… but only Margaret Carlson, so far, has really distinguished herself in this line. Her column in The Daily Beast is inspired.

A B-story involving the two famous lawyers on the case emerged on Thursday after attorney Alan Dershowitz, who’s worked for Epstein, boasted of his “perfect, perfect sex life” on Laura Ingraham’s Fox show. Dershowitz is furious that his ties to Epstein have been characterized by opposing attorney David Boies as going beyond parsing the rules of criminal procedure. Like a schoolboy, Dershowitz challenged Boies to a sex duel: to swear under oath that he’s only had sex with one woman during the same period. 

Truth is stranger than fiction.

Well but if you ask UD fiction is truth; you can’t approach an understanding of Ghislaine Maxwell without understanding, say, Madame Merle and Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil — two characters with whom Maxwell herself, with her high-level literary education (“I was drip-fed Shakespeare at Oxford,” she told a party reporter at the launch of book on Richard III by a Hollywood mega-lawyer in the late ’90s. “Just sniffing fresh ink gets me high.”), would be fully familiar. Naturally everyone’s citing The Great Gatsby in connection with Epstein — the identity is so strong that one assumes Epstein with some degree of self-awareness fashioned himself after Fitzgerald’s creation – and of course he called his notorious jet The Lolita Express. It’s not just that we reach for the deeper truths of the best literature in order to grasp the cruelties of human beings; some cruel human beings come to know and have confidence in their way of being in part through the discovery of literary models.

All of which is why the genius of Carlson’s little essay lies in her framing the entire Trump/Dershowitz/Epstein story as fiction. Not merely the Dershowitz B-story, but Trump’s “racist political thriller… a plot twist… Celebrity Racist The Jeffrey Epstein ShowBillions meets Stranger Things meets Empire … The show is now on location in the Southern District of New York where former  U.S. Attorney and recent Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, was dropped from the cast … Trump Trilogy… ” How really to understand Dershowitz (not to mention Trump) without revisiting the by-now fully fictionalized (for we know him through his engrossing, dominant role in Angels in America) Roy Cohn? Cohn “worked with a three-dimensional strategy, which was: 1. Never settle, never surrender. 2. Counter-attack, counter-sue immediately. 3. No matter what happens, no matter how deeply into the muck you get, claim victory and never admit defeat.”

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