Guilt by association knows no mortal boundaries. Just for being the guy who wrote the book Julian Assange clutched as he was getting dragged away, Gore Vidal has come in for the most shocking abuse. Terry Glavin, in Macleans, writes that,
"As he was pulled and more or less carried from the embassy, Assange was conspicuously clutching a book edited by Paul Jay, a sort of presenter with something called The Real News Network. TRNN is what you’d get if you wanted something that looked like a television news station aimed at high school students determined to give the impression that they’re more clued in to world events than their parents. The book, “Gore Vidal on the History of the National Security State,” consists in the main of interviews Jay conducted with Vidal in the once-famous novelist’s sad and deranged twilight years.”
The article is called "Deconstructing Julian Assange." Terry, you're playing pretty fast and loose with the concept of deconstruction. Deconstruction is a Derridean term. It as ridiculous to use it to describe your article, a hatchet job of conservative character smears, as it is to imagine that you have read Jacques Derrida.
Dick Cavett referred to Gore Vidal as “the best talker since Oscar Wilde”. In 2009—well into Vidal’s supposed sad derangement—the National Book Foundation awarded him the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. They bestowed the honour upon Vidal for being a "prominent social critic on politics, history, literature and culture.” The Los Angeles Times argues he has earned his right to be taken seriously—by all. “Love him or hate him, Vidal is one of the smartest, most provocative and productive writers in the country.” He was so right up until his death, in 2012 at the age of 86. He had no dotage. Gore Vidal did not slow down. His faculties did not ever begin to slip away. There is no part of Gore Vidal's life or career that merits the description of "deranged." Ok. Maybe Caligula, I give you Caligula. Caligula, the 1979 film about clearly deranged Roman emperor Caligula, for which Vidal wrote the screenplay, was the most shockingly hardcore thing to go mainstream ever, a record it no longer holds. Disagree with Vidal, by all means, but have an argument next time why dontcha. Glavin’s piece is the cheapest sort of hit job. So many ad hominens.
In Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace or How We Came To Be So Hated, (2002) Vidal writes, “Finally, the physical damage Osama and friends can do us—terrible as it has been thus far—is as nothing as to what he is doing to our liberties. Once alienated, an “unalienable right” is apt to be forever lost, in which case we are no longer even remotely the last best hope of earth but merely a seedy imperial state whose citizens are kept in line by SWAT teams and whose way of death, not life, is universally imitated.”
Yeah, because he was way off about all of that.