despite David R having berated people for calling him Dave.

Ross said...

Tim Allon's post clearly demonstrates that even Hari accepts that Niko and David Rose are the same person.

In Bensix's link to Unspeak, Niko claims that "Alex H" will vouch for his identity.

Alex H is Alex Higgins (not the snooker player) who is commenting in the same thread.

He also used to defend Hari vigourously but was real and wasn't sneaky about it.

He is listed as one of Johann Hari's Facebook friends so perhaps he could put someone in touch with David Rose.

splinteredsunrise said...

Following on from SG above, I have some knowledge of the Alliance for Workers Liberty, and know several people who are members. It's not a very big organisation, perhaps 100 people or so.

Interestingly, nobody seems to have heard of an AWL member or even close supporter named David Rose. Or Tyler Durden, for that matter.

However, I believe Hari has spoken at at least one AWL event.

Nemesis said...

Tim Allon,

check whether the email from David Rose's methusaleh @ hotmail account has an X-Originating-IP: header ... might be interesting

Joe M. said...

Dave R certainly likes editing Hari's Wikipedia page and Hari-related topics.

http://tinyurl.com/daverandhari

Not so much editing on non-Hari topics like, say, Antarctica.

On Hari's Twitter page he gives a shout out to Glenn Greenwald a man with his own sock puppet history...

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/187585.php

Funny that.

Chris said...

Curiouser and curiouser. The blogpost Archie Valparaiso links to suggests that if David Rose isn’t a real person then Hari’s a stranger guy than I thought. That post appeared 6 June 2005 and confirms that a guy called Dave was helping him run his website while doing a PhD but had to stop for lack of time. David r doesn’t start editing Wikipedia until 19 Oct 2006 whereupon he appears to have a great deal of time, much of which he devotes to upholding Hari’s reputation.

Prior to David r appearing on Wikipedia there were several apparent sockpuppets making changes, particularly with regards to the public school Hari went to. At first, they remove all mention of this, then they try to show that the school wasn’t actually that posh, and then they edit the page of the school itself (John Lyon School) to point out that Hari says it was “appalling” (on a radio show at 10pm which they all listened to). David r picks up the baton on this, and many other issues, when the sockpuppets fade away in 2007.

This all came over a year after Hari mentions his friend and webmaster Dave. However, a man called David was defending his hero on Sourcewatch in January 2005 and was already being accused of being Hari’s sockpuppet. If he WAS a sockpuppet, he was an elaborately constructed one who Hari used as an excuse to block comments on his blog in June 2005 (which he implies were getting abusive). He then used the character a year later on the Daily Ablution blog (link in the JoK post) to add some totally unnecessary details, like having been at Selwyn college, that made it more likely that he would be found out.

For me, it’s the level of details - Methuselah productions, Selwyn college, the lawyer girlfriend, being the webmaster etc. - that makes me lean towards believing this guy exists. If not, Hari is both fiendishly clever and incredibly stupid. It is almost easier to believe that he has an obsessively devoted friend who writes gay incest porn, contacts him on a regular basis regarding Wikipedia edits, did a PhD in geography and subbed at the Independent than to believe that someone could construct this fantasy. Either way, it's very weird and there’s only one man - or possibly two - who knows for sure.

Jack of Kent said...

Archie Valparaiso and Bobby

As much as I enjoyed your interesting and detailed recent comments, I am afraid I cannot publish them (at least yet).

Sorry, David

JohnDoe said...

In a 2003 post our Johann reviews a play called 'Kiss of Life' with a cat/homeless boy called Niko that he speaks bout in glowing terms.

http://www.johannhari.com/2003/11/09/theatre-review-kiss-of-life-and-americans-

I'm sure it's all just a coincidence, but it's an amusing thought.

Jack of Kent said...

I have just been pointed to http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Talk:Johann_Hari

by @fwalloe on Twitter.

It says:

I replied to him: "You can call me on 07759 595451 and verify my identity if you like. Alternatively, you can contact Lenin at Lenin's Tomb, who edits an SWP blog based on radical anti-war politics who has criticised Hari very fiercely many times. He has met me, knows who I am, and can verify I am definitely not Hari.


Have tried number but just rings out; sent text.

Anyone know anyone at Lenin's Tomb?

Neuroskeptic said...

If David Rose's PhD was "looming" back in 2005, then we'd expect him to have finished by now.

Yet there's no record of him in this archive: http://ethos.bl.uk/

There's a few David Rose's, but nothing about climate, geography or anything like that, and none from Cambridge at all.

However, I can't vouch for the accuracy of this service - it seems to include most of the PhDs that my friends have submitted in the past few years, but not all of them!

Jack of Kent said...

Lenin's Tomb is on Twitter so I have sent this tweet.

@leninology Hi, according to http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Talk:Johann_Hari you can vouch for David R. Can you? Cheers.

Andy Channelle said...

Neuroskeptic

Nick Jones (the older brother is Leroy Jones).

I don't usually read gay porn so you can thank me if you like.

Ann Kittenplan said...

It looks like everyone here is heading for the conclusion that Hari and Rose are the same person. I propose this may be a cause for sympathy rather than ridicule.

That's not to diminish the deceit perpetrated over several years, it's just that anyone who would behave like this may not react well to ridicule.

It looks like Hari has lost his career and his reputation. It might be an idea to concentrate energies elsewhere. Once again the deceit is inexcusable but at some point enough is enough and im(h)o that point is fast approaching.

Would the considerable energies displayed here be better directed at other targets, rather than kicking a(n allegedly) lying/deceitful man while he's down?

Graeme said...

Hari wrote about consensual incest on his blog back in 2002. Just a coincidence? http://johannhari.com/2002/01/09/forbidden-love

This was discovered by someone in the comments thread below Damian Thompson's post and not me. I thought I should post it here in case it gets missed.

Matt Wardman said...

@Ann

Currently I see no sign that Hari or his employer thinks he has either lost his career, or is down.

He's back doing his old column in his old style, and doing speeches lauded by the same supporters.

I'd see it the current efforts as a few people with much smaller pulpits than Hari's trying to make an exposure stick.

It's notable that a lot of his critics are:

a - Leftish as well as rightish.
b - Real journalists.

The political critique has already been shrugged off; it's the professional critique which has purchase, and imo should be pursued until fully exposed.

Are you really happy to have all those manufactured interviews and false claims of credit in the record forever, never mind the consequences for those whose views Hari has remanufactered and sensationalised for his own self-promotion?

The likes of George Michael and Larry Flynt can look after themselves, but what of the activists and campaigners who may (for example) have Hari's stuff quoted back to them when pulled in for questioning?

I'm getting a little p*ss*d off with people saying "no problem here, move along".

Jeremy Duns said...

