Monday, August 28, 2006

The Flipping Finger Flips, And Having Flipped, Moves On

Both our boys seem to be have taken holidays, leaving Aaro Watch with nothing to do. (I gather from the comments to Matthew Turner's post on the Euston Manifesto Labour Conference Meet-up that Nick Cohen was the only EM signatory who did not contribute to their recent flyer. And he's their best writer, too.) So, while they're away, let us to turn to another (former) lefty hawk.

What the hell was Christopher Hitchens thinking? I know a little about US television -- enough to know that this doesn't go down well, and in future producers and bookers will know him as 'that English guy who gave to finger to the audience.' And what provoked him? The audience clapped a point he disagreed with. Hitchens is a seasoned debater; in the past, he's been big enough to deal with hecklers. Losing your cool when the other guy scores a point is just idiotic.

And what was the point? Hitchens had said that Ahmadinejad believes "that the Messiah is about to come back" (which he does). Bill Maher interupted with "So does George Bush, by the way." (This is somewhat more controversial, Bush is Openly Religious, to a Point.)

This is Hitchens the muscular atheist. Wikipedia's entry on Hitchens says:

Although Hitchens finds himself defending Bush’s foreign policy, he has little admiration for the man himself and has criticized Bush's support of 'intelligent design'. As an anti-theist intellectual with a penchant for drinking, Hitchens was unimpressed by Bush's claim to have been "saved from drink by Jesus".

I find it very peculiar that he gets upset by a claim he could well have made himself. Consider this an open thread. Play nice.


Blogger Benjamin said...

Yeah, I saw that. I think Hitchins enjoys being a ubiquitous professional controversialist on these type of shows. He's not the only one.

I think he does occasionally step back and consider his actions - for example he did apologise for saying that all at the Kos convention thought Bush did 9/11. He said that was going too far.

Maher made a pretty standard quip, nothing to get too irate about.

The studio audiences on these US shows are much sillier and raucous than their British counterparts and perhaps that riles Hitchens too, but of course he should be used to that by now.

8/29/2006 02:46:00 AM  
Blogger Marc Mulholland said...

Hitchens does tend to bawl his audiences out - 'you wouldn't make those ridiculous sounds if you could hear yourself' and so on. Here he did go way over the top, which is odd as otherwise he wasn't evidently flustered.

8/29/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never underestimate the effect C2H6O on the brain cells.

8/29/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Sonic said...



8/30/2006 03:50:00 AM  

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