'GODDAMN PINKO QUEER'  1:34 pm November 5, 2008

Gore Vidal Yells At British Election Followers

by Jim Newell

Crabby queen writer Gore Vidal, who is certainly older than you, appeared on the English telly after Obama’s clinch last night to discuss American politics with the Britons. Appropriately, he went insane for several minutes after asking and receiving permission to “talk the facts of life” with the BBC anchor. Whenever he is asked a mild follow-up question, Vidal barks that he has never heard of the terrible, lowly anchor who is harassing him. This clip is staggering. [YouTube]

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Dreadful Gate November 5, 2008 at 1:39 pm

You realize, of course, Vidal is drunk as a lord

NoWireHangers November 5, 2008 at 1:39 pm

You take the good, you take the bad,
you take them both and there you have
The facts of life, the facts of life…

NewSpence November 5, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Give him a break. He’s in his eighties, Prop 8 passed, and he once fucked Jack Kerouac at the Chelsea hotel. He gets a pass Wonkette.

Styrofoam Boots November 5, 2008 at 1:40 pm

British news is soooooooooooooooooo slow. Where are the colors, crazy talking heads, 50 pop-up sidebars, and holograms!??!!

Viva la Cynthia November 5, 2008 at 1:40 pm

The BBC audience did, indeed, love The Facts of Life, Blair and Tootie especially.

And yes, someone put his crazypants on a little snugly for that interview.

Neon Trotsky November 5, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Dangit, I thought he was going to talk about the birds and the bees…

SelfDeprecatingFed November 5, 2008 at 1:42 pm

The Walnuts campaign should have dragged out Gore Vidal… He makes McCain look young, spritely, and sane.

And apparently DC is an all-black city. I guess I should move :(

Viva la Cynthia November 5, 2008 at 1:42 pm

[re=167286]Styrofoam Boots[/re]: If it doesn’t have a hologram, I’m not watching it!

Neon Trotsky November 5, 2008 at 1:42 pm

[re=167281]Dreadful Gate[/re]: He is a drunk haughty eccentric in this clip, which is why he is perfect for British television!

Serolf Divad November 5, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Oh, God, I could listen to senile octogenarians with haughty British accents argue amongst themselves all day! Love it!

Styrofoam Boots November 5, 2008 at 1:43 pm

I like how they all have a nice chuckle afterwards.

Aurelio November 5, 2008 at 1:43 pm

Vidal on Tony Blair’s election: now Britain has two right wing parties, just like the US.
British newsman: Which British party is farther right? Vidal: One does not bring a measuring rod to Lilliput.

Londonian November 5, 2008 at 1:43 pm

This was far and away the best media moment of the night, God bless the beeb.

Neon Trotsky November 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm

[re=167286]Styrofoam Boots[/re]: Personally, I want to see the Gore Vidal hologram stumbling about in front of Wolf Blitzer…

Mr Blifil November 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Note to self: have nice family-assisted suicide surrounded by family upon turning 80.

Aurelio November 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm

This Beeb show is more evidence that the Brits think of themselves as part of some larger country that includes both the US and the UK. Just try to imagine the US having nonstop election night coverage of a UK election. You can’t.

GreatLakesNation November 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Ol’ Lockbox sure hasn’t aged well and is bitter by the victory. Must be the ozones.

wheelie November 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Well that’s nice, Gore Vidal, seeing as how you were sneering at Obama from a height and basically suggesting he was an airhead back in early 2008 on British TV. I guess it’s never too late to jump on the Hope Train, ya lousy drunken hypocrite.

Aurelio November 5, 2008 at 1:47 pm

[re=167296]Serolf Divad[/re]: Doncha just hate those phony accents?

V572625694 November 5, 2008 at 1:47 pm

I know you said that what I said is what you think it was, but why are you saying to me, whoever I am, that what you said I said is what I said?

That’s some first-class crazy talk…Burr is a pretty funny book. The rest of his stuff? Meh.

StripesAndPlaids November 5, 2008 at 1:50 pm

I really want to be either rich enough, confident enough, or narcissistic enough to show up on TV drunk off my ass, and not give a rat’s ass what anybody thinks.

satyricrash November 5, 2008 at 1:51 pm

The fact that they had to rustle up Gore Vidal, of all people, for their little dog and pony show “interview” proves that no one wants to talk to these horrible, pasty, condescending imperialist pricks.

