Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why Hitchens Is a Hack

Hitchens is to me, one of those people like Ben Stein. Someone who stumbled into the spotlight and was kept there by only the faintest whiff of scholarship. This episode describes part of his unmitigated failure to at least have enough subject knowledge to back his arrogance,

"In order to illustrate how he knows so much more about Lebanon than anyone else in the room, when pressed, the only “true revolutionary” he could come up with was Walid Joumblatt. To this, the audience mostly just laughed out loud. I would have felt sorry for Hitchens if he hadn’t been such a pompous ass."

Walid Jumblat (وليد جنبلاط) is a damn sleazeball opportunist, among other things. An equivalent would be asking a [Insert random nationality here] who he admired on the American left and having him reply, "Rod Blagojevich."

Meanwhile, I will never cease to be amazed that there are still people out there who admire this man.


  1. He may be arrogant and pompous. But he can be a damn good writer. (See God is Not Great). He is also quite articulate (look up his interviews on

  2. Sir/Ma'am, he may write brilliant shimmering circles of beauteous and rhythmic prose. He's still a fool. When the village idiot runs from the rain, you don't bother complimenting him on his form, because he never uses it for anything worthwhile.

  3. I don't think he's a fool. I think his ego and his exaggerated estimates of his world knowledge lead him to say foolish things. But he's no fool.

  4. Forget scholarship...he is a delicious polemicist! Just check out his interview with Sean Hannity after Jerry Falwell died on You Tube. A better choice of adjectives you would be hard-pressed to find. Only Hitchens could call Falwell "a sad little toad who used to pinch his chubby flanks every morning". You could see Hannity grow purple and at a loss for words; it was one of the few times he realized that he stood no chance and should probably back down.

    In any case, I don't exactly admire him and also agree that he is no intellectual scholar, but I also would agree that he is no fool. Some of his words about religion are spot on (and some are complete nonsense). Also, I did admire his consistent stance on torture and his experiment with water boarding; it may have been sensationalism, but it made the point well.


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