Impromptu On Jerry Falwell

"Farewell" From The Ryskind Sketchbook

I wasn't going to say more about him, except that I saw him absolutely trashed in a snippet of tv last night, and my sense of justice is offended. So here's the NRO symposium on him (I note with interest that it's the Catholics who are most gracious to him. Lee Edwards & Fr. Neuhaus seem to understand best what Falwell achieved.) Just for the record. And here's Jay Nordlinger again, for a taste of the man beyond the caricature.
I know I’ve told you before about Jerry Falwell at Harvard Law School. (Falwell died yesterday, at 73.) This was probably the greatest forensic performance I have ever witnessed. The year was about 1986, I suppose. He spoke before an insanely hostile audience, as you can imagine. It was practically a lynch mob. And Falwell handled them with great deftness, humor, and style. He toyed with them as a cat with a ball of string. He teased them, insulted them, topped them — he knew far more than they, and he was 100 times more articulate. He was 1,000 times better mannered. The question-and-answer period was a joy to behold. Falwell was in his element — glorying in it, knowing he was knocking it out of the park — and he may even have won a few converts.I observed Falwell for many years, and found much to admire about him. At a minimum, he was better than his enemies. (A low threshold, I acknowledge.) I’m sorry he’s gone.

I'm not going to link to it, but I ran across a statement from Falwell's nemesis Larry Flynt that was quite gracious. Folks, if Larry Flynt is outclassing you, you need to dial it waaay back.

Update: A nice remembrance of a friend of the family.