@Anna Kittenplan. I have some sympathy for Johann Hari, but not a huge amount. Having been exposed as a potential plagiarist, he could have admitted it, fully explained it and apologised to those whose work he plagiarised. Instead, he chose to deny it was plagiarism in two articles in which he lied about what he'd done to minimise it. Behind a pretentious smokescreen, he claimed that he had only done this occasionally, only done it when interviewing writers, only done it in 'intellectual profiles' and only done it when previous answers were more articulate than those given him. Several of these have since been proven to be lies. He did it repeatedly, in interviews with writers but also world leaders and pop stars, and they weren't always intellectual profiles. The plagiarism of 42 separate excerpts of Malalai Joya and Dennis O'Keefe's book in his 'interview' with Joya raises the real possibility that he did not ask her all those questions and receive all the responses from her in another form, but that he fabricated what happened in part. This raises other issues about his journalism. He's had ample opportunity to address this. Instead, he gave a self-serving speech in which he mentioned he had 'done something wrong', implying this was a one-off and no real big deal. He has still not admitted he is a plagiarist or apologised.

If David Rose is or was Hari's webmaster, the question has to be whether Hari knew of what he was doing on Wikipedia or directed it. It's worse, of course, if Hari is in fact David Rose, but even so, I think Nick Cohen, Cristina Odone, Niall Ferguson, Andrew Roberts, Oliver Kamm and whoever else has been vilified on Wikipedia in this way deserve an explanation for this. I'd urge people not to jump to conclusions and not to dwell on some of the more sensational aspects of it. But let's not make Johann Hari the victim of this. Plagiarism is an odious practice. So is waging a years-long online campaign to paint other journalists as homophobes, anti-semites, and so on. I don't think it's unfair, in the absence of Johann Hari explaining what he's been up to, to look into both of these matters.

Felix said...

@Ann

it seems to me that the sock-puppet allegation is more serious than the original and thus I cannot agree that the time has yet come to drop the matter.

Chris said...

It was mentioned at the time (2008) that the mobile phone number was not legitimate:

"...it is very clear from the email address (at the Independent) that DaveR is actually JohannH himself... in one of the notes in this discussion DaveR asks me to call him on a given number at the Independent -- it turned out to be a bogus number."

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Talk:Johann_Hari#bob.2C_you_created_the_trouble_for_yourself

Anonymous said...

I would love it if Niko, David Rose and Alex Higgins all left comments here defending each other, and offering mutual confirmations of the others' existence.
Where are they when we really need them?

Little Atoms said...

Minor point, but I do recall Johann being very complimentary about AWL in the past. Something about being only principled far left group or somesuch. In an article attacking the SWP.

But then a lot of Eustonites said things like that

Padraig R

Pat said...

Not quite buying the Tyler Durden theory - I saw Jeremy's posting on Nick Cohen's tale.

I did a comparison of the anonymous edits on Hari's page - and a lot coincided with edits to Odone, Cohen and Toynbee's pages. Often this was the same IP address at the same time (so almost certainly the same person).

The majority of these changes from three places - Liverpool, York and Essex (according to IP tracking), but all via BT provided IP addresses.

I would certainly say this is suspicious, but why make anonymous edits and run a 'Tyler Durden' account?

So let's look through David R's changes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Sam_Blacketer/Archive_101-200#Johann_hari_discussion
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Third_opinion&diff=prev&oldid=159900559
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Cases/2007-01-04_Johann_Hari&diff=prev&oldid=125940885
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:David_r_from_meth_productions#Johann_Hari_image
http://la.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ioannes_Hari&action=historysubmit&diff=1225101&oldid=1191896
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard&diff=prev&oldid=101356237

These seem reasonable enough? If a little verbose for someone who was merely a fan. He also knows when Hari is out of the country and what phone he has.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Garry_Kasparov&diff=prev&oldid=89568281
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rita_Hayworth&diff=prev&oldid=89572634
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Harry_Mount&diff=prev&oldid=89553966

These are a little too odd?

These three are all URLs to Hari's blog being added into other stories. Now this looks like ego work, or alternatively, someone with some knowledge of SEO adding links from Wikipedia to their pages to boost google ranks.


http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nuclear_Non-Proliferation_Treaty&diff=prev&oldid=86525650
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tim_Rice&diff=prev&oldid=86525441
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Flat_tax&diff=prev&oldid=86525279

But the last change is surreal

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Van_Badham&diff=prev&oldid=82856972

I googled Nabokov and they are a theatre company - no mention of David Rose on their site at all.

However - http://www.nabokov-online.com/history.html

Which leads to

http://www.johannhari.com/2003/08/21/political-theatre-is-back-from-the-dead-

So that would appear to suggest David Rose saw this play?

Ok, take it all back. It's him.

Tim Allon said...

I should make a correction. As my e-mail correspondence with "Johann Hari" was deleted, I was relying on hazy memories. However, this morning a friend returned to me an old e-mail on the subject of my correspondence with "Hari". According to what I wrote at the time, "Hari" implied to me that "Niko" and "David Rose" were distinct personalities, and friends of his. As "David Rose" wrote on Sourcewatch, likewise Hari suggested to me that I contact "Lenin" at Lenin's Tomb in order to corroborate that "Hari" was not "David Rose". I'm pretty sure that I did so around July or August 2007, but I recall that at the time "Lenin" couldn't say either way.

What I can confirm is that "Niko" and "David Rose" have both used the "Methuselah Productions" e-mail address, suggesting that they are the same person; and that "David Rose" posted something on a Haloscan comments thread (possibly at the Drink Soaked Trots' blog) where his URL was johannhari.com, which means that he was sharing a PC with "Hari" at the time.

Unfortunately that's as much as I know, as I no longer possess the original e-mails.

Anyway, for those with a sense of humour, here's "Hari" last week on freedom of speech, a subject in which he is eminently qualified, having sent in the libel lawyers to silence a blog for saying that a serious journalist wouldn't want a reputation for making things up: advice I expect he now regrets not taking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01J_d278mCc&feature=player_embedded

I have no sympathy at all for "Hari". He needs either to apologise for smearing his critics using a sockpuppet, or to produce his good friend "David Rose". "Hari's" a journalist, and this is a great story.

Ann Kittenplan said...

Ok folks. Reasonable points.

I didn't realise he was still writing. That said I can't find anything recent that's not self-published - doesn't mean it's not there of course.

Also fairly quiet on Twitter particularly relative to his activity before the allegations/revelations.

JH is under a lot of seemingly deserved pressure, and if he has resorted to inventing another person to defend himself, I'd say this is bizarre and potentially worrying.

I suppose I'm tiptoeing around saying it looks like a kind of breakdown. I'm writing this and David Icke's giant lizards keep popping into my head.

