In 2006, as The New York Times honored Kramer by putting him in a panel discussion on the 25th anniversary of the first Times article on AIDS, he distributed typically crazy remarks in advance, calling for "Nuremberg trials" to hold not only Reagan, but the owners and editors of -- how's this for gratitude? -- The New York Times to be tried like Nazi war criminals for the AIDS holocaust.
They remember none of this at the Times. A few days ago, reporter Patrick Healy honored him in an article titled "A Lion Still Roars, With Gratitude." Healy warmly recalled Kramer as "the most strident, scolding voice in New York City (in the world, really) on behalf of gay men infected with HIV" in the 1980s.
Healy actually portrayed Kramer as some sort of prophet. He reported that at a special screening for the HBO film at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York, the film's director, "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy, led "a thousand-member audience" in a standing ovation for Kramer. "Larry, before we begin this film, I only have one thing to say. You were right."
Kramer has been not only wrong, but factually unglued. But none of this apparently matters. One might argue that in the 1980s, when the death toll was climbing and the hopelessness was deepening, that Kramer's rants of "You're killing us" spurred action. But you can't be a newspaper or a movie channel that claims to care about facts and history (and civility), and refuse to acknowledge how deeply wrong Kramer was and continues to be, screaming that Reagan is worse than Hitler.
Ends don't justify means. But it's worse than that. This is pure hatred.