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

1 2 3
  • Kempe

    ” Aaronovitch is a toadying NeoCon puppet-shill who no doubt gets paid in brown envelopes by his spooky paymasters-as long as he writes what he is told. ”

    There we go. Exactly the point I was making on another thread. He’s got to be a “shill”.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    David Aaronovitch is an unprincipled liar in my book, and I hope he goes to court over such claims.

    In the run-up to Saddam’s ouster, he wrote a vague column, for The Times as I recall, claiming that demonstrations against it, apparently in Stockholm, were just composed by lazy, self-serving socialists who had nothing better to do.

    Since I had attended them with my rather non-political girlfriend, I wrote him about his most false claims, and he responded by claiming he was writing about demonstrations elsewhere, in Australia as I recall, but I responded that it was just more porkies by him. He did not reply as I recall.

    The guy is just the worst kind of hack who will work for anyone who pays him for any convenient rubbish.

  • John Goss

    Aaronovitch is the same as novelist and sock-puppeteer E J Ellory mentioned and linked in my last blog. Sock-puppeteers and sock puppeteers by proxy are shameless and need exposing.

  • Jives

    Kempe.

    If you can’t spot an obvious shill like Aaronovitch then you really need to get out more.

    Unless you are also a shill paid to defend other shills of course.

  • Jives

    So then trolls…do we need to read,say,Jeffery Archer to know his books are shoddy?

    Duh!

  • Jives

    Frank Gardner someone said?

    There’s yet another media shill from Goebbels Central Casting.

  • mark golding

    Aaronovitch and ‘Voodoo Histories’ is an attempt to ‘ring-fence’ deception simply by connecting deceit with relativism and declaring a subjective reassuring human urge for causality. Aaronovitch supports this attempt to invoke order from chaos in a number of ways.

    Occams razor is served up for ‘starters’ convincing the reader that the complexity of fabricating a deception involving thousands of potential witnesses such as the bloodline of Jesus, the murder of Diana princess of Wales, the ‘moon landing’ illusion and prior awareness of the attacks on the World Trade Center etc are beyond reason.

    Interestingly the gentle and modest so called ‘conspiracy theorist’ John Anthony Hill who was appallingly extradited from Ireland, and imprisoned while awaiting “trial”, used ‘Occams Razor’ to dissect 7/7 in his ‘Ripple Effect’ and this follow up:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNnyctcE4eQ#t=260

    Some will posit here that John Hill reinforces the ‘voodoo’ argument. I, myself chronicle Mossad’s maxim ‘בתחבולות תעשה לך מלחמה’ which means: ‘For by wise counsel thou shalt wage thy war’ or literally ‘By way of deception, thou shalt do war which provoked change recently to ‘באין תחבולות יפול עם, ותשועה ברוב יועץ‎’ or translated ‘Where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs XI, 14)

    On that biblical plane wisdom is praised for her role in creation; God acquired her before all else, and through her he gave order to chaos.

    That wisdom may exempt John Hill from his indulgence and condemn Aaronovitch to pudency.

  • Jives

    Mark Golding ^

    Excellent post.

    Aaronovitch specialises in the laziest weakest form of “journalism” around i.e. always believe and reinforce the Establishment line at all times,never question them and ridicule those brave and intellectually rigorous enough who do.

    History has repeatedly shown the folly of blind obedience to the Establishment narrative.

    Aaronovitch is a weak and intellectually shallow toady hack.

  • A Node

    Kempe: “There we go. Exactly the point I was making on another thread. He’s got to be a “shill”.”
    Allow me to supply the link for you.
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/04/a-key-test-for-international-law/#comment-453501
    However, are you sure it’s wise to draw attention to your comment on that thread? It rather lost you any credibility on this subject, not to mention showed you up for someone who hasn’t even got the grace to apologise when proved to be making false smears about another poster.
    Don’t you agree that the least you should do under the circumstances is to leave discussion of this topic to people who understand it better than you?

  • Anon

    Jives

    “Do we need to read,say,Jeffery Archer to know his books are shoddy?”

    No, but Craig made the point about needing to read a book before judging it and now refuses to confirm whether he has read Aaaronovitch’s book, which he calls “shoddy”.

  • Neil Saunders

    It’s about time that Robin Ramsay updated his excellent little Pocket Essentials book, “Conspiracy Theories”, or – better still – wrote a new, full-length treatment of the subject. This would be a useful corrective to the sort of drivel put out by faux-liberal, establishment hacks like Aaronovitch.