This is not an attempt to diminish the seriousness or the extent of the deceit, or excuse the lack of contrition, I just wonder what's going on for JH right now.

Felix said...

@Ann

but the invention (if such it is) is not recent but at least 6 years old.

Still, your concern for the well-being of a fellow human being is noted.

Annette said...

"I didn't realise he was still writing. That said I can't find anything recent that's not self-published - doesn't mean it's not there of course."

Ann, he published a piece in The Independent on 8th July.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-would-you-trust-a-management-consultant-with-the-worlds-rainforests-2308686.html

I've come across someone else who was guilty of sock-puppetry, and even though I was one of her targets, I did feel somewhat sorry for her as she clearly wasn't a happy person. But if this is what Hari's been up to, it went on for quite a while and hurt other professionals in his field while promoting himself. I find it hard to have much sympathy for that. I don't think it would have been just a breakdown, more a long-lasting habit.

Jeremy Duns said...

The Independent published an article by him on Friday, as though nothing had happened: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-would-you-trust-a-management-consultant-with-the-worlds-rainforests-2308686.html

Boris said...

Here are some facts about David Rose which haven't been clearly mentioned yet here, may narrow down the possibilities for anyone fact-checking his existence, as he claims it.

From his own account in the comment thread at http://web.archive.org/web/20061027003653/http://dailyablution.blogs.com/the_daily_ablution/2006/07/indefensible_in.html

-He graduated with a starred first in Geography from Cambridge University.
-He has a girlfriend who is a lawyer, and who he is engaged to (as of July 2006).
-He worked for two years in Antarctica observing the effects of anthropogenic global warming.
-He was engaged in a PhD in environmental science at Selwyn College, Cambridge which he was taking a break from in July 2006 and said should be completed within 2 years.

and incidentally:
-He strongly denies writing the gay porn, and suggests it may have been associated with his email address through spam or the malicious behaviour of his enemies.

Also worth noting that in that thread, people question his identity and he invites them to look him up, so it's not unreasonable of people to go into this question again now.

Anonymous said...

Two things:

For me, it’s the level of details - Methuselah productions, Selwyn college, the lawyer girlfriend, being the webmaster etc. - that makes me lean towards believing this guy exists.

No. Anyone here heard of Alexa DiCarlo? That was a hell of a thing. No sock puppet is too elaborate, I assure you.

If David Rose's PhD was "looming" back in 2005, then we'd expect him to have finished by now.

Yes. And if it was submitted in the UK - whether passed or not - there should be record of a copy filed with the British Library.

Belle de Jour said...

Hari wrote about consensual incest on his blog back in 2002. Just a coincidence? http://johannhari.com/2002/01/09/forbidden-love

Lordy. Possibly the worst part of that article is not the subject or the content, it's the lack of fact-checking. "King" Hatshepsut was a woman and is not thought to have suffered from a consanguineous illness. I think he probably actually means Akhenaten, who while deformed was not the son of relatives.

bensix said...

The "incest porn" stuff is a bit News of the World.

Archie Valparaiso said...

Struck by the way the Hari champion Niko spells his name, I've been for a rummage.

Several years ago there was a fringe play, Kiss of Life by Chris Goode, in which the main character, depressed after losing his job, befriends a suicidal homeless youth and takes him home. They become lovers.

According to all the reviews of the play that I've found, the name of that boy character is "Nico", with a "c". Well, all the reviews except one. In Johann Hari's, and Johann Hari's alone, it's spelled "Niko".

c98a883a-aa5c-11e0-8753-000bcdca4d7a said...

My openid keeps giving me a weird GUID number for an ID so for the sake of clarity I am SteveNayeeve which itself is a pseudonomous name.

So who am I to speak?

Ann Kittenplan said

"Would the considerable energies displayed here be better directed at other targets."

Why? Is it a zero sum game?

I am sure in my northern ignorance you are all wealthly London people who normally revel in the climate of publishable alarmism and publish climate alarmism at the same time. *that* is what Hari is so adept at surfing upon.

What Have I done? Nothing I say.

Can I trash Bjorn Lomborg? Using the refreshingly non-Orwellian named Danish Committee of Scientific Dishonesty and threaten to sue people and then later make a speech about freedom of speech?

No I can't.

Hari's "freedom of speech" speech was just cobbled together from his previous articles about some old shit of his that was sold to India.

For the collective sanity of don't ask when did the early sixties Trafalgar march happen again. Were the 26 attendees *all* beaten up by the police?

I know liars who have no shame are sometimes considered appealing personalities but I take the po face line in saying they are malignant personalities ;)

Hari wrote the headline ->

The final burying of Bjorn Lomborg

Written in 2006

Is final burying such a bad idea? I think I agree with Hari, and think he should accept the burial process ;)

Jeremy Duns said...

@bensix: David Rose gave his email address as methuselahproductions@hotmail.com If you Google that address, the only results that come up are:

Rose stating he is not Hari and this is his email address if you want to check.
Discussion in the last couple of days of Nick Cohen's diary piece about this and this blog.
A short story by David Rose with methuselahproductions@hotmail.com as the email address given. It's a hardcore porn story about incestuous sex with a 15-year-old boy.
David Rose being asked about this story on a blog Johann Hari linked to.

I agree that the short story is rather unfortunate, but it's a bit unavoidable, in my view - it's the only trace of the email address given by David Rose elsewhere online, and it's discussed in a blog linked to by Hari. If it had been a straight journalist and they had written this, it would also have been pushed out. If it had been Harry Potter fan fiction, it would have been. I don't think it's reasonable to expect people to try to figure out who has been wrecking several high-profile journalists' Wikipedia accounts online for five years but omit any mention of the one trace left of the email address given by the perpetrator because it's a porn short story.

bensix said...

Jeremy -

That's fair enough, but I think connecting it to the wacky "consensual incest" piece by JH is a bridge too far.

Steven said...

Please note - the following is purely speculative and based on personal experience.

Hari is a plagerist and is likely to be behind this David Rose personality. He is also in too deep and no amount of explanation will get to the bottom of this.

Whilst I'm not keen on being an armchair psychologist here, every new piece of evidence makes me tinge with deja vu and familiarity. Without going into too much detail of what I do, I will add that I work closely with those suffering from personality disorders. I have seen cases of plagerism, fraud, alter-egos, enemy-defamation, delusions of grandeur and general pathological lying time and time again, particularly patients who are quite articulate, expressive and opinionated. I would not hazard a guess at which of the several personality disorders that such behaviour are indicators of, but I would not be the least bit surprised if JH has one of them.

Let's say he does. If so, you won't get a full admission or a full apology. This going on for as long as it has he has no doubt conditioned himself to believe the behaviour is acceptable. He will therefore feel bullied, persecuted, you name it. And leftist journalists jumping to his defence and acting as though he has done little wrong will only add to this feeling.

