To mark the recent publication of Gore Vidal's memoir, Snapshots in History's Glare, The Atlantic's John Meroney interviewed the American literary and cultural icon at his house in Hollywood. In the interview, Vidal continues his provocations of recent years, discussing President Obama's lack of experience and Roman Polanski's "hooker" victim.
On President Obama:
"...remember that I was brought up in Washington. It was an all-black city when I was a kid. And I've always been very pro-African-American--or whatever phrase we now use. I was curious to see what would happen when their time came. I was delighted when Obama appeared on the scene. But now it seems as though our original objection to him - that experience mattered - was well-founded."
On the persecution of Roman Polanski:
"I really don't give a fuck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she's been taken advantage of?
"First, I was in the middle of all that. Back then, we all were. Everybody knew everybody else. There was a totally different story at the time that doesn't resemble anything that we're now being told....The media can't get anything straight. Plus, there's usually an anti-Semitic and anti-fag thing going on with the press - lots of crazy things. The idea that this girl was in her communion dress, a little angel all in white, being raped by this awful Jew, Polacko - that's what people were calling him - well, the story is totally different now from what it was then.
"Anti-Semitism got poor Polanski. He was also a foreigner. He did not subscribe to American values in the least. To [his persecutors], that seemed vicious and unnatural."
In response to the interview, a Huffington Post blogger asks, "Why does this guy still get interviewed? Can't someone stop him from embarrassing himself? Doesn't someone have power of attorney? Isn't there anyone concerned with this guy's vanishing legacy?"
And even The Atlantic's own writers find Vidal's comments vile.
To read the whole interview, click here.