David Aaronovitch (born July 8, 1954) is a British journalist, broadcaster, and author. He is a regular columnist for The Times, and is the author of Paddling to Jerusalem: An Aquatic Tour of Our Small Country (2000). He won the George Orwell Prize for political journalism in 2001.
He studied Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford from October 1972 until April 1974, when he was sent down (expelled) for failing the German part of his History exams. He completed his education at the University of Manchester, graduating in 1978 with an upper second BA (Hons) in History. While at Manchester, he was a member of the 1975 University Challenge team that lost in the first round after answering most questions with the name of a revolutionary ("Trotsky", "Lenin", "Karl Marx" or "Che Guevara"); the team's tactics were a protest against the fact that the Oxford and Cambridge universities can enter each of their colleges as a separate team even though the individual colleges are not universities in themselves.
He was initially a Eurocommunist and active in the Young Communist League (YCL), where he met Peter Mandelson, then also a member. He was also active in the National Union of Students (NUS) where he got to know the president at the time, Charles Clarke, who later became Home Secretary. Aaronovitch himself was president of the NUS from 1980 to 1982. He then identified with the Broad Left, but later moved rightward politically.
At the New Statesman he wrote a pseudonymous column purporting to be the diary of 'Lynton Charles, MP'. Charles and Lynton are Tony Blair's middle names. He began contributing to The Guardian and The Observer in 2003, where he was a columnist and feature writer. Since June 2005, he has written a regular column for The Times and regularly writes columns for the Jewish Chronicle. He also presents or contributes to radio and television programmes, including the BBC's Have I Got News For You and BBC News 24.
In his columns, he supports the current New Labour position, although he has opposed them on issues related to the House of Lords, civil liberties and voting reform. He strongly supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Various people have been identified as the real writer of the Norman Johnson columns, principally Catherine Bennett, a regular Guardian columnist.
In late-2005 Aaronovitch was co-author, with blogger Oliver Kamm and journalist Francis Wheen, of a complaint to The Guardian when it published a correction and apology for an interview with Chomsky by Emma Brockes. Chomsky complained that the article suggested he denied the fact of the Srebrenica massacre of 1995. The writer Diana Johnstone also complained about references to her in the interview. A Guardian readers' editor found that this had misrepresented Chomsky's position, and his judgement was upheld in May 2006 by an external ombudsman, John Willis. In his report for the Guardian, Willis detailed his reasons for rejecting the argument. The Independent's media columnist Stephen Glover criticized the Willis report and asks why Willis did not "reconsider Professor Chomsky's original complaint in the light of the evidence adduced by Messrs Aaronovitch, Kamm and Wheen in their letter".
No, Sir, that ain't History: Voodoo Histories, the David Aaronovitch book that attempts to falsify all Modern-day instances of Conspiracy, falls short Because, ironically, it ignores History.(BOOK REVIEW)(Voodoo Histories: The Role of Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History)(Book review)
Mar 15, 2010; Voodoo Histories: The Role of Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History, by David Aaronovitch, New York: Riverhead Books,...
Right of Reply ; the Editor of Radio 4's `Today' Programme Responds to an Article by David Aaronovitch, Which Criticised the Radio Programme's Coverage of Begging by Asylum Seekers
Mar 15, 2000; OH, THOSE scrounging Romanian gypsies want a good kicking and no mistake. They come over here with their threatening babies,...
Right of Reply: Christine Blower A London Socialist Alliance candidate for the Greater London Assembly defends her organisation against criticisms made by David Aaronovitch
Apr 26, 2000; THE DISILLUSIONMENT with New Labour expected by many of us on the left is indeed, as David Aaronovitch puts it, "going like a...