Johann has demonstrated repeatedly on his Twitter that he is a very sensitive, introspective character prone to emotional outbursts. Even when he writes vitriol, it's laced with lack of self-esteem. He does not demonstrate evidence of being a calculated manipulator.

In which case, with the noose tightening and this world he has created falling apart, there is a risk that he could be a danger to himself and others. I for one am completely concerned for his mental state. I look at his @ mentions on Twitter from others which are pretty confrontational, demanding explanations - despite his use of the website being limited to three tweets in two weeks. He has been @ mentioned despite not being an active user; which makes little sense to me.

I am certainly not saying he has any of the mental disorders that I allude to, but I would urge that we treat this with a bit more caution in case he does. Regardless, it can't be a nice time for him anyway, even if he had no such disorder.

I would stop the @ mentions, I would stop DEMANDING answers from him NOW and I would instead direct the investigation and speculations to blogs like this. If he publishes another article without further reference (which wouldn't be unusual), we should direct any (unemotive) questioning to his editors. I can't don't believe for one minute they have not spoken to him frankly about this in private and will be concerned about the reputational damage. There is only so much pressure they will be able to take.

He owes a lot of explanation to readers and owes a lot of explanation to journalists, the careers of which he could have damaged. In an environment where media ethics is very much the talking point, we cannot let this go either. We cannot make him the victim and we cannot grant him unconditional sympathy.

However, he's a human being, and not one with the thick skin of somebody like Rebekah Brookes either, and if we are going to spend day after day picking apart this man's life, is it unreasonable for me to ask that we are sensitive and careful? You know, just in case. I'm sure we won't feel like journalistic heroes if he goes and does something stupid.

rico sorda said...

Hi

Are you lot on about the same David Rose that the Jersey Government plus the States of Jersey Police were leaking information to? They did this so he could trash the Investigation in the Daily Mail.

I have been investigating on my blog

DAVID ROSE

rs

Matt Wardman said...

@Belle

>Lordy. Possibly the worst part of that article is not the subject or the content, it's the lack of fact-checking.

My (and most others on the right) critique of Hari is that he's a crapulous journalist, even without all the lack of personal integrity stuff.

Even in his Management Consultant column this week, he claims:

a) 2/3 of the companies in In Search of Excellence were defunct in 5 years (ie by 1987). (In the version on his own site).

Untrue. Forbes listed more than half as successes 15 years after that.

b) "In Guyana, the plan drawn up would increase logging by 20 times its current rate."

Untrue when you trace the references.

c) "BusinessWeek notes their [McKinsey's] clients have a strange habit of dying in agony – Enron, Swiss-Air, Kmart, Global Crossing... the list goes on"

It doesn't. BW only listed 4, and all of them went down in the last recession and after 9/11 (for Swissair).

It's all about convenient sounding, unchecked, or imagined 'facts' to justify a screeching polemic or predetermined line.

Lazy, dishonest, or simply incompetent and ambitious?

No idea, but all he has left now are the co-campaigners, the groupies, the wish-dreamers and those who haven't checked.

Mr. M said...

@Jeremy Duns

"If you Google that address..."

The short story wasn't found by simply googling. As is made clear in the post it was found with the assistance of an experienced computer person (Tim Ireland) able to find things on the internet that the rest of us wouldn't be able to without instruction.

Perhaps you're getting different results when you google to the ones I'm getting (filter bubbles etc.) but I've tried googling it and nothing related to the story comes up apart from things linking to this post.

Given that there was already multiple pieces of evidence of David R's/Hari's misbehaviour I honestly wonder what purpose it served to bring it up (although I can see the reason for searching for it in the first place to check if meth productions had ever existed). Why was info relating to the story and the story itself published/linked to?

Mr. M said...

Sorry, reading over the post it's clear that the porn story had been bought up publicly before now on Daily Ablution; silly mistake on my part.

Stephen Wigmore said...

"-He graduated with a starred first in Geography from Cambridge University.
-He has a girlfriend who is a lawyer, and who he is engaged to (as of July 2006).
-He worked for two years in Antarctica observing the effects of anthropogenic global warming.
-He was engaged in a PhD in environmental science at Selwyn College, Cambridge which he was taking a break from in July 2006 and said should be completed within 2 years."

Not to mention apparently having worked at more than one national newspaper.

This all makes me think he's not a real person.

If he only graduated from Cambridge in 2002 or so that's already quite an impressive CV. Surely there should be a trace of such a person somewhere on the internet that's verifiable. A Uni account or reference or record, a facebook profile, a published paper, a linkedin account. A write up of his work, a conference he's spoken at. Surely there must be some evidence of this guy somewhere if he actually exists, beyond a single bit of porn and a lot of statements supposidly by the man himself and Hari.

pozorvlak said...

Two years is an odd length of time to have been in Antarctica, AIUI. The British Antarctic Survey does 6-month or 18-month tours: either one summer, or summer/winter/summer, with the first summer to learn your job and the second to train up your replacement.

Then again, he might have done an 18-month tour and stretched the truth slightly.

Yonmei said...

Mr M: Given that there was already multiple pieces of evidence of David R's/Hari's misbehaviour I honestly wonder what purpose it served to bring it up (although I can see the reason for searching for it in the first place to check if meth productions had ever existed). Why was info relating to the story and the story itself published/linked to?

I'd been wondering that too, and I think I've figured it out.

There are two possible options.

(A) David R exists. Whether or not his real name is "David Rose", he's a real individual, who's an embarrassingly-dedicated fan of Johann Hari's.

Or:
(B) David R and Johann Hari are one and the same person - everything apparently written by David R From Meth Productions has in fact been written by Johann Hari.

If (B) is true, then there are two possibilities:

(B-1) Probably by some diligent and thorough examination of IP addresses, the Johann/David identity is proved.

(B-2) There is no definite proof, ever, though an increasing flood of circumstancial evidence keeps the question alive until people get bored with asking it.

But if A is true - David R exists as an actual person - then there are still only two options:

(A-1) David R stands up and identifies himself, definitively clearing Johann Hari of the charge of obsessive sock-puppetry and using Wikipedia for self-promotion.

(A-2) David R never stands up to identify himself, leaving Hari in exactly the same awkward situation as he would be if it were (B-2): he cannot prove himself definitely innocent of the charge of sock-puppetry and anonymous attacks at Wikipedia without the cooperation of David R.

The best scenario for Hari, obviously, is A-1.

By making the porn story an intrinsic part of the Wikipedia/David R story, Damiam Thompson and others who tagged along, ensured that even if David R exists, he is much less likely to stand up and admit to being the Wikipedia editor, since that would also mean admiting to writing the pron story. The pron story is there to make a good ending for Hari much less likely - that's the only purpose it serves.

Anonymous said...

In reply to Anonymous (from a different Anonymous!), the British Library have a facility to search their catalogue online:
http://searchbeta.bl.uk

The only thesis I could turn up when searching for "David Rose" was by an Andrew David Rose called "Bayesian Experimental Design for Model Discrimination", University of Southampton, 2008.

http://searchbeta.bl.uk/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?ct=facet&fctN=facet_creator&fctV=Rose%2c+Andrew+David&dscnt=0&vl(174399379UI0)=any&scp.scps=scope%3A(BLCONTENT)&frbg=&tab=local_tab&dstmp=1310357574051&srt=rank&ct=search&mode=Basic&dum=true&indx=1&vl(freeText0)=%22David%20Rose%22&vid=BLVU1&fn=search

Keep it going - this is fun!

rico sorda said...

Myself and fellow bloggers on the Island of Jersey are doing what we can to expose the Child Abuse Cover up. The Jersey Government called in journalist David Rose to do a job and he did just that. Are you saying he might not exist?

The picture on my blog (link above in previous comment) is of David Rose from the Daily Mail again are you saying it might not be him? This man also appears on youtube under the name of David Rose - journalist.

rs

Owain said...

Right, second attempt at a comment. For reference, I read Natural Sciences (Geological Sciences) at Cambridge.

If this David Rose exists, read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, and did climate research in Antarctica, it is more than likely he took a Part III as a 4th year, which involves 60% of the marks for a project (he wouldn't have gone to Antarctica for this, that would have to be afterwards, as it's chuffing expensive to do fieldwork there, and you wouldn't use an undergrad), and 40% for the exams on the taught modules. So if you're searching the Reporter for references, you'd do well to check 3 years either side of Hari for possible overlap (assuming no delays due to illness or other stuff)

This is not the only way to get into the environmental science aspect, it's possible he came in via the Geography route, but I don't know anything about that side of things. I didn't specialise on the climate side of things, but the stuff I did do was superbly well taught, it's a great course. I'll be bollocksed if I'm going to spend a summer sieving and counting foramanifera though.

P.S. To do a quick plug, if anyone is thinking of going to study science at University, or knows someone who is, I would thoroughly recommend looking at the Natural Sciences Tripos at Cambridge, especially geology. It's an absolute tonne of work, and very intense at times, but the teaching and facilities are fantastic. I especially enjoyed studying a really young science like geology, where new information would often make the models we'd been taught obsolete only a year later, and it's also a very sociable subject, lots of coffee breaks, happy hours and field trips.

PPS This might be me using Chrome, but WTF is going on with trying to use my Wordpress identity on here.

Matt Wardman said...

>The pron story is there to make a good ending for Hari much less likely - that's the only purpose it serves.

I think I agree with that, though I'd add 'to help create wider media interest'.

There's not likely to be a lot of interest in dozens or hundreds of articles filled with traduced statistics and manufactured conclusions.

Ann Kittenplan said...

Thanks for the link to the Hari piece in the Independent. That was the piece I'd seen as self-published.

David B said...

I tweeted the link to this article and a @paulbhalsall replied to me with this:

twycrosshouseschool.org.uk/tha.php

David Rose, Cambridge PhD in nature conservation policy evolution under influence of climate change. With photo.

Not sure if that corresponds to other links above, or is relevant, but thought I should post it.

tory boys never grow up said...

I'm sorry but doesn't this all leave a bit of a nasty taste in the mouth. By all means if Hari is using a false identity to support his own position then he should be exposed - providing that there is pretty conclusive evidence to support such a claim. But at the present what we have is a few inconclusive gobbets of information which have then been thrown out as a starting point for the global village gossips to investigate further. Gossip and innuendo can be very nasty things when operating within the confines of a small community - just because the internet allows such gossip to go global it doesn't follow that it is a good thing that it should.

If David Rose is a genuine person, who is just doing the perfectly admirable thing of defending his friend, then believe me he is due quite a few apologies.

yonmei said...

Matt: I think I agree with that, though I'd add 'to help create wider media interest'

If it is true and proven that David R and Johann Hari are one and the same person, that is something that will create wide media interest because it would really be absolutely destructive of Johann Hari's reputation.

But, even if it's true, then proving it will take fairly extensive IP address crunching with no definite promise of success. It's time-consuming hard investigative journalism, for the purpose of finally destroying Hari's reputation - and I think the handful of journalists who are that good at investigative journalism, probably have something more worthwhile to do than see if they can prove Hari uses a sockpuppet.

But pointing out that there's circumstancial evidence that it could be true, combined with an embarassing pr0n story, is just David Allan Green and Damian Thompson's bag - it's not particularly effortful, and the mere speculation does a certain amount of damage while not making it worthwhile for anyone to sue for libel.

Not that I want to stop Damian Thompson from trying! In fact, given the kind of journalism Damian Thompson does, I think spending weeks or even months checking IP addresses and login times would be a relatively harmless occupation for him, blowing holy smoke as it were.

I would still like Johann Hari to come clean about how much he plagiarised. I still think that uncovering how much of his interviews were "borrowed" from other sources was a worthwhile thing to do. But this? Unless there's evidence, it's just smoke without fire.

Colin said...

"teh (the)
tehre (there)
otehr"
I make these typos all the time. My god, maybe I'm Johann Hari. How does one tell?

Matt Wardman said...

@Ann

Hari tends to post articles in the Independent, which sometimes get a light subediting, and cross-post (or recycle months or years later) to the US Huff Post, and post versions to his own site which sometimes include stuff which has been edited out from the Indy/Huff Po.

For example, this was edited out of last weeks' 'Management Consultants' column in the Indy:

"The organization's bible, 'In Search of Excellence', written by its consultant Tom Peters, was published in 1982 and named 43 companies as models of excellence. Two thirds of them were dead or defunct within five years"

.. which is simple nonsense. No idea where it came from.

Peter S said...

Having read all these comments, it is really, really clear that "David Rose" is none other than Johann Hari. If this does not sink his career, nothing will.

Alex said...

A Brit by the name of "David Gareth Rose" is listed here:

http://www.levelbusiness.com/doc/person/uk/06725821

Occupation: IT support.

That would tie in with someone who helped out with his website.

However, he's 50. Mature student?

It is, of course, entirely possible that David Rose is both a real person AND Hari has been impersonating him.

Felixfelix said...

I found this rather interesting clue, which is still on wikipedia

link here

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/User_talk:Emiellaiendiay#Hello_-_please_help.21

Basically, it is a message to user Emiellaiendiay purporting to be from Hari himself, complaining about me, back in Aug 2007. However, it's not signed (a very irritating habit of dave r), but he used the same IP address for a number of edits (see https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Special:Contributions/77.97.249.234).

