Liberalism is a lofty idea and it invites the George Bernard Shaw inside all of us to muse that someone should try it sometime. The planet can only support a few dozen true liberals and Nat Hentoff was one of them.
Years ago, before Rush Limbaugh had his own TV show, he guest hosted on a channel that would eventually morph into CNBC. Limbaugh interviewed Oliver North and both men had already established themselves as pariahs. Hentoff called the show to offer support to two men he frequently disagreed with. I doubt if Keith Olbermann would do anything half so gracious.
From NYT obituary:
While his sympathies were usually libertarian, he often infuriated leftist friends with his opposition to abortion, his attacks on political correctness and his criticisms of gay groups, feminists, blacks and others he accused of trying to censor opponents. He relished the role of provocateur, indirectly defending racial slurs, apartheid and pornography.
A good man has been laid to rest.