Thirteen minutes with Hitch

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


  1. Dominic
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    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. Ranting Socrates
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I love women, ask my girlfreind, but damn I’m gay for Hitchens.

  3. Heber Gurrola
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    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.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      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.

      • Heber Gurrola
        Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

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

        • Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

          Ezra of “No Right to Believe” posted it shortly after it aired (presumably), and I was a bit puzzled why no one else who I read had picked it up.

        • sasqwatch
          Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          Fan-TAS-tic. Thank you!

          • Diane G.
            Posted March 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

            Delightful! My thanks as well!

        • JS1685
          Posted March 8, 2011 at 8:21 am | Permalink

          Someone posted a link to it in a discussion over at a few days ago.

          It’s a good watch.

    • Marella
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      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.

  4. Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    There he is, sipping whiskey (JW Black?) at the 4:05 mark. Awesome.

    • sasqwatch
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

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

  5. CDubya
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    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.

    • Tim Martin
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. It was a little too “hopeful” in that regard.

      • Posted March 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        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?



        • Posted March 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          It looked to me like he was saying, “Bring it!”

          • Don
            Posted March 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            I agree, but most viewers won’t have heard it that way, I’m afraid.

    • Sajanas
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      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?

  6. TrineBM
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

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

    • Astrid_H
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      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.

  7. JBlilie
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Stills: Awesome.

  8. jwthomas
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    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.

    • Marella
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Would you like to back up those accusations with instances?

  9. Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    “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.

  10. sponge bob
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Hitchens is pure pwnage.

  11. sasqwatch
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    I really didn’t have time for that, but made it anyway. Well worth it.

  12. 386sx
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    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.

  13. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 2:16 am | Permalink

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

    • Dominic
      Posted March 8, 2011 at 3:03 am | Permalink

      Orff with their heads!

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