Anyway, it would seem to link 'Johann' with editing his own and other pages, although at the time I read it as 'dave r' pretending to be Hari...

FF

Jabba the Cat said...

Excellent bit of digging people.

Shame that the Murdoch business has denied Hari the full spotlight glare.

Boris said...

I've found another link between a David Rose edit of wikipedia & Johann Hari.

Johann Hari writes in glowing terms of the playwright Van Badham in this article of 2003, who he calls 'extraordinary': http://www.johannhari.com/2003/08/21/political-theatre-is-back-from-the-dead-

David Rose edits the wikipedia entry of Van Badham in 2006 in a complimentary way: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Van_Badham&diff=prev&oldid=82856972

Perhaps David Rose accompanied Johann Hari to this play and shared his opinions?

David Rose makes an edit of King's College, Cambridge, of which Johann Hari is an alumnus, though the edit does not mention Johann Hari: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=King%27s_College,_Cambridge&diff=prev&oldid=206370977

These two edits, associated with Johann Hari, cannot be construed as an enthusiast for his work defending him. Though, likewise, the relation to him and David Rose may be chance.

JohnDoe said...

'If David Rose is a genuine person, who is just doing the perfectly admirable thing of defending his friend, then believe me he is due quite a few apologies. '


This is a novel interpretation. The reason this is a story in the first place is because 'Davidr' stands accused of smearing Hari's enemies and removing accurate but unflattering information from Hari's own wikipedia page.

If Davidr is Hari, it's particularly funny, but if he isn't then smearing people and abusing wikipedia are in no way 'admirable'. If the content edits made were all reasonable then this wouldn't be a story in the first place.

Mender said...

The most notable thing about Rose's Wikipedia history is what he hasn't posted on. Specifically, anything related to his doctoral subject of climate change. Even once.

Steven Tiller said...

I don't know if this has already been covered: a comment on 20 Nov 2009 by 'DavidR' on the Tanya Gold talk page on Wikipedia was autosigned to the IP 86.176.253.159

[http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Tanya_Gold&diff=prev&oldid=326841420]

He later in March 2011 edited on the same page remembering to sign in, but not that time in Nov 2009. (Unless the Nov 2009 editor was a sockpuppet pretending to be David r from meth productions, to get really meta ...)

Jake said...

This Wikipedia page makes *very* interesting reading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Mediation_Cabal/Cases/2007-01-04_Johann_Hari

DavidR claims he isn't a journalist, for one.

Also lots of Ip editing by DavidR.

Garry said...

https://twitter.com/#!/EdHowker

This comes via Guido Fawkes. It looks as though Hari's in for a tough time.

Anonymous said...

Hands up, I haven't read the pron story but if the it really is about the sexual exploitation of a 15 year old for money - and written in a titillating style - David Rose may be very keen not to raise his head above the parapet. At the very least he is going to have to make quite a convincing explanation to his lawyer girlfriend as to why a (1) paedophilic (2) incestuous (3) gay pron story appears to emenate from his computer. Not the sort of conversation I would enjoy having with my lawyer wife.

The removal of the pron story from the internet may also somewhat undermine the explanation that it was "spam". I can't see a spammer removing his own work.

I hope Mr Rose supports Hari in the Independent's investigation of his activities.

Sorry for being anonymous but I do have a reason not to raise my head above the parapet.

Paul said...

I'm not sure this has been mentioned yet. Apologies if I'm duplicating content.

David r says here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Cristina_Odone#Request_for_Comment:_Cristina_Odone

that he is from Walthamstow

Jeffer said...

Hari has a new defender on wikipedia who has just popped back up after months of inactivity:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Zafio

He's deleting Private eye links and generally doing a David Rose type job on Hari's article talk page. Interesting.

Once a sockmaster, always a sockmaster, eh?

Sean said...

On the Wikipedia mediation page Jake linked to at 18:20, David R claims Hari had denied that a photograph, taken at a protest at Drax Power Station in 2006, was of him.

"This is a bit surreal. That picture really isn't Johann. That was my suspicion when I first saw it, and when I e-mailed Johann, he said he doesn't own the clothes 'he' is wearing in the picture. Clearly the photographer mistook somebody who looks a bit like Johann for him; easy to do, since there were presumably lots of people milling around at a large environmentalist protest, but it would make it really bizarre to use it in a wikipedia entry," wrote Dave, who also complained that he suspected the image was deliberately chosen by the Wikipedia user FelixFelix because it was "unflattering" image.

Here it is. I'll leave it to you to decide.

http://bit.ly/oVxR2ehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/90664717@N00/232987647/

Clue: It's Johann Hari.

Vivienne Raper said...

The Matthew David Rose who graduated from Christ's in 2001/2 went to school with me. He is - last time I looked - working in software patents, not a journalist.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so it seems like David R is a real person. I'd venture that his name is NOT David Rose, however. See this: http://twitter.com/#!/leninology/status/90136461927645184

Note that Leninology responds to the question as to whether he has met "David Rose" by saying "I have met David R"

Also, Jeremy Duns spoke to him on the phone (see quoted text below). Does Hari have a specific number which he always answers as "Dave". I suspect not. Also "Dave" says there is no-one called "David Rose" working there, yet he is clearly called David.

Given all the info we've got on him, it can't be too hard to find a Dave R / David R - can it?! Perhaps start at the Independent...???

I should also say that I phoned the number David Rose gave in the above-mentioned 2005 online conversation earlier today. As that was 6 years ago, I wasn't expecting much. Someone picked up the phone after a few rings and said: 'Hello, Dave here'.
'Is that David Rose?' I asked.
'No.'
'Oh. Can I speak to David Rose, please?'
'Sorry, nobody called that works here.'
'Can I ask who I'm speaking to.'
(Curtly): 'No. Goodbye.'
And he hung up on me.

Trent said...

A look through the four archives on the Johann Hari talk page on Wikipedia is interesting. Various editors, all pro-Hari, all of whom appear to know each other in real life and all who sign their posts in a similar way to DavidR (ie not using the four tildes ~~~~ to generate the signature automatically, but typing out their names instead) appear in archive 1 to defend various edits. Interestingly, this way of signing means it is harder to track the IPs of those contributors - but not impossible, as they are recorded in the talk page history. BT seems to be the favoured ISP, and it has dynamic IPs. Handy. They all deny vociferously that they are sockpuppets. They all seem to know initimate details of Hari's life.

In archive 4 David r from meth productions says "Re: having a conflict of interest. As I said when I started editing this entry ages ago, I knew Hari when we were students. I haven't seen him in years. I've always been transparent about that. I was advised by admins back then that provided I was always upfront about having known him over a decade ago ..." (13 July 2010) So his story has changed from being office workmates with Hari in 2005 to barely knowing him and not having seen him for a decade ie since 2000.

