Eric Alterman used to feel sorry for me but now he just thinks I’m an a**hole and idiot for saying that Edward Said and I.F. Stone should be gibbeted. Alterman, my old landlord, and the man who recently said he wished Rush Limbaugh had gone deaf, has particular expertise at asininity so I should take this seriously. And I did know that Alterman has long been a woshipper of Izzy Stone — a man who sided with pretty much every anti-American totalitarian regime he could at one point or another and who accused America of using WMDs in the Korean war. As for Edward Said, “political decency” is hardly the first phrase I would think of to describe a man who considered Yassir Arafat too moderate.
For the record, my gibbeting list was intended metaphorically. In other words, I don’t think, and didn’t think, most people would take me seriously in my “desire” to literally dig up people. But I was completely serious when I said that I think Edward Said and I.F. Stone were enemies of what Alterman would call political decency — if he really knew what that is — and they don’t deserve our reverence. One difference between Eric and me is that he’s far more fond of drawing-up enemies lists of the living.
I would unburden myself further in my views on Alterman’s gift for asininity and idiocy, but that might give the false impression that I care more about his opinion than he deserves.