Skip to comments.Esquire apology heartens Buckley
Posted on 01/19/2005 7:19:53 AM PST by Pikamax
Esquire apology heartens Buckley
For William F. Buckley Jr. - who waged, with Gore Vidal, one of the last century's more famous literary feuds - victory is sweeter the second time around.
Yesterday, 79-year-old Buckley was crowing over Esquire magazine's abjectly apologetic "Open Letter" in the February issue, saying the mag "greatly regrets" including an old Vidal polemic, "A Distasteful Encounter With William F. Buckley Jr.," in a recent anthology.
When the Vidal essay was originally printed in 1969 - after the two debaters exchanged televised insults during the raucous 1968 Democratic convention - Buckley successfully sued the magazine for libel. Among other libels, Vidal had suggested Buckley was an anti-Semite in the mag.
This time, Esquire's parent company, Hearst, agreed to pay Buckley and his lawyers $65,000, destroy all unshipped copies of the 2003 collection, "Esquire's Big Book of Great Writing," and provide to anyone who requests it Buckley's 1969 essay giving his version of the 1968 dustup.
"Present management was not aware of the history of this litigation," the letter states.
"I must say they were rather good about it," Buckley told me. "It's amazing that they hadn't heard of that controversy. It's 35 years old, but if anybody's going to handle an 8,000-word essay by Vidal, you'd think it would brush up against the fingers of some lawyer."
Buckley added mischievously: "Why don't you call Vidal and ask him if he'll be more careful from now on."
The 79-year-old Vidal didn't respond yesterday
(Excerpt) Read more at nydailynews.com ...
Vidal is about as low as you can go. A nice victory from the old days for WFB.
I remember that very clearly. Gore called Buckley a crypto-nazi and Buckley shot back "Don't call me a nazi you G**D*** queer!"
I think I'll track down their address and request a copy of that, just to cost them the postage.
Yeah, it is amazing. Maybe the truth is they thought the damages paid as a result of that suit gave them the right to print it again.
This time, Esquire's parent company, Hearst, agreed to ... destroy all unshipped copies of the 2003 collection, "Esquire's Big Book of Great Writing,"
2003? Seems like that horse has already left the barn. (Unsure whether this will work but, here you go): eBay Search
Holy moly! That link is 45 MB!
Vidal ranks right up there in my book as one of the slimiest creeps of the whole 20th Century.
This is history, and it is not "embedded history" as Barbara Boxer insists be "created."
Hey... if you find it send it to me too, I'd like to read it. I was just a kid at the time watching on b & W tv, but I remember those two really going at it. I think it was then that I found myself alligning myself with the conservative view point.
Someone should re broadcast those debates. If I recall you almost needed a webster's as they were throwing words back at each other I had never heard before.
Thanks for posting the link. Well worth the (very long) read.
You're quite welcome.
It was too long for me to read here at work, but I'll check it out at home tonight.
(The video's a Quicktime plug-in shown at the bottom of the linked page)
I remember it well...Seared, seared into my mind more the Kerry's Cambodia experience. Do you remember Buckley's Playboy interview, circa 1970?
I remember reading it. (I only bought it for that article!)
Bill Buckley has always had a way with words.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.