Even though the traffic stop for driving in a highway breakdown lane has been upheld in court, Fitzgerald has published six personal attacks on the trooper, calling him a "boldfaced liar."
Three days after he was stopped, Fitzgerald called the trooper, in print, "a disgrace to that uniform"--though he did not identify McCarthy as the cop in question because, he wrote, "it would be an unfair use of [my] column." Such equivocation had evaporated by June 4, 1997, when Fitzgerald attacked McCarthy by name in a piece contending that the charges were "a total fabrication." That November, in a tribute to an officer who had died, Fitzgerald repeated that McCarthy "fabricated charges." In a column criticizing former Red Sox slugger Mo Vaughan's acquittal on drunk driving charges the following March, Fitzgerald paused to mention that McCarthy, who had testified against Vaughan, was "a boldfaced liar." Less than two weeks later came a column about his safe-driving course.