If you managed to hold back tears of empathy for the recent culinary defenestration of White House spox Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the hands of a Virginia restaurant owner, you probably haven’t eagerly attended the very public pity party that former Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz has been holding for himself over his “shunning” from old friends and neighbors at the elite summer playground of Martha’s Vineyard.
The parallels aren’t perfect. Sanders, as the very public face of the Trump presidency day in and day out, is a global celebrity of the highest order — not to mention the daughter of a two-time presidential candidate — and must have surely known that she checked her ability to enjoy public anonymity at the door upon entering the West Wing.
It’s probable that most Americans have only heard of Dershowitz because of his involvement in the legal supernova of the O.J. Simpson case. But still, he has lent his mostly borrowed celebrity to an extremely high-profile habit of defending Donald Trump’s efforts to evade the attentions of Robert Mueller. And it’s his background as a mostly liberal commentator, not his reputation for legal brilliance, that has made him a go-to figure for cable-TV bookers seeking a dependably pro-Trump voice.
So you’d think Dershowitz would be able to take some blowback from former political allies in stride. But no: In an op-ed for the Hill last week, he publicly whined about his terrible persecution by denizens of Martha’s Vineyard, the island off Cape Cod where many rich and famous people (including Dershowitz) spend large portions of every summer, saying he had been subjected to “shunning” from “old friends” who are “trying to ban me from their social life on Martha’s Vineyard.” He then invited derision by comparing this treatment to “McCarthyism,” as though his social discomfort is equivalent to the catastrophic loss of careers and even liberty at the hands of Joe McCarthy in the 1950s.
Believe it or not, the Dershowitz war with Martha’s Vineyard is dragging on into a second week, as some of his Spanish Inquisition–style persecutors take to the fiendishly radical medium of email to torment him further, as reported by the Boston Globe:
Walter Teller, a prominent Los Angeles entertainment lawyer and longtime Vineyard resident, sent Dershowitz and others in their circle an e-mail explaining the sudden estrangement….
“You proudly announce where you have dined and with whom, going so far as to send out pictures of the menu of your meal with Trump at the White House,” Teller wrote. “And then you complain publicly when you are not invited to dinner.”
Dershowitz fired back with his own email, and he also mixed it up in the presence of a cc’d group with Nicholas Negroponte of the MIT Media Lab. It does seem, however, that Trump’s new friend isn’t simply crouching in his summer home, subsisting on catered meals and fearfully awaiting the fateful knock on the door:
[R]eached Tuesday night, Dershowitz was on his way to the annual soiree hosted by designer Kenneth Cole and his wife, Maria Cuomo.
“I was never lamenting or whining about the fact that people are trying to punish me,” he said. “I was exposing it. I stand by my principles. I’m very proud of it. I challenge them to have a conversation with me.”
Maybe Fox and Friends can carry it live.