September 16, 2003


Gore Vidal wasnít too worried about Saddam Hussein, preferring to leave Iraqis to sort him out themselves (ďDon't you think that's their problem? That's not your problem and that's not my problemĒ). What really gets him steamed is Fox News:

"Oh, it's disgusting, deeply disgusting, I've never heard people like that on television in my life and I've been on television for 50 years, since the very beginning of television in the United States. And I have never seen it as low, as false, one lie after the other in these squeaky voices that you get from these fast-talking men and women, it was pretty sick."

Iíd argue with him, but heís not my problem.

(Via reader Tom R.)

Posted by Tim Blair at September 16, 2003 12:31 AM

Vidal doesn't remember the following live TV from 1968?

At the Aug. 22 debate in Chicago - the penultimate encounter in the series, with an estimated 10 million people watching - things began with relative calm. But it didnít stay that way, and before long the men began exchanging words that one simply didnít hear on TV at that time. Vidal called Buckley a "pro-crypto-Nazi," a modest slip of the tongue, he later said, because he was searching for the word "fascist" and it just didn't come out. Inflamed by the word "Nazi" and the whole tenor of the discussion, Buckley snapped: "Now listen, you queer," he said, "stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or Iíll sock you in you goddamn face and youíll stay plastered." Smith attempted to calm the exchange with "gentlemen, let's not call names," but the damage had been done. The two men, considerably subdued, met the following night for the last of their week of debates.

There's more here plus an audio clip.

Posted by: ZsaZsa at September 16, 2003 at 12:49 AM

My opinion of, Buckley already pretty high....has now attained Stratospheric proportions....

Posted by: j at September 16, 2003 at 01:13 AM

Lol! Amen to that, j!

Posted by: xit1254 at September 16, 2003 at 02:53 AM

I wasn't sure if Vidal were dead or alive before this piece started making the internet rounds.

How many people really care what Vidal thinks? I always found him pretty boring. Could never understand his appeal.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at September 16, 2003 at 03:22 AM

Chris -- Are you sure if Vidal is alive or dead now?

Posted by: Charlie at September 16, 2003 at 03:42 AM

Insults are the last refuge of the loser. And Vidal is a loser, big time.

Posted by: Harry at September 16, 2003 at 03:46 AM

Plus Vidal came extemely close, if not outright, invoking Godwin's Law.

Posted by: Harry at September 16, 2003 at 03:47 AM

I hear people all the time saying that FOX News is a bunch of propaganda, right-wing lies, etc...and strangely enough, they never seem to be able to mention a single example as to why that is the case.

Posted by: PatrickM at September 16, 2003 at 04:17 AM

"...invoking Godwin's Law."

Damn. Just damn. How can you be that dumb and not be photosynthesizing? The event occured in 1968, for the love of Cthulhu! The internet wasn't even a gleam in Al Gore's eye yet! Godwin hadn't had a chance to formulate his famous law!

Good. Lord. Almighty.

Get the hell off my internet!

Posted by: Eichra Oren at September 16, 2003 at 04:20 AM

FWIW, Dept. of Senile Hypocrisy... That great reviler of all things American and therefore Phillistine, Mr. G. Vidal, has permanently abandoned his villa in Italy and returned to his (other) villa in LA. Reason: the obvious superiority of the medical care here in the land of non-socialized medicine.

Posted by: Roger L. Simon at September 16, 2003 at 06:12 AM

Eichra: this is idle speculation, so take it with a grain of salt -- but even though Godwin's Law wasn't around then, it's at least possible that Leo Strauss had by then created the phrase "reductio ad Hitlerum", which is much the same idea.

Posted by: Guy T. at September 16, 2003 at 08:02 AM
The internet wasn't even a gleam in Al Gore's eye yet! Godwin hadn't had a chance to formulate his famous law!

Good thing Newton finally got around to formulating a law of gravity. I'll bet our ancestors were pretty sick of floating about aimlessly, before then....

Or maybe the effect predated the law :-)

Posted by: Russ at September 16, 2003 at 08:57 AM

Vidal is so nasty that I suspect it to be pathological. A couple of months ago, he appeared on "Crossfire", where he gratuitously insulted one of the hosts for wearing a bow tie. I am certain that his fans will snicker delightedly at this adolescent behavior.

Posted by: Bleepless at September 16, 2003 at 09:57 AM

I've noticed that too, PatrickM. In all seriousness, does anyone know if there's a "Foxwatch" sight or something like that? Off hand, I can't recall "Spinsanity" catching Fox in anything.

Posted by: John Nowak at September 16, 2003 at 03:39 PM

Bleepless -- in "Bob Roberts" I'm pretty sure Vidal's character (ineffectual senator Brickley Paiste) wore a bow tie. Perhaps the experience scarred him.

Posted by: Guy T. at September 17, 2003 at 02:27 AM