Alan Dershowitz did a disservice to Martha’s Vineyard and its residents last week when he wrote an op-ed for the Hill, claiming that he was suddenly being shunned on the Vineyard social scene.
The result was a week-plus of social media scorn for Dershowitz and, as collateral damage, Martha’s Vineyard. For two days over the past 10, #marthasvineyard was trending on Twitter and, mostly, not in a good way.
Dershowitz soaked it all up. He did at least two interviews with the New York Times, and the “newspaper of record” did four stories on the saga. In one of them, a photo of him in an SUV (à la O.J. Simpson in the white Bronco) was the accompanying photo, even though just prior to that photo he was glad-handing well-wishers on the porch at Chilmark General Store.
Not a shunner in sight.
New York Times editor Dean Baquet has now conceded that his newspaper paid way too much attention to the nonsense. In honesty, we all did.
Dershowitz has done plenty of other interviews, too. Still sticking up for President Donald Trump, while claiming allegiance to Hillary Clinton, and “Did I mention how much I donated to her campaign?” Yes, Alan, we know.
He has also compared what’s happened to him to McCarthyism, which is ludicrous. Comparing a party invite to people who lost their jobs over their political beliefs is just so, well, Dershowitz.
Dershowitz may have made his most absurd claim with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday morning. According to Dershowitz, the president can pretty much get away with murder and not face legal repercussions.
“You cannot question a president’s motives when the president acts,” Dershowitz said. “If a president pardons, that’s it. If a president fires, that’s it. You can’t go beyond the act and get into his motive or intent.”
Stephanopoulos tried to press, but Dershowitz would not back down. “What if the president is pardoning someone to cover up a murder?” Stephanopoulos asked.
“It doesn’t matter. Pardon is the pardon,” Dershowitz responded.
Like “Jaws II” and “Jaws III,” Dershowitz has jumped the shark. That’s all well and good, but please don’t take the Vineyard along for the ride.
Back to the shunning. Is anyone really surprised that someone who is outspoken — sometimes just for self-promotion — doesn’t get cocktail party invites? Haven’t we all had the crazy uncle whom we’ve “forgotten” to extend an invite to because we just don’t want to deal with a dinner party turning into a battle over politics or religion?
Dershowitz has become the crazy uncle.
And, let’s be honest, it’s all about the book, folks. Alan Dershowitz has a new one, and he’s looking to promote it where he can and when he can. And the media is following along with the script because of the backdrop.
If Dershowitz lived in the Hamptons and claimed he was being ostracized for his views, we have no doubt he’d be getting the same attention. After all, it gives reporters who have no clue about Martha’s Vineyard (7.6 percent of the people live below the poverty line in Dukes County, and plenty more are unable to find housing) a reason to talk about the “playground of celebrities.”
Despite his op-ed, Dershowitz didn’t seem any worse for the wear when we spoke to him, claiming that he was getting even more invites than ever. Yet in the next interview he was telling another reporter about a woman fantasizing about stabbing him.
Dershowitz, no doubt, subscribes to the theory of P.T. Barnum: “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”
Clearly, both men also enjoy a circus.