Pegler’s other great twilight admirer, besides WFB, was Murray Kempton, than whose heart no one’s bled more profusely. But Kempton also, inconsistently, admired people with generous, outsize temperaments, especially if they were talented and self-destructive. Pegler sounds like a grand slam for him.
The longest conversation I had with Murray Kempton was on the eve of the 1984 Iowa caucuses, when I gave him a lift into Des Moines from the airport. He talked discursively about pols he had covered, past and present. He liked Krushchev, and detested John Anderson–pure Kempton.