June 24, 2006
Have At You, Sir!
It's not really time yet for my monthly post (hah!) but I couldn't resist linking to this site featuring the video of the famous verbal dust-up between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. at the time of the 1968 Democratic Convention. (Short version: WARNING - SPOILER Vidal calls Buckley a pro-crypto-Nazi, so Buckley calls Vidal a queer and threatens to sock him in the face. Bloody intellectuals, you can't take 'em anywhere.) Along with that you can read Vidal's Esquire article "A Distasteful Encounter with William F. Buckley Jr." on the event:
[I]n full view of ten million people, the little door in William F. Buckley Jr.'s forehead suddenly opened and out sprang that wild cuckoo which I had always known was there but had wanted so much for others, preferably millions of others, to get a good look at. I think those few seconds of madness, to use his word, were well worth a great deal of patient effort on my part.Although I'd seen the video before I wasn't aware the Esquire article even existed. It was apparently in response to Buckley's piece "On Experiencing Gore Vidal" over which Vidal lost a libel suit only to have Esquire settle out of court in response to Buckley's suit against Vidal over the response. And yet today I can link to the one Esquire caved, twice, into suppressing, while the court-approved polemic published first is nowhere to be found*. The internet is so unfair!
Via Mal de Mer commenting at Sadly, No! where you can also find links to YouTube feeds of Buckley versus Chomsky from the next year.
*Well, apparently if you ask National Review nicely they'll mail you a copy. (Update June 2016: Or you can read it here, for now. [I just purchased Best of Enemies, in case you were wondering why I was fiddling about with this decade old post.])