Got to love FelixFelix for his dogged insistence throughout the four archives on de-hagiographing the page and his calling out of "Dave". The whole Hari shebang just screams out socking so blatantly: use of dynamic IPs, not signing in with tildes, single-purpose accounts popping up (has anyone checked out User:Zafio, another pretty much single-use account who has reactivated after almost a year's dormancy to pop up on the Hari page yesterday to defend him and remove unflattering Private Eye references?).

And if Dave isn't Hari, why hasn't he come out of the woodwork to defend his friend in the way he has spent the last six years vigorously defending him on the pages of Wikipedia?

Yonmei said...

"And if Dave isn't Hari, why hasn't he come out of the woodwork to defend his friend in the way he has spent the last six years vigorously defending him on the pages of Wikipedia?"

See upthread. Because admitting to being David R will mean admitting to the pr0n story that David Allan Green and Damian Thompson have tied to David R.

I'm no defender of Johann Hari, but I'm not a fan of Damian Thompson either. I think it's pretty clear that Thompson wanted to make sure that if David R is a real person, thus undercutting Thompson's attacks, that he *didn't* come forward to save Hari's neck.

Neuroskeptic said...

Er, hang on.

Anonymous @ 21:16 says "The removal of the pron story from the internet may also somewhat undermine the explanation that it was "spam"

The story has not been removed afaik, it's still up & unaltered at the original location linked to on the Jack of Kent blogpost. Only the link has been removed.

As for Trent's discovery of the 2010 post, that is rather dubious, but maybe it's strictly accurate.

He might have known Hari at Cambridge over a decade ago, then got the Indie subediting job with Hari's help in 2005, but not really spoken to Hari himself, I doubt Hari's desk is next to the sub's desk.

Or he might just be exaggerating how long ago he knew Hari to make his point. Which would be bad, but it doesn't prove he's a sockpuppet.

Although he may well be. So far I haven't seen a knockdown argument.

Felix-felix said...

Oh, it weren't nothing! *blushes*

Terry said...

My theory is that Rose is a pseudonym of Hari - as in "a rose by any other name is just as sweet".

Alternatively, the truth could be, as Orwell would say, right in front of one's nose, in the most obvious place... davidrose.co.uk

And there it is:
http://www.davidrose.co.uk/HTML/page2/frameset.htm

"David Rose was a founding staff photographer with the Independent and Independent on Sunday. He has covered many issues in Britain, Europe and the developing world.

He now works for a range of National and International titles and undertakes commissions for corporate clients. He has won several major UK and Overseas Press Awards."


I phoned him up though, and it doesn't seem to be him.

Ms Baroque said...

I once went on a blind date with a guy called David Roase. none of the above - he was a psychotherapist.

Carps said...

My apologies if these things have been brought up earlier in this thread. I have read it all but it has become a bit of a mulch in my mind, so if it what follows has been covered or is irrelevant, please disregard.
------------------------------

Ironically, given that you work at the New Statesman, the "Vanity Fair" David Rose has written for that very publication.

Perhaps interestingly in this specific context, he too was a strong supporter of the war in Iraq who later recanted - like our man Hari.

Also, it appears that this same particular David Rose was in some way tangled up with the security services.

Other details of his biography may not tally (his age, most tellingly) but the coincidence with the cultural touchpoint of Iraq interested me - as did the involvement with MI5/MI6.

Perhaps it is redundant to offer the observation that if sockpuppetry is afoot we needn't pay too much heed to some of the biographical data that comes attached to the name.

The "Wikipedia David R" claims that he first became interested in Hari "from the telly" (ergo: he didn't go to university with Hari, contra earlier claims.

As of today the account has been suspended from editing Hari-related posts - and mention has been made of several other sockpuppets on Wikipedia.

Sorry to be dull, and probably repetitive. As you were.

John said...

Amazing. they have only just got round to blocking 'David r from Meth Productions’ from editing on wikipedia, even though he's been problematic since 2006. And they still haven't instituted an investigation into whether 'David r from Meth Productions’ and all the various Dave/DaveR/DavidRs editing from ips are the same person. They don't seem too keen on getting their house in order.

askinnyguy said...

Surely the most interesting thing is that Hari has not touched the subject? He must know about it and must be following it.

Hari is either (1) David Rose or he is (2) not David Rose.

If he is David Rose he has these options:

(1A) Do nothing and let people draw their own conclusions and hope the story goes away.

(1B) Come clean. (This is probably short term professional suicide, especially with the porn story attached).

(1C) Deny he is David Rose, but not explain who David Rose is. This is not really a very realistic option because of the inevitable follow-up options.

If Hari is not David Rose, he has these options:

(2A) Do nothing and let people draw their own conclusions. Why would he do this? Surely this approach damages his career?

(2B) Deny he is David Rose and expose the real David Rose. Not a good result for David Rose, but probably the best result for Hari.

(2C) Deny he is Davd Rose but not say anything further. Again, this seems unlikely. There would be too many follow up questions.

daggi said...

This is all quite bizarre, but at the same time vaguely gripping.

Also strange, re. the "Wikipedia Photo Controversy" is that the last posting on the subject at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Johann_Hari/Archive_3#Request_for_Comment:_Disputed_Photo is by one "SlimVirgin".

That particular pseudonyms was involved in an equally strange (ok, not quite as strange) blog/wikipedia sockpuppeting spat involving one blogger ("UK Blog Award 1997", vote early, and vote often) who gives racing tips and has a Bulgarian Stalinist wife, and one (like Hari) "Eustonite" blogger who went on to become a Times columnist.


No doubt the Harrys Place archives provide more details of the "affair" but one post elsewhere is this http://www.militantginger.com/2008/01/neil-clark-story.html

James said...

Carps:

The "Wikipedia David R" claims that he first became interested in Hari "from the telly" (ergo: he didn't go to university with Hari, contra earlier claims.

As far as I can tell, the comment you've linked to that states the above was left not by David R but by FelixFelix - the editor who was engaged in a dispute with David R over the Hari page.

James said...

Another quick point of order...

Paul:

David r says here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Cristina_Odone#Request_for_Comment:_Cristina_Odone

that he is from Walthamstow


He actually says that he lives in Walthamstow.

If you call the mobile number given by David R on Wikipedia (07759 595451), the voice that says "hi, this is David, please leave a message after the tone" sounds Scottish to me. It also sounds a lot deeper than Hari's speaking voice - not that that proves anything one way or the other.

A one time reader of the man who loves the shops of Belgrade said...

DAGGI<

If you mean who I think you mean, the Stalinist wife has a name generously showered with s's and z's, and (as that might suggest) is Hungarian, not Bulgarian

daggi said...

You know who I mean correctly. and I stand corrected.

Are they involved in this as well?

Yonmei said...

Okay, now I'm wondering who Zafio is.

Zafio is a Wikipedia editor who's shown up in 2007, to defend Johann Hari: in 2008, to defend Johann Hari... and now in 2011, to defend Johann Hari.

He's done other stuff as well, but not much - a majority of the edits he's done have been on Johann Hari's bio-page or on the Talk page: he's shown up, it appears to me, primarily to support David R.

rico sorda said...

Hi

I gave evidence before a Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday concerning the Jersey Child Abuse Cove-up.

One of the ares I covered was concerning the Journalist David Rose. This man was used by the Jersey Government to help trash and help cover-up the Abuse Investigation.

We now know that the Acting Chief Police Officer DW and his D/Supt MG were talking to and leaking information to this Journalist David Rose all done whilst the Investigation is still live - David Rose was called in to do a job and he did it. His three pieces of garbage appeared in the Mail on Sunday.

Can someone please confirm that the man I have pictured on my blog is the same David Rose being commented on here.

Im very intrigued by this character

Rico Sorda

http://ricosorda.blogspot.com/2011/07/hollywood-harper-bdo-alto-1b.html

Zafio said...

I'm not David Rose. I'm an editor who stumbled across earlier disputes on the Hari Wikipedia page some time ago. Anyone who wants an entertaining read should look at the archives on Hari's page - knockabout theatre, and a fascinating insight into some of the fissures in the left after the Iraq war. A theatre for the absurd and paranoid, you might say. Fascinating as I found this material (who wouldn't - the archives are hilarious and dismaying in equal measure), I also became concerned by clear attempts to smear Hari on the page. Several editors were banned from Wikipedia for trying to insert defamatory and tittilating stories in the article. The article has a troubled history of violations of BLP, and there's been various legal threats surrounding this page. None of that material has anything to do with the current scandal engulfing Hari, except perhaps the involvement of David Rose, and there are now serious allegations that he is a sockpuppet for Johann Hari himself. These are quite old allegations, but recently they have escalated quite dramatically. I don't know that he is and I don't know that he isn't a sockpuppet. They're certainly very serious, and if there is any foundation to them Hari's career will rightly be over. At the time, I was somewhat baffled that people thought David R was trying to write an inflated article on Hari. I thought he was simply an over-enthusiastic defender of a friend. However, recent coverage of his hostile edits on the pages Hari's enemies have given me pause. This is taking enthusiasm a step far, if he is indeed who he says he is.

However, nothing has been proved in terms of sockpuppetry. But I knew with certainty when the David Rose allegations blew up in the blogosphere that that there'd be a free-for-all for old scores to be settled, and old malicious edits would reappear on the Hari Wiki page. And so it proved.

So, I rejoined the debate on the page, and removed some edits that had previously been ruled by Wiki admins as deeply unreliable tittle-tattle. None of the allegations in that citation have been given extra substance by the current scandal. As a result, I've received accusations myself of being a sockpuppet. Its true that my Wikipedia history is mostly centred around the Hari page (though by no means exclusively), but then I think its a uniquely fascinating page in terms of its history. Some people won't be convinced whatever I say or do that I'm not a sockpuppet, and I'm resigned to that. But for anyone prepared to at least entertain reason, here's a link to the talk page where I clearly challenge David R on his editing of the article. I restored a substantial rewrite from another editor of the page when David R was against it! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Johann_Hari/Archive_3#Another_try

Of course, a jaundiced mind might read this as merely a clever sockpuppetry strategy, creating a false dialectical opponent. I think my edits rather show a balanced concern for the accuracy of the article. Again, some people won't accept this, and there's nothing I can do about that.

I don't like authors who crib 500 words from a 5000 word article and don't attribute their source. I don't like plagiarism. I don't like sockpuppets. But I don't like smearers and calumniators either, and I stand by my recent edits on that page because I don't think a free-for-all is in any way fair.

Dean said...

Hari employed some, to put it mildly, dubious and questionable ethics in writing "his" interviews and articles. It would seem to me a small step from that to defending his own work with such partisan and determined action by employing an entirely fictional character. After all, fiction is what Hari does best.

David T said...

Just wondered why JH has chosen to post an announcement on his website using a new name "Mattbee" rather than "johann" (the normal poster)?
http://johannhari.com/author/mattbee/

Is it just a habit, perhaps, this routine use of other names? Has Mattbee been spotted before?

Just a thought.

Paul Stark said...

Mattbee is Matthew Bloch, the admin of the johannhari.com website (see http://www.dspyeye.com/johannhari.com for details); I suspect this is above board, and that JH asked his webmaster to post a one-liner, who promptly forgot to change identity on the post. Although I seem to remember that JH once claimed he had a certain PhD student called David to do that job for him?

Delving deeper about Mr Bloch, and the web presence of his email address (mattbee@soup-kitchen.net), he was a prolific web poster about very technical IT matters in the early days of the public WWW (late 1990s), but this activity fizzles out in about 2003. There's nothing on the www.soup-kitchen.net website, but a quick WHOIS (http://www.robtex.com/dns/soup-kitchen.net.html) confirms that the domain is still active, and controlled by the bytemark.co.uk servers that also run the JH website, and who Matthew now appears to work for (maybe Soup Kitchen was the old name for Bytemark?). I suspect that when that JH website was set up in 2002, Matt did in fact use that as his main email account, but he has moved onto his shiny new matthew@bytemark.co.uk address, even if his older WHOIS entry hasn't.

However, Matthew is not only the co-founder of Bytemark, but also was at Kings College Cambridge from 1998 to 2001 - the same dates as our hero. Source: https://plus.google.com/116440860980901087766/about. He doesn't hide his working on the JH site on his Twitter account (http://twitter.com/matthewbloch) - see his tweet on 20 July, and has even retweeted supportive pro-Johann tweets (such as https://twitter.com/#!/danielbye/status/96179350227009536) in the last weeks, so it can be safely be said he is not just an employee, but also a friend and supporter.

So, not overly suspicious, not a sockpuppet (for a change), but a friend from uni who happens to be the webmaster behind Johann's site. Indeed, according to 192.com, they even lived at the same address on the 2002 Cambridge Electoral Roll. Perhaps, given the fact that the latest post from the JH website is in the first person, maybe JH is holed up in York with his old buddy/websmaster/online supporter?

PS If you want to speak to Matthew directly, more contact details are on the Bytemark website:
http://www.bytemark.co.uk/managed_hosting/transparent_pricing/quote_10000

D Thame said...

Well that's pretty clear then - Mattbee is real. In the context I just wondered, no more than that, but clearly was wondering too much...
Apologies to all concerned.