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Feiffer's Slip

August 24, 1986

In Jules Feiffer's offering of Aug. 17, he was upset with the respect shown the recently deceased Roy Cohn and other discredited public figures.

Before Cohn's body was cold, Feiffer was doing a two-step war dance on it. He stated that Cohn was his cousin and a person who was always shunned at gatherings. He further indicated that Cohn had AIDS and was "eulogized by homophobes."

Nothing I have read suggested that Cohn "went out a superstar." The press referred to disbarment without a hint of veneration and disgrace was suggested without a trace of mournfulness. His reference to AIDS was cruelly gratuitous.

Nixon is not a "beloved elder statesman." His supporters were embarrassed and his critics were vindicated. Any esteem accorded him is based on a few foreign policy achievements and the obligatory recognition that derives from the respect for the presidency, rather than from the character of the man.

The statement that Joe McCarthy would be on the Supreme Court were he alive today, is self-indulgent sophistry.

I have often been entertained and enlightened by Feiffer's sardonic pessimism, but I was as disturbed by this tasteless slippage of an insightful, sensitive man as I was disgusted by Cohn's professional conduct.



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