David Aaronovitch Posts Fake Book Reviews and Lies About Why 82


David Aaronovitch entered into a conspiracy with others to post fake 5 star reviews of his last shoddy book on Amazon.  He now lies about why.  He has attempted to defuse the row by coming clean and making light, courtesy of his Murdoch employer.

But his explanation is a plain lie.  Aaronovitch claims that :

“almost before my book was published, the first 1-star reviews started to appear, from people who had never read it. After a week, even I wouldn’t have bought it.”

In fact, the very first eight reviews on Amazon were all five star – which by his own argument must be “from people who had never read it”.  That is very probably true, as the first two five star reviews were posted on the very day the book was released, 7 May 2009. In fact the average rating of the first reviews is very much higher than the average rating he gets from the general public overall, extremely suspiciously so.  (One remote possibility is he was getting Amazon to delete critical reviews, but that also would negate his justification for procuring the fake positive reviews).

He claims “After a week even I wouldn’t have bought it”.  In fact, after a week it was averaging a literally unbelievable five stars.  It was a full month before the first one star review arrived. Then it was from an amazon real name verified customer who Aaronovitch plainly does not think should be entitled to their opinion.

His excuse for this attempt to defraud the public by planting false reviews of his product is, quite simply, a lie.  Aaronovitch is a liar.  Which makes you worry a little about his journalistic standards otherwise, does it not? It is an interesting glimpse into the dark mind of one of the leading propagandists for the Iraq War.

It seems that Aaronovitch with others entered a conspiracy to boost book sales through fraudulent reviews.  Which as his book in question argues that pro-establishment conspiracies never have existed, is rather ironic. I do not regard this as a minor dereliction.  I believe it opens serious questions about a journalist’s integrity.  In the days when the Times was a respectable newspaper, it would have led to Aaronovitch’s dismissal.

I should say I have never asked anybody to post a positive review of one of my books on Amazon.  I am happy to say that Murder in Samarkand has a much higher star review rating than Voodoo Histories, and unlike Aaronovitch I did not have to cheat to get it.  Only one of my 49 reviews by “Biodiplomacy” is actually from a friend but I did not ask him to do it, and I am sure in any circumstances he would give his honest opinion. He often disagrees with me in comments here!

I am conscious that one probable consequence of this posting is that neo-con trolls will now bomb Murder in Samarkand with bad reviews.  I very much welcome reviews, good, bad, or indifferent, from anybody who has honestly read the book and is giving their genuine opinion.

This is an extract from the article in the Times where Aaronovitch admits to his fraud, and lies about the cause. I can’t link to it because it was behind a paywall.  To Mr Murdoch’s copyright lawyers, I am quoting a brief extract for the purpose of legitimate analysis and debate.  If you have any sense, you would realize I am also doing you a favour by exposing your star columnist as a cheat and a fraud:

Something like half of all book sales are now made through Amazon, and when you find a book on Amazon it is accompanied by reviews from “readers” who give it a 1 (lowest) to 5 star rating.  So, almost before my book was published, the first 1-star reviews started to appear, from people who had never read it. After a week, even I wouldn’t have bought it.

There is only one thing you can do in this situation. You ask every friend and family member to go onsite PDQ and 5-star your baby. You get your frauds to balance off their frauds. Ce n’est pas magnifique, mais (grâce à Amazon) c’est la guerre.

Actually, David, ce n’est pas la guerre.  La guerre is what you supported so enthusiastically in Iraq, and involves the blasting to pieces of young children, the rape of countless women, the end of hundreds of thousands of lives and the wrecking of millions more.  It involves the destruction of the infrastructure of countries and the loss of decades of economic development, and a ruinous expense to our own economy.  It involves the bombing of densely packed urban areas in Gaza, for which you are an enthusiast, and from which the terror and suffering is something you will never understand.  For you just sit here in the highly paid heart of the warmongering Murdoch establishment, and indulge in lies and cheats to further your income and your grubby little career.

 

 

 

 


82 thoughts on “David Aaronovitch Posts Fake Book Reviews and Lies About Why

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  • doug scorgie

    James
    24 Apr, 2014 – 9:15 am

    “I read the book and enjoyed it a great deal. It is informative, witty and I learned some stuff. Am I the only one?”