  • Robert Lewis

    I had the dubious pleasure of seeing my book reviewed by Aaronovitch in The Times. It was not the worst review I’d had (Nick Cohen and Tom Mangold were yet to come) but let us just say it was a rather biased critique – as you might imagine. So I was heartened to read your blog today, Craig. This news had passed me by entirely.

    “You get your frauds to balance off their frauds.” There speaks a man entirely unburdened by any duty towards intellectual objectivity. Also a rather telling use of the third person plural, n’est-ce pas? Them, their. ‘Twas once branded the hallmark of the loony, this projection of negative reality onto some malicious, conniving other. It was Aaronovitch himself who argued so. But no, it is merely human nature, and thus the shortcomings of Voodoo Histories and its author are revealed.

    Bad work outs in time.

    Thanks again Craig, it’s good to see you posting more often after your hiatus a while back.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Always amused me that Aaronovitch is on the BBC to represent the left-wing viewpoint in BBC news debate programmes, along with a female Telegraph columnist to represent the right. Tells you a lot about how narrow and right wing the BBC’s spectrum of supposedly acceptable political opinion is – it goes from Blairism (centre-right) to the right wing of the Conservative party.

  • Kempe

    ” Don’t you agree that the least you should do under the circumstances is to leave discussion of this topic to people who understand it better than you? ”

    I might consider it if one were ever to come along.

    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 but he didn’t discuss the anti-vaccination/big pharma or the HIV/AIDS conspiracies the last of which is estimated to have caused 300,000 deaths in South Africa. The 9/11 movement has moved on since 2009 too with Truthers being increasingly split between the advocates of the “no planes” theories and the rest.

  • Mary

    The more times I read this piece by Craig, the more I am moved by his words, especially the final paragraph. The slaughter and the horror were NOT DONE IN OUR NAME BLiar and Aaronovitch.

    It is so good to see so many new names and some familiar ones from earlier days with not a peep from the usual dreary troll.

    PS Thanks for responding Ian. Good luck with your meeting. I expect you know that Craig respected Ian Gibson.

    Some of his posts in 2009 when he was standing in the by election in Norwich North…..

    BBC Prioritises BNP
    by craig on Jul 5th 2009 in Norwich North!, The Election
    Totally out of touch with public mood, the BBC is prioritising political parties – any political party – over an independent candidate, even a serious one. The BBC’s Michael Crick has denied any bias by the BBC in refusing to cover me on Newsnight. In Today’s Independent on Sunday, Michael Crick states: “Oh yes, that’s […]

    By-Election Latest
    by craig on Jul 1st 2009 in Norwich North!, The Election
    Conservatives 1/5 Labour 9/2 Greens 12/1 Craig Murray 25/1 Ian Gibson 33/1 Liberal Democrats 33/1 UKIP 100/1 BNP 200/1 Bill Holden 200/1 Libertarian Party 500/1 Official Monster Raving Loony 1000/1 (Ladbrokes) From the doorstep experience, I think that is basically the right running order if the election were held today. Fortunately it isn’t, and we […]

    I Am Standing in Norwich North
    by craig on Jun 5th 2009 in Norwich North!, The Election
    There is to be a by-election in Norwich North. I shall be standing as an independent, anti-sleaze candidate. Dr Ian Gibson was a good MP, and has done the honourable thing – unlike so many others – by standing down as an MP now. As it happens, my lifelong friend and best man, Marcus Armes, […]

  • A Node

    Kempe:

    ” Don’t you agree that the least you should do under the circumstances is to leave discussion of this topic to people who understand it better than you? ”

    I might consider it if one were ever to come along.

    #~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~#

    Well, you were the only one to fail the Is Aaronovitch a hypocritical lying fraud? test.

    When unconfirmed reports of his dishonesty first reached this blog, everybody else correctly assessed that the story was perfectly plausible, i.e. it was consistent with his known greed, tacky morals, and low journalistic standards.

    You on the other hand went so far as to put on record …..
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/04/a-key-test-for-international-law/#comment-453501
    …. your doubts that the story could be true and identified with him as another misunderstood shill. You even contrived an elaborate conspiracy theory that the “Truthers” on the blog were sowing disinformation and smearing this fine chap.

    I cringed with embarrassment for you when we received confirmation that Aaronovitch was indeed an unscrupulous cheating liar. However, I would not be doing you any favour if I didn’t point out that the incident has impacted badly on your credibility as a judge of what is honest and decent. In future when you cite the opinion of yet another extreme right fanatic, we may not be as indulgent as previously.

