Thirteen minutes with Hitch

March 7, 2011 • 12:53 pm

One of the three segments on last night’s 60 Minutes on CBS was an interview of Christopher Hitchens by Steve Kroft.  I didn’t learn a lot new, but watching the man talk is always mesmerizing.  There’s a salacious joke about Princess Diana, some self-assessment, a group interview of three of his pals (including Salman Rushdie and the editor of Vanity Fair), and a snippet of his appearance on The Daily Show on the evening after a serious health episode led doctors to tell Hitchens that he probably had metastasized cancer.

One thing that struck me about the interview was the physical resemblance between the young Oxfordian Hitchens:

and one of my rock heroes, Stephen Stills:

h/t: John Danley

31 thoughts on “Thirteen minutes with Hitch

  1. There was a long interview with him by Lynn Barber in yesterday’s Sunday Times magazine & a picture on the cover thereof. He talks of how Francis Collins contacted him & that he has had his genome sequenced & is now on a special drug designed for the mutation he has. The paperback of his autobiography comes out in April.

  2. There’s a pretty recent debate that has thus far -and for some obscure reason- remained unnoticed by my top 4 blogs (WEIT, Pharnygula, and Metamagician)

    It’s Chris Hitchens and Sam Harris joining forces to dismantle the arguments of a pair of rabbis on the issue of life after death. As Jerry pointed out, watching Hitchens (and I’ll add, Harris) speak is never a waste of time whatever the topic. And this debate isn’t the exception.

    1. Thanks for this! Sam told me he’d let me know when it was posted, but I hadn’t yet heard. I can’t embed it in a post, but I may highlight it above the fold tomorrow. I’ll certainly watch it tonight.

      1. You’re welcome! The only sources I’ve found announcing it are Sam’s Twitter and Facebook page.

    2. By the time these guys have finished there’s nothing left that they actually believe is true but they’re determined to believe in it nontheless. It’s like to trying to wrestle an oiled pig, I can’t imagine why anyone is willing to take these people on. They’re just social workers who will say in addition that you ‘might’ have eternal life whatever that means. God it’s tedious. Sam and Christopher are both remarkably patient about the ever growing piles of nonsense surrounding them while still making it clear that it is without any foundation other than wishful thinking.

    1. I was rather amazed to see that. I wonder how many of his oncologists are now seeing their respective cardiologists.

  3. That was a strange place to end the interview. Am I just paranoid or does anyone else suspect that the very last thing Hitch said was put there by the editor(s) to leave the viewer with the idea that Hitch would be pleasantly surprised to find out that there is a god? It struck me as an odd way to wrap up a piece that was presumably meant to honestly portray the man as well as can be done in thirteen minutes. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it.

      1. Me, three. I cringed a bit as I imagined the hordes of “helpful” evangelists descending upon Hitch to give him the evidence he’s somehow managed to overlook.

        I can only hope that there’s enough left of the smoking crater where the evangelists’s egos once stood that they might be able to understand what just happened to them. Still, it’s bound to be annoying for Hitchens.

        …which reminds me. How is it that, with all of these accomdationistas braying about the rude gnus, they never seem to mention Hitchens? Or have I just not noticed them doing so?



    1. It is very leading, especially when I’ve seen other videos of him on the Washington Post (or elsewhere) where he is pretty clear that he finds it very unlikely that he’ll convert, and that if he does convert, in a pale, disease wracked state, it is not a triumph of religion, and that person won’t be the same Hitchens that was such a foe. And its a valid point, why should religion get credit for deathbed conversions of terrified sick people rather than conversions of those who are quick and able of mind?

  4. His voice has a kind of sunniness to it. Makes me want to hear more, and listen more attentively. Well worth it.

    1. I bought his book “god is not great” as an audiobook. Read by the author himself obviously and man was it worth my money. I could just spend days listening to him talk.

  5. I have to admit that I never much liked Hitchens – too sloppy a journalist to check all his facts against his opinions, too reliant on his memory alone. But being an Oxford trained debater he doesn’t need to do anything but win, and he always does. I do love his wit and of course I despise the same hypocrisies that enrage him. I do hope he turns out to be one of the 5% survivors. He can’t be replaced.

    Thanks to Jerry for this video and Heber Gurrola for the other. I’m on Sam’s mailing list but he hasn’t mentioned that video.

  6. “A celestial North Korea,” good one.

    I wish Hitchens the best, but I would have to agree with jwthomas. I found “God Is Not Great” kind of rambles at times, not too focused. But his debating is sharp.

  7. Fantastic. Hitchens is always so full of quick wit and wisdom and never at a loss for words. Just kidding, it’s the way they edit the video, lol. No amount of editing will make that awful interviewer look good though apparently.

  8. Being an English republican who couldn’t stand the fawning over Diana, I just loved the joke.

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