    Looks like it James. As the saying goes: “there’s always one…”

    As one reviewer of the book said:

    “This is a book for losers, who’ll tow the line, and follow blindly.”

  • Mary

    I occasionally watch the HoC live Jives. Lately when Straw speaks, which is fairly often, the responses make my flesh creep. Oleaginous and complimentary of the great part he has played for this country, etc. etc. This is prior to his leaving at the next election. Lord Straw of…….? He sits there pretending to be embarrassed but actually loving it.

    btw Bercow has got through wads of our money. £100k pa to be exact. Sorry it’s from the Mail.

    Speaker John Bercow has run up half a MILLION pounds in expenses – including £26,000 in formal dresswear and £100,000 in overseas jaunts
    •Commons Speaker John Bercow has notched up £495,592 bill since 2009
    •This includes £26,000 in formal dresswear – with £3,700 on just two suits
    •£100,000 incurred on overseas trips and £170,000 on official entertaining
    •Details of office expenses were revealed under Freedom of Information laws

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2609342/Speaker-John-Bercow-run-half-MILLION-pounds-expenses-including-26-000-formal-dresswear-100-000-overseas-jaunts.html

    I notice he voted ‘very strongly’ for the Iraq war.
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10040/john_bercow/buckingham/votes#foreign

  • Mary

    PS I see Bercow took £2,500 from BLiar’s tennis partner Lord Levy.

    He went to Israel way back under the auspices of the Conservative Friends of Israel and latterly sponsored by Christian Aid. I will remember that when one of their collecting tins is rattled at me.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=10040

  • Jives

    James,

    “Fiddling Amazon doesn’t seem to be the snidest…” etc..

    Correct-for most people-but if you’re a supposed journalist it should be career suicide.

    That’s the issue here.

    [Jives here objected to an anti-Semitic comment, which I have now seen and deleted. Craig]

  • Old Mark

    Then what happens? Amazon deletes the one star reviews and does not delete the five star reviews, put up in exactly the same timescale. Is that a treatment they give to every author? Why did Amazon do this? Why did they remove one star ratings and none of the five star ratings? I think we should be told.

    Great post Craig…and your follow up comment above seems to have shut up the usual suspects.

    As for Kempe whining that you can’t make a judgement on a book without reading it from cover to cover, well, presumably he applies the same principle to films, plays, TV serials, restuarant meals, bottles of wine etc, and perseveres in all cases to the bitter end before pronouncing on the quality of the same- whereas an intelligent person at some point decides the ‘life is too short…’ maxim applies.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Scorgie

    “As one reviewer of the book said:

    “This is a book for losers, who’ll tow the line, and follow blindly.””
    ______________________

    I wouldn’t give much credence to any reviewer who ignorantly writes

    “tow the line”

    instead of

    “toe the line”.

    Surprised, by the way, that you didn’t pick that one up, Doug.

  • felix

    Kempe:
    “If anything Aaronovitch didn’t go far enough, sure Voodoo Histories was published before Sandy Hook and Boston so he wasn’t able to cover the despicable hounding of victims and the bereaved by sick individuals convinced that they’re actors”

    I laugh myself to death.

    BTW I bought the book for 99p on ebay. On the subjects there I had researched deeply, Aaro came across as little more than a gatekeeper.

    Perhaps you can encourage Aaro to write about SH & Boston and all the other recent fake media events so we can have another good chuckle.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Have posted a review on how ironic it is that a book on conspiracies supposedly never happening involves a conspiracy by the author and his friends to post fake 5 star reviews of it – and what this tells you about how much you can trust anything Aaronovitch writes. Chances of that review being published pretty much none, so maybe i’ll do a blog post about it.

  • Jemand

    Oh dear. The scissors have come out against me, yet again.

    [craigmurray.org.uk – A comment by James was deleted, so Jemand’s orphaned reply which quoted it in full had to go too.]

  • Resident Dissident

    Having read both Voodoo Histories and Murder in Samarkand all I can say that Aaronovich admitting to posting fake reviews on Amazon in order to counter poor reviews, which I suspected Amazon deleted because they were no doubt libellous (just look at the type of comments made here on the very mention of his name) is hardly the worst offence that an author has had the courage to admit to publicly. Is it Craig?

    I’m afraid that Aaronovitch has a different world view to most on this blog and to his credit he argues it well and consistently. Those who are fair minded and grown up are quite capable of understanding that others may have different views from their own and can still be decent people and just confine themselves to the arguments that they raise – others cannot.

    Mark Golding – I think you will find that Aaronovich offers rather more arguments than Occam’s Razor – or can we dismiss everything you say based on your first argument?

  • Richard

    I have only read bits of Aaronovich’s columns years ago and that was enough for one eternity. I have also seen him on T.V. a couple of times drumming up support for hideous military actions which he has no intention of going anywhere near but which kill and maim others. He has an unpleasant face, an unpleasant manner and comes across as a thoroughly unpleasant man. I wouldn’t read his book if he paid me to do it and I am not in the least surprised that he fraudulently tried to boost his book’s ratings.

    Murder in Samarkand however is, though depressing in much of the shady goings on it describes, and excellent and thoroughly readable book. I give it “five stars” right here and recommend it to all who have not yet read it.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Richard

    “He has an unpleasant face, an unpleasant manner and comes across as a thoroughly unpleasant man.”
    __________________

    Have you read Orwell’s essay called “Benefit of Clergy”?

    You should.

  • Jives

    Resisent Dissident,

    “I’m afraid that Aaronovitch has a different world view to most on this blog and to his credit he argues it well and consistently. Those who are fair minded and grown up are quite capable of understanding that others may have different views from their own and can still be decent people and just confine themselves to the arguments that they raise – others cannot.”

    ******

    Congrats bro!

    I hereby enter you as frontrunner for 1st prize in Pseud’s Cormer-Patronising Redux.

  • Kempe

    ” It is interesting because in the case of Murder in Samarkand at least four positive reviews have been deleted by Amazon from time to time. I don’t know why but see Biodiplomacy’s comment above oh his review being deleted for naming Tony Blair. No negative review of Murder in Samarkand by Amazon has ever been deleted. Does the difference reflect a political agenda in which books they boost? ”

    One would hope not. Did you challenge Amazon regarding the deleted reviews?

    In a way I’m surprised that Amazon would delete any positive review providing it wasn’t libellous, they are after all a business and positive reviews help sales. I suppose though the reviews have to be seen to be honest for them to be trusted and have any value. Whilst it doesn’t make it right I would imagine that what Aaronovitch did is very common and that Amazon, like TripAdvisor, must be wise to it. It’ll be interesting to see their response to your questions.

    Whilst I’m sure you have good reasons to dislike Mr Aaronovitch do you not think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill here? Of all the things going on around us at the moment someone trying to hype his book on Amazon five years ago is hardly earth shattering.

    On the subject of the book itself the description of it as “shoddy” if totally incorrect at least pleased the majority of posters here who you must’ve noticed by now are conspiracy theorists to one degree or another.

    Speaking of which welcome Felix. For those that don’t know Felix is a regular on the David Icke forum who is of the firm opinion that anything and everything that happens (including the Apollo Theatre ceiling collapse) is a false flag “psy-op”. He should fit in very well.

  • Macon Richardson

    Habbabkuk, I noticed the “tow the line” comment, too. My reaction was somewhat different from yours or Mary’s. While Scorgie’s misunderstanding (or misspelling)of “toe the line” may speak volumes about him, I loved it and I’m going to steal it. The ambiguity in the spoken words is wonderful.

    But let’s be charitable. Perhaps Scorgie is a bargeman, in which case he would be more familiar with towing the line than you or I, we who are used to being “on the mark”. Perhaps English is not his native language. Or perhaps it was simply a typographical error. Judge not!

    This is my first visit to Craig Murray’s blog (referred to it by Gilad Atzman)and I have delighted in reading the comments. Thank you all! (Oh, except Kempe!)

    I’ll be back!

  • Mary

    Macon Richardson – My comment was to Old Mark who had said:

    Great post Craig…and your follow up comment above seems to have shut up the usual suspects.

    I said he spoke one minute too soon, as the post from ‘Habbabkuk’ arrived one minute after Old Mark’s!

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