Gore Vial's Crime: Comparing “The Prisoner of Sex” to “three days of menstrual flow” and Mailer to Charles Manson.
Action taken: Head-butting him in the green room of The Dick Cavett Show in 1971, then telling him, on-air, that he ruined Kerouac by sleeping with him. Six years later, he threw a drink at Vidal—and punched him—at a Lally Weymouth soirée.
Blowback: Still on the floor, Vidal said, “Words fail Norman Mailer yet again.” Days later, Vidal went on Cavett’s show to assert that Mailer had—literally—stabbed his second wife in the back. They reconciled in 1985.
PS-The woman is Janet Flanner, no intellectual slouch herself. Can you imagine a talk show today hosting these three or anyone not pushing a movie or TV show.
Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the.
- Mary McCarthy, in a statement about Hellman in a 1979 interview on The Dick Cavett Show; this prompted a defamation suit against McCarthy which was dropped after Hellman's death.