It sounds like Tom Perkins got a talking to by the ADL (“pleasant discussion with Abe Foxman”, in his words) and now he’s apologizing for his “Kristallnacht” usage. I have the video of Perkins comments after the jump. What’s interesting, though, is what he’s apologizing for. It’s sort of narrowly about offending Jews or just being awful in comparing anything happening in the US to what happened under the Third Reich and the Holocaust.
But basically, he still thinks his message was right. Just poorly worded. Just that one word. “As a messenger I’ve been shot, but read the message.” Watch it. It’s slightly endearing, kind of weird and awkward at times. Clearly, this is a guy who’s not used to being at the center of a media firestorm. There’s much less of the shock of the horrible comparison but no less of the cluelessness, and self-awareness gap that made his letter to the editor so memorable.
By the end of the interview, he’s basically saying the same thing as the letter. I mean, he says that. He stands by the message.
I’d go back to the point I made in my “brittle grip” piece. The only thing that set this whole firestorm off was the crazily hyperbolic reference to Kristallnacht. But the basic argument he believes in deeply. And he’s not alone.