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    Re: Buckley the Navigator
    From: Peter Fogg
    Date: 2008 Mar 2, 07:32 +1100
    There is a rule-of-thumb that states that the first to call the other a fascist in a debate loses the argument at that point (although in William F. Buckley's case it must have been difficult to resist).

    There is another rule-of-thumb that holds that the first to threaten physical violence in a debate loses the argument at that point (although with Gore Vidal as a verbal sparring partner it could have been difficult to resist).

    This famous anecdote, that I even heard on the radio recently as part of a Buckley eulogy, does neither of them any credit at all.

    On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 1:36 AM, Fred Hebard <Fred{at}acf.org> wrote:

    Buckley indeed had a fantastic personality and demeanor.  He also
    could be tough, somehow without escalating a confrontation.  In the
    spasm of recent coverage, I saw a video of him interviewing Gore
    Vidal in 1967.  Vidal, in his vicious way, essentially called Buckley
    a Nazi.  Buckley immediately, at a normal volume of speech but
    menacingly said he would "punch" Vidal in "the goddammed face" right
    then and there if that line of reasoning were pursued.  No
    histrionics, no screaming, reminding me of the way one of the
    middling-sized boys in the class might inform a larger one that said
    larger one had crossed a line and needed to back down; the smaller
    boy being one of those kids you didn't mess with, even though he
    wasn't big and had never been tested in a real fight.  In my case,
    I'm sure it would have flown over the top of my head as I continued
    in the same mode to debate such a vicious attack, therebye losing the
    debate.  I also have witnessed a very unseemly scene erupt during a
    formal meeting when the Nazi metaphor/simile was invoked.

    Fred Hebard

    On Mar 1, 2008, at 3:32 AM, frankreed{at}HistoricalAtlas.net wrote:

    > An excerpt from an obituary of William F. Buckley:

    > Norfolk photographer and writer Christopher Little first met
    > Buckley while
    > on assignment for The New York Times in the early 1970s....

    >  Little said Wednesday during a
    > phone interview. "In my line of work, you meet a lot of famous and
    > charming
    > people, but Bill took that to an even higher level. You couldn't
    > possibly
    > have more fun with someone. He told hilarious stories and shared great
    > gossip about all the famous people he knew." "
    >  -FER
    > www.HistoricalAtlas.com

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