    A wee tip. Don’t opine on matters you don’t understand. Just ask. Any of us here would be happy to explain some of the tricky stuff to you.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Nick, while I disagree strongly with Rory Stewart he is intelligent and knowledgeable and his books and articles are an interesting read. David Aaronovitch is hugely ignorant of the subjects he writes about and worse, like Blair, has no interest in any facts that might go against what he has already decided is the truth.

    Craig Murray writes honest, interesting and surprising books which are also often very funny and will open your eyes to how governments and diplomacy actually work. I assumed when i bought Murder in Samarkand that i already knew most of the facts from reading articles on Uzbekistan and on Murray’s hounding by the foreign office. I was wrong and i learned a great deal from the book. The Catholic Orangemen of Togo is also well worth reading, especially on the Sierra Leone conflict and peace process.

  • Brendan

    Alas the Cohen’s and Aaronovitch of journalism suffer the same ignorance as most politicians: Historical. Bliar was, allegedly, famous for knowing fuck all about History, but he at least has the excuse of suffering from a profound psychological disorder. Not so Cohen and Aaronovitch. They basically are unable to see themselves as what they are: propagandists for war. History is full of such journalism.

    It would be almost forgiveable were it not for their bullying. One may disagree with a postion – but Cohen Aaronovitch have never accepted this simple proposition. They bully, hector, lie, and smear, and accuse anyone who disagree’s of cowardice and Islamofacism. I personally know what to make of such arguments – they mirror the Marxism they despise. I also know that neither of them are capable of understanding the Iraq death-toll, for which I almost pity them.

    On the book review, he should be sacked. He won’t be though. Just don’t read the newspapers is my advice.

  • Kempe

    ” When unconfirmed reports of his dishonesty first reached this blog, everybody else correctly assessed that the story was perfectly plausible ”

    You mean you jumped to the conclusion that you wanted to believe on the basis of no evidence whilst some of us waited until we had the facts. You were only right by chance. Although it’s standard practive amongst Truthers forming an opinion on no evidence isn’t a sound practice.

  • James

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

  • A Node

    Kempe:

    “You mean you jumped to the conclusion that you wanted to believe on the basis of no evidence whilst some of us waited until we had the facts. You were only right by chance. Although it’s standard practive amongst Truthers forming an opinion on no evidence isn’t a sound practice.”

    As you confirm, we immediately got it right. You took longer to get it wrong.
    Your response is so weak that I conclude you have no further defence to offer.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Action: terminate conversation
    Summary: spanking administered, humiliation complete
    Recommendations: set credibility ratings of subject to low
    Conclusions: subject unable or unwilling to be helped
    File under: agents of disinformation

    ~~~~~~~~ [Case Closed] ~~~~~~~~~

  • Kempe

    ” The first review was a 1 star review, written on 4th May. ”

    Three days before the book was published. Thank you.

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

    Not by any means; The book has had a lot of very favourable reviews. It’s only Truthers who’ve never read it who are so uncomfortable with it’s conclusions.

    ” Action: terminate conversation ”

    Ah, running away. Bye bye.

  • MJ

    “It’s only Truthers who’ve never read it who are so uncomfortable with it’s conclusions”

    As a confirmed “Truther” I can confirm that I read his chapter on 911 (a particular interest of mine) and it caused no discomfort whatsoever. On the contrary, I thought it was excellent.

    I particularly enjoyed the bit where he ties himself up in knots trying to explain how Atta’s passport might be found in the rubble (while the black box recorders apparently
    turned to dust), clearly oblivious of the fact that in 2002 the FBI had withdrawn that piece of evidence, dismissing it as merely “a rumour”. Pure magic!

  • craig Post author

    Kempe

    Yes, there was a single one star review before publication, closely followed by a five star one. If you use the wayback machine to find the next save, you find that by 12 May the average was 3.5, and a balance of one star ones – from people who do seem pretty well to know what is in the book in detail – and five star ones, from people procured by Aaronovich.

    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.

    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?

  • Jives

    As is now universally acknowledged there was an industrial scale extraoedinary rendition/torture programme in place for many years after 9/11.

    When questioned in the House Jack Straw denied this as “conspiracy theory”.

    Exactly the same disgusting tactic employed by Aaronovitch when he seeks to shamelessly lie on behalf of his paymasters.

    Why hasn’t Straw been hauled before the courts for such blatant lies?

  • Mary

    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?

    The only what? A PR for Aaronovitch? 😉 Or perhaps a Murdoch employee?

    Aa still not tweeted. Studiously avoiding all mention of Craig’s piece.

    https://twitter.com/DAaronovitch

1 2 3

Comments are closed.