From Hitchens' May 18 Slate column:
There is a mildly racist comedian in England named Jim Davidson who thinks it amusing to ask what West Indians said to themselves while using the black-and-white strips of the pedestrian crossing. ("Now you see me, now you don't; now you see me, now you don't.")* In order for this to be funny in the least--and I frankly despaired of it ever achieving that critical mass so essential to the life and definition of a comedian--it would have to be just as funny if a "white" person was traversing the road in the same way.
Not laughing yet? Me neither. Well, then, why is it so "edgy" for Wanda Sykes to say that Obama gets lots of praise now, but that if he messes up, it'll be, "What's up with the half-white guy?" This can be remotely hilarious only if said by somebody nonwhite, but almost every paleface in the audience seemed to feel it their duty to rock back and forth with complicit mirth.
Still, at least that weak opening stuff was in some manner launched in Obama's direction. The rest of Sykes' time was spent vocalizing the talking points of moveon.org and Air America. If I am in a taxi and Rush Limbaugh is on the radio, I ask the driver to switch the station or switch it off altogether. Limbaugh's life, like his appeal, is a closed book to me. But I presume that he was on painkiller medication for some reason before he began to become dependent on it, and before he became an object of our adorable "war on drugs." It's not so much that it isn't very funny to mock him for his Oxycontin habit. It's that it's near-impossible to imagine our Sable Sapphist lampooning a black equivalent of Limbaugh for an addiction to, say