Check out this LA Times article by Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler Magazine, who remembers his friend, Jerry Falwell. Falwell sued Flynt in 1983 for libel. In the end, the Supreme Court decided in Flynt’s favor but through it all, Falwell reached out to Flynt and the two began to meet regularly. Flynt writes:
The truth is, the reverend and I had a lot in common. He was from Virginia, and I was from Kentucky. His father had been a bootlegger, and I had been one too in my 20s before I went into the Navy. We steered our conversations away from politics, but religion was within bounds. He wanted to save me and was determined to get me out of “the business.”
My mother always told me that no matter how repugnant you find a person, when you meet them face to face you will always find something about them to like. The more I got to know Falwell, the more I began to see that his public portrayals were caricatures of himself. There was a dichotomy between the real Falwell and the one he showed the public.
(HT: Andrew Sullivan)