Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Mailer reminiscence. The Mailer-Breslin ticket's campaign slogan was "Vote the Rascals In". It's pretty great that it seems like everyone who ever met the guy has got a story about him.

"There is one small, pleasing fragment that has survived from those battleground years. It is contained in a front-page illustration for the Voice of July 1, 1981, by the paper's former stellar cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty. At the bottom of a scrambled New York tableau, Stamaty drew a perfect, pint-sized Mailer holding a copy of the Voice. "Scumbag Journalism, Page 42" is the caption popping out of his mouth. A blowup of the cover has long hung in the Voice's lobby, and since the single slow elevator gives us so much time there to ponder, I've looked at it often and wondered what prompted that particular blast.

Last week, I finally pulled one of the old green bound volumes off the library shelves to find out. As it happens, the hoped-for screed was only a small boxed correction. Mailer had telephoned, a nameless editor wrote, accusing the Voice of practicing "scumbag journalism" for having published a photo montage that made it seem as though he were together with Jack Henry Abbott, the murderous writer Mailer had helped free from prison. "He was also mighty angry," the editor added, "that we published a photo of him in a dinner jacket." Even then, Mailer had his pride."

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