John McGregor's Response to David Lovejoy

I didn't answer Mr Lovejoy's November 11 attack, because rather than magnify it into a public brawl I wanted to pursue it with him privately - which we did by email for about a fortnight.

I should first point out, to those who asked, that I have written for David's paper only occasionally, as a favour, and generally gratis. My employers are the metropolitan dailies. So David's defamation won't affect my livelihood.

I had no objection to David's criticising me for what I said about M and EV. Dealing with these criticisms is something of a no-brainer, IMO, and we're all familiar with the arguments each way - and for those reasons I don't want to go into them all again here. (Tho I thank those who defended me at the time!)

However the personal attacks on me were unfair - to say nothing of untrue - and I wanted David to apologise for them.

I pointed out to David that his blistering opinion of my poor political acumen came just after his newspaper (and others nationwide) ran stories on my winning a national journalism award, for a year-long series of political articles; that he could have determined whether I was "on the verge of a nervous breakdown" by talking to me; that my 'boastfulness' about political/FBI connections was (as David well knew) to forestall any CAC defamation, and that I'm not an habitual boaster; and that his dragging my family affairs into the public gaze was unethical.

IMO David didn't honestly address these problems in his reply. I pointed this out. David discussed the matter with his 30-year friend Glen Whittaker. Glen then intervened on David's behalf, and immediately raised the possibility of an apology for the personal attacks. However Glen said it could not be made on the forum, because that would dignify the forum in a way it didn't merit. Glen suggested that once David had apologised to me, I could convey this news to the forum. I pointed out that the forum was considered good enough for the original attack - and therefore it was good enough for the apology. But to no avail.

Glen was always extremely civil. We pursued the apology idea (and several other ideas) for a while, then stalemated on the forum issue.

Then came a final email from David - IMO even more bellicose than his original - which reversed course: the apology was now off the agenda. At this point I judged the discussion a lost cause.

Having an unblemished 28-year friendship terminated over the Internet - without any prior personal contact - is one of the more surreal experiences of my Knowledge-exiting saga.