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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Aaronovitch, Lies - a retraction

In my last post, David Aaronovitch: expert on lies, I stated that Aaronovitch's 2005 article we weren't lied to was "bollocks". It has come to my attention that this is a misleading statement.

Andrew Watt, of the voluminous and absorbing Chilcot's Cheating Us blog has pointed out that in fact the article is Voodoo Bollocks.

I acknowledge that while I did not intend to mislead, this was a half-truth which might have given an inaccurate impression, and that Dr Watt is entirely correct in his observations.

I am therefore glad to accord this correction prominence commensurate with that of the original statement.

I had considered merely appending a little footnote somewhere unobtrusive, perhaps even including a dismissive remark instructing the reader to conclude that it doesn't affect my main argument. I might even have adopted the common technique of silently editing the post, or the less common one of just deleting the original while avoiding embarrassing 'page not found' errors by substituting a blank page. However, not being a paid journalist, I can afford some professional ethics.

Apologies to both of my readers. I should have been more careful.

UPDATE 29 May 2011:

via Jay Rosen, via Crooked Timber: the most spurious and creepy retraction I've come across yet.

As reported by the Washington Times
John DiIulio, the former director of the White House faith-based initiative office, yesterday apologized for saying that President Bush's domestic priorities are determined exclusively by political considerations.

Using words uttered hours earlier by White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, who called Mr. DiIulio's remarks in the January edition of Esquire magazine "baseless and groundless," the first high-ranking Bush official to leave the administration asked for forgiveness and vowed never to speak or write again about his short White House stint.

"My criticisms were groundless and baseless due to poorly chosen words and examples. I sincerely apologize and I am deeply remorseful," Mr. DiIulio said in a statement.


  1. Tim,

    Thanks for the retraction!

    The link to the Chilcot's Cheating Us blog is a little too self-referential, I suggest. It links back to your own blog.

    The "Fat Controller" is also "half way there". He realises that there is a theory that Dr. David Kelly was murdered. That's half way, isn't it?

    Now he only has to appreciate that the theory is true - that David Kelly was murdered.

    I intend that the "Fat Contoller" will publicly be a recipient of the "Harrowdown Hill Challenge". (See The Death of David Kelly - "The Harrowdown Hill Challenge" (First Draft) for the first draft of the Challenge.)

    It's facscinating how in his book "Voodoo Bollocks" (or something like that) that he alleges conspiracy without being willing to look at the evidence!

  2. P.S. I'm sure that both of your readers will be duly impressed by such publicly demonstrated integrity! :)

  3. Fixed. I'm pretty sure I remember him issuing his own Harrowdown Hill Challenge - 'if you don't think that cutting your ulnar artery is lethal, let's see you cut yours'. Can't recall if he was addressing anyone in particular, but I do recall thinking that this move marked him out as a man of some distinction - more specifically, as a frightful cunt (excuse my French madam, etc.)

  4. TW:

    "I'm pretty sure I remember him issuing his own Harrowdown Hill Challenge - 'if you don't think that cutting your ulnar artery is lethal, let's see you cut yours'. Can't recall if he was addressing anyone in particular,"

    The remark wasn't addressed to anyone outside of his head.
    Aaronovitch was only repeating later in print what his evil twin had whispered seductively in his ear as he stared forlornly in the shaving mirror one morning.
    Needless to say the chickenhawk didn't have the guts to take up his wiser and more wily twin's suggestion.