Sue Him, Noam!

After September 11, Sullivan wrote that while he wasn’t worried about the heartland, “decadent coastal liberals may well mount a fifth column.†This in response, as is well known, to a thoughtful New Yorker essay by Susan Sontag. Sullivan, who Eric Alterman—not usually a sharp wordsmith—memorably calls “Young Roy Cohn†later issued “Sontag awards.†His attitude and his popularization of a sort of Lynne Cheneyist position on what “Views†are improper and thus should not be publicly aired, probably did far more damage to civil liberties than Joe McCarthy’s pal Roy, who at the very least didn’t take himself seriously.
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