Stealth Liberal November 5, 2008 at 1:53 pm

[re=167306]Aurelio[/re]: I think it’s more to do with the fact that the entire world had nonstop coverage of the US election, because it’s, um, kinda crucial. Or something.

FreshCliches November 5, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Take a good look, everyone. This is Christopher Hitchens in 20 years.

friendlynerd November 5, 2008 at 1:54 pm

[re=167286]Styrofoam Boots[/re]:
I’m holding out for BBC ACTION NEWS!!

iwillsavethispatient November 5, 2008 at 1:56 pm

[re=167286]Styrofoam Boots[/re]: Yeah, that was very low key… I remember 4 years ago they had a computer generated Marine One helicopter appear for when the result was declared. I’m guessing there’s been budget cuts.

[re=167306]Aurelio[/re]: “some larger country that includes both the US and the UK” – The world?

wheelie November 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm

[re=167306]Aurelio[/re]: Pretty much every country in the world would have had coverage all last night. I switched between Irish, French, British and American coverage.

[re=167316]satyricrash[/re]: Whereas CNN had a hologram of Will.I.Am.

N8Ma November 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Um, yay Gattaca?

QueerwolfInLondon November 5, 2008 at 2:02 pm

This is from the same broadcast. I wish I could find a clip that gives a little more context:


John Bolton goes completely feral walrus on David Dimbleby and some poor BBC correspondent.

Aurelio November 5, 2008 at 2:04 pm

[re=167326]wheelie[/re]: Well, the world has a new emperor. I hope the world is satisfied.

bearbait November 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm

He writes books too? When does he have time to make up all the hair product stuff? Does he write books about hair products? He looked like he could use some gel or something.

Aurelio November 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm

[re=167324]iwillsavethispatient[/re]: No, Britamericastan.

Rukasu November 5, 2008 at 2:06 pm

oh my, that was Jim Jarmusch awkward. And that growing up in DC bit, man if only everyone from DC had accents like that. The only person in DC that comes close is Pat Collins

erymanthian bore November 5, 2008 at 2:08 pm

[re=167311]V572625694[/re]: Myra Breckinridge was better and Myron was, well, quite a production. At any rate last night brought back fond memories of him calling the late Wm Buckley a crypto fascist at the previous Mayor Daly’s police riot. Comme le temps change….

WadISay November 5, 2008 at 2:10 pm

I can only assume that Gore Vidal had a pit bull clamped onto his crotch during this interview.

Aurelio November 5, 2008 at 2:10 pm

[re=167330]QueerwolfInLondon[/re]: Bolton and Vidal like to be mean to Brits. It’s some anglophobe hangup they have. Especially Vidal. Maybe he was abused by an English nanny as a child or sumpin’.

iwillsavethispatient November 5, 2008 at 2:10 pm

[re=167330]QueerwolfInLondon[/re]: Wow… the US votes in Obama and suddenly everyone starts hating on the Brits… I’m going to have to change my avatar!

Fabuloso November 5, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Best part: wicked snot string at 3:25. I love me some old elitist crazy.

wheelie November 5, 2008 at 2:18 pm

[re=167335]Aurelio[/re]: Oh no, the world wasn’t looking for a new emperor, just an American leader with a less hostile and interfering attitude towards the rest of the world. Thankfully, that’s what America’s electorate wanted too.

Purple Tide November 5, 2008 at 2:19 pm

He’s just pissed Bush stole the election from him in 2000.

gurukalehuru November 5, 2008 at 2:27 pm

I love Gore Vidal. Burr was great and the book he wrote about the Hayes/Tilden election, I believe it was called 1876, was brilliant.
And he’s right…The Republican party is not a party, it’s a mindset. They love war!
I’ll take the crazy right along with it. He’s old. He was almost certainly inebriated. And it was a big night.

