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Friday, July 24, 2009

To whom it may concern

Visitors to the blog have by now had ample opportunity of gathering that I am a scummy little smearbag. I suspect one or two may be feeling that the novelty is wearing off. I certainly am. So I have deleted the last batch of comments to this effect, and any more in the same vein will meet with the same fate.

Apart from anything else, I have no proof that the writer is who he claims to be. And I would certainly feel defamed if someone were posting comments in my name which made it look as if I was suffering from some digital variant of Tourette's Syndrome.

If the writer is indeed who he says he is, he may rest assured that an apology for legitimate and pertinent comment on material which he has chosen to place in the public domain is as unforthcoming as ever.

One last point. I recently leafed through a copy of the Economist whilst waiting to board a plane. Something rather unusual struck me about it: it's an anonymous magazine. Not a by-line from start to finish. And it is a former senior editor of the same magazine (or someone impersonating him) who repeatedly accuses me of moral cowardice for blogging anonymously. There's nowt so queer as folk.


Stephen Hugh-Jones said...

No one is impersonating me. I am indeed the person whom you--hiding behind your own, self-chosen, anonymity--have untruthfully and capaciously smeared as an anti-semite, which I am not. And there is zero evidence that I am or ever have been.

That my past employers choose, for their own reasons, to impose anonymity on their journalists is entirely beside the point. That policy has its merits for The Economist, but it is and was no choice of mine. Indeed it was one that had considerable disadvantages for some journalists employed on the magazine.

In any event, anonymity enforced by an employer is entirely different from anonymity used to conceal the authorship of smears--a policy that no doubt has merits for the smearer.

Cyrus said...

I am glad to see that my new comments policy is producing results. Mr H-J continues to claim that I have called him an anti-Semite, which is still a smear and a lie, but at least it is done in a somewhat more temperate manner.

He disclaims all responsibility for the Economist's anonymity policy. Fair enough up to a point, but given his tremendous aversion to my criticizing him anonymously, one might think that he would have sought out a different employer. Did he never criticize anyone while writing anonymously for the Economist? 'Yes, but I didn't smear people', he will doubtless reply. Well, one man's legitimate criticism is another man's smear, as the altercation between him and myself has amply demonstrated.