Good to see lawyer-journo David Allen Green hold up his hands and admit he got it wrong publishing his blog linking Johann Hari to incest porn (offending paragraph since removed) – albeit via a pretty highly qualified apology.
It’s scary to think that a guy trawling the internet can find some weird piece of information and then use it against someone else, without any attempt to contextualise it (Hari has written about incest, after all) – and then have it picked up by the mainstream media.
As Green himself admits, porn has got nothing to do with the theme of his blog, which was about making up quotes/fake Wikipedia posts. Include stuff like that and you enter witch hunt territory.
Green is an interesting bloke, who I met last year when I interviewed him for a piece I did on legal blogging for Legal Week. He’s got an amazing story, which I recount in the Legal Week article, having carved out a dual career as a lawyer and journalist in a really original way.
He also tends to be extremely hard on journalists he deems to have made a mistake – which could be related to his quirky route into journalism, having never worked in a staff job on a paper or magazine and experienced some of the pressures of trying to get copy out on time.
Still, often he has got a point with his criticisms. As we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, journalists need to be called to account on occasions. But as Green has found out, everyone fucks up sometimes.
Finally, never nice when someone gets forced out of a job, as News International legal chief Tom Crone was yesterday, but amazing to see an in-house counsel, that least glamorous category of lawyer, on the front page of the Guardian website [sorry, no link as it’s changed, but he was, I promise]. Surely a first unlikely to be repeated anytime soon.
According to all the reports, Crone, who knocked back my multiple interview requests when I covered the in-house beat for Legal Week, sounds like a good lawyer who’ll have no trouble bagging another job. But in the highly unlikely event that you’re reading Tom, and you want a bit of extra publicity to help you land that top position, do get in touch if you fancy doing an interview.