Lascauxcaveman November 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm

[re=167311]V572625694[/re]: Ha! I thought I was the only one to read that potboiler. I esp liked the part where Aaron Burr is sexing up Martin van Buren’s mom. Hot stuff!

genericuserid November 5, 2008 at 2:36 pm

wait, so Gore Vidal is not only smart, gay, and drunk but he is also a black man from mississippi?! Good lord, I don’t know what to believe anymore.

genericuserid November 5, 2008 at 2:37 pm

I also love how the Brits try to make it like he’s just jokin around; you so crazy, vidal!

sanantonerose November 5, 2008 at 2:39 pm


I love Gore Vidal. He makes me look fwd to getting old and crotchety. Well, old at any rate.

sanantonerose November 5, 2008 at 2:40 pm

[re=167346]WadISay[/re]: He did look a bit antsy, didn’t he?

Nottingham' November 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm

The contemptible Bolton was even more mentalist last night. Imagine a walrus sitting in its own piss. That was him.

tremendous November 5, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Everything about Bolton last night was amazing.

Nottingham' November 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm

“This Beeb show is more evidence that the Brits think of themselves as part of some larger country that includes both the US and the UK. Just try to imagine the US having nonstop election night coverage of a UK election. You can’t.”

Yeah, that’s called ‘being interested in the world outside your pizza box-filled grief-hole’, mate.

Aurelio November 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm

[re=167372]wheelie[/re]: “Just an American leader with a less hostile and interfering attitude towards the rest of the world.” In other words, a new emperor. Well this one ain’t Caligula. I’ll grant you that.

qaf November 5, 2008 at 2:50 pm

[re=167320]FreshCliches[/re]: How did Hitchens’ and Andrew Sullivan’s love child end up older than his parents? That’s contrarianism we can believe in.

lawrenceofthedesert November 5, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Gore sounds slightly stoned (putting on a pseudo-Brit accent I haven’t heard from him before) and can be awesomely crotchety — but in fairness, he also can be a very nice guy. For example: I read a review he had written, probably in the New York Review of Books, about an Italian mystery writer who seemed most interesting. But I misplaced his review and couldn’t remember the author’s name — so, with my usual naivete, I wrote and asked him through his publisher. Lo and behold, in less than three weeks Gore responded with a most cordial handwritten note giving me the information I requested. How many top of the list writers do that? Any postcards from Pynchon lately?

Aurelio November 5, 2008 at 2:54 pm

“…your pizza box-filled grief-hole”–Now is that any way to talk about your rulers?

Johnny Zhivago November 5, 2008 at 2:57 pm

And now on BBC2, Ethel the Frog.

facehead November 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Gore Vidal: Glorious Old Coot Emeritus

Guppy06 November 5, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Just another example of the UK’s gotcha media at work! Go Gore, go!

[re=167351]iwillsavethispatient[/re]: Serves you right for being so close to France.

Josh Fruhlinger November 5, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Did he call the Republican Party a “Mayan sect”? That’s … that’s interesing.

Neon Trotsky November 5, 2008 at 3:22 pm

[re=167544]Josh Fruhlinger[/re]: That does not bode well for the 2012 election, as the Mayan calendar comes to an abrupt close in December of that year…

huffybike November 5, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Don’t drink and pundit, folks: http://tinyurl.com/5jkzen

Steeevyo November 5, 2008 at 3:36 pm

I know excactely which ‘eruption’ he is talking about.

Lemming Caution November 5, 2008 at 3:46 pm

[re=167407]gurukalehuru[/re]: I’m with you. Plus, I honest to God thought he’d died a couple of years ago, so I’m even happier to hear from him.

wheelie November 5, 2008 at 3:58 pm

[re=167489]Aurelio[/re]: USA! USA! USA! RAaaawwwwwrrrrr!!

junkscience November 5, 2008 at 4:10 pm

They should have just handed Hitchens a bottle of scotch and a photo of Palin and let him go off.

Fivetree November 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm

I can’t decide what’s more fun: Vidal in print or Vidal being imperiously rude onscreen. There’s a touch of Bette Davis/Katharine Hepburn divine monsterousness thrown in with all the historical and literary illusions that I personally love. In print he sort of assumes that you are in on the joke, onscreen he seems to enjoy browbeating some hapless interviewer. Once one gets past the squrim factor and let go of one’s empathy it can be quite exhilarating.

dasNeonlicht November 5, 2008 at 4:26 pm

[re=167330]QueerwolfInLondon[/re]: This Dimbleby guy is amazing. With Vidal: “Jesus, this interview’s going nowhere. Good-bye.” With Bolton: “Well, thanks for letting us know what’s on your mind, why don’t you answer my question?” Totally unflappable. And in the most patrician manner possible. My hero.

Felicia November 5, 2008 at 4:43 pm

That was way more entertaining than listening to him being an insufferable snob to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.

JBH November 5, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Vidal has a history of hating on the Brits. One of my dad’s favourite anecdotes revolves around drinking in a Tokyo bar when an old American guy nearby said something disparaging about British people and my dad had to stop his friend from hitting the guy. 10 minutes later he realised through his drunken haze that the old American guy was Gore Vidal.

DoktorZoom November 5, 2008 at 5:51 pm

From the YouTube description: “Mad as a box of frogs.” Love it.

Norbert November 5, 2008 at 6:39 pm

[re=167651]Lemming Caution[/re]: I am absolutely positive I saw an obituary for Gore Vidal about 3-4 years ago. This is excellent news to find him alive and flourishing. And he’s outlasted Buckley.

slinkimalinki November 5, 2008 at 7:32 pm

[re=167335]Aurelio[/re]: oh, believe me, the world is positively postcoital.

Them November 5, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Talk about being in the tank.

schvitzatura November 5, 2008 at 9:16 pm

The part of Lord Dundreary tonight will be played by Gore Vidal…

schvitzatura November 5, 2008 at 9:17 pm

[re=168172]Them[/re]: Talk about being “in his cups”…albeit a much smaller tank, as it were…

Quietly November 5, 2008 at 9:41 pm

All and all the BBC coverage was pretty entertaining. Those Brits were full of snark, wit, and intelligent commentary.

In other words, they were elitist anti-Americans. … Or are we allowed to turn our brains back on now?

zhubajie November 6, 2008 at 3:14 am

[re=167314]StripesAndPlaids[/re]: Don’t forget Brendan Behan, actually vomiting on his interviewer!

Zhu Bajie

zhubajie November 6, 2008 at 5:59 am

[re=167544]Josh Fruhlinger[/re]: They rip each others’ hearts out, in other words.

Zhu Bajie

zhubajie November 6, 2008 at 6:06 am

Cage match, Vidal vs. Bolton. Maybe tag-team, Vidal/Hitchens vs. Bolton/Palin.

Zhu Bajie

regisgoat November 6, 2008 at 7:04 am

Oh, what a great mind is here overthrown, as that drunken Brit Shakespeare put it. I guess Vidal was made because the BBC interviewer* didn’t pick up on his hint that the Republicans are going to set Obama up for a Dealey Plaza deal. My dad goes around saying this, also, and he’s the kind of Republican who thought John McCain was a socialist.

* (who was wearing a crimson paper poppy for what they have over there instead of Veterans’ Day, incidentally)

Fagette November 6, 2008 at 10:48 am

Admit it, he’s the sexiest octogenarian alive. Also, anyone who’s read enough of his stuff knows he was dying to be asked about “eruptions”.

DeLand DeLakes November 6, 2008 at 9:39 pm

I’ve been in love with Gore Vidal since I read his interview in Butt magazine. I want him for my cranky, ancient gay boyfriend (throw in Ian McKellen and we’ll have ourselves a real good time, boy howdy.)

Borat November 8, 2008 at 4:43 am

Did Vidal have a fake british accent for that interview or was he totally sloshed? How the BBC interviewer said “let’s quit while we are ahead” – imagine what the Fox interviewer would have said.

Borat November 8, 2008 at 4:53 am

[re=167330]QueerwolfInLondon[/re]: That John Bolton Clip is great. I’d have liked to see the actually part the reporter should have been fired over (which was probably some quality Jeremy Paxman style aggressive question asking).

This guy was UN ambassador? What a freakin’ joke.

Cybersage November 8, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Give Gore a break. He hasn’t had a bj in 40 years. You’d be cranky too.

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