FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Senator Without Shame

by JAMES ABOUREZK

A few days after the announcement of Alexander Cockburn’s death from a cancer affliction, former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler (R-SD) told the Rapid City, South Dakota Journal that he had obtained a “huge libel settlement from Alex’s publisher” as a result of a lawsuit Pressler said he initiated against Alex and his publisher.

In the words of Robert Welsh, the lawyer who represented the U.S. Army when Sen. Joe McCarthy tried to smear a young associate of Welsh’s with a Communist brush, “At long last, have you no shame?”  he asked of McCarthy.  That question applies doubly to Pressler.

Pressler, whose Senate career was largely unremarkable, took offense to a chapter in one of Alex’s books, Washington Babylon (with Ken Silverstein), in which he quoted various people as saying Pressler was gay, among other descriptions of Pressler’s moronic stumble through his Senate career.  Like the time he left a Senate Committee hearing and tried to exit through a closet.  Waiting what he thought was an appropriate amount of time so there would be no one left in the hearing room, he came out of the closet to find everyone staring at him.

Not satisfied to ignore the chapter in Alex’s book, his television consultant for his 1996 re-election campaign decided to denounce both Alex and me in a massive television advertising buy, calling attention to Alex’s book.  Incidentally, Pressler’s advertising consultant whose brilliance conceived the idea of attacking Alex on the issue of gayness was a Pressler consultant named Art Finkelstein, described in part in his Wikipedia entry:

In 1996, Boston Magazine outed Finkelstein as a homosexual in a feature story.  In April, 2005, Finkelstein acknowledged that in December, 2004, he had married his partner of forty years in a civil ceremony at his home in Massachusetts.

Finkelstein, who is credited during his opportunistic career with making “liberal” a dirty word, has consulted for such statesmen as Avigdor Lieberman and Bibi Netanyahu, as well as a host of other Republican luminaries.

But for Pressler to find cheer in Alex Cockburn’s death is an act that is beyond the pale, even for a nonentity like Pressler.  Knowingly offering his grave-dancing to a South Dakota newspaper is so obscene that one can hardly find words to describe it.

Alex Cockburn was one of the few honest men left in America, someone journalism sorely needs.  Pressler is first among a number of persons who are not fit to shine Alex’s shoes.

JAMES ABOUREZK is a former U.S. Senator from South Dakota.  He is the author of Advise & Dissent: Memoirs of South Dakota and the U.S. Senate, a  memoir now available only on Amazon’s Kindle.  His e mail address is:  georgepatton45@gmail.com

 

James Abourezk is a former US senator from South Dakota. He is the author of: Advise and Dissent: Memoirs of an ex-Senator.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Barbara Moroncini
Protests and Their Others
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Alex Jensen
The Great Deceleration
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Stephen Martin
From ‘Too Big to Fail’ to ‘Too Big to Lie’: the End Game of Corporatist Globalization.
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
David Yearsley
Haydn Seek With Hsu
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail