In other spare moments, [Vidal] demolished intellectual rivals like Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley Jr. with acidic one-liners, establishing himself as a peerless master of talk-show punditry.Actually, attacking your opponents with ad hominem invective isn't exactly "demolishing" your rivals, as this famous video from 1968 shows:
During a discussion of the Vietnam War, Buckley -- in his aristocratic drawl -- compares opponents of the war (including Vidal) to Nazi appeasers. Vidal, in his own aristocratic drawl, fires back.Yeah, a queer alright.
Vidal: The only pro- or crypto-Nazi I can think of is yourself...
Buckley: Now listen you queer, quit calling me a crypto-Nazi or I'll sock you in the goddamn face and you'll stay plastered.
Lots of folks are talking about Vidal's flaming homosexuality. See IBT, "Gore Vidal: Gay Icon Who Put Homosexuality On the Page."