Fact-Checker to Alan Dershowitz: Who Says You're So Great?

Misanthropy meets assholism in today's Boston Globe to joyous effect, as house curmudgeon Alex Beam reviews a new memoir from preening celebrity-lawyer/lawyer-celebrity Alan Dershowitz. Beam wastes no time getting to the highlight:

As he writes in his latest book, “Taking the Stand,” he does “not hide behind the distorting shield of false humility.”

Quite the contrary; in the introduction he quickly says he has been called “the winningest appellate criminal defense lawyer in history.” In my pre-publication copy of “Stand,” that quote has a message from the fact checker: “ALAN: I COULD NOT FIND A SOURCE FOR THIS. DO YOU REMEMBER WHO CALLED YOU THAT?”

Yow! So much for those ANY QUOTES USED FOR REVIEW MUST BE CHECKED AGAINST THE FINISHED BOOK warnings. Presumably some editor at Crown Books is even now getting a long shitty email from Dershowitz, or an even longer and shittier email from one of Dershowitz's hype men or goons.

In the realm of angry publicists, the preferred term for this breach of protocol is "unprofessional." Beam's review is, however, a remarkable demonstration of professionalism. A less professional writer would have written the above passage, hit return, and just filled the rest of the column space with "lorem ipsum" after pouring a victory drink. Beam goes to the trouble of writing the rest of the review, crediting Dershowitz as a "smart guy and smooth writer" and declaring that his anecdote about Bobby Fischer "is worth the $28 cover price." As Professor Dershowitz would know, the verdict is what counts.

[Image via AP]