Funny thing about my new book: I had begun shopping around the proposal for writing it long before my brief period of employment with that other magazine and the subsequent witless chimp-brained media freakout and Caffeine-Free Diet Maoist struggle session that followed and climaxed with my being fired by Atlantic editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg on my third day of employment there and after a good deal of stink eye from some seething young woman with an unfortunate All-Lesbian World Bowling Champion haircut loitering glumly in the coffee room. I was, for a few days, a writer who was much more read about than read. After the ninth (or so) New York Times denunciation of my soul and my work, my professional dance card began to fill up with pleasing speed.
That’s the upside of being in the controversy business: I always get paid. Hooray for me.1
But why was I flogging this book way back before I got involved in what I must with some genuine disappointment characterize as only the second-most-infamous episode involving a shady right-winger and the Watergate complex?2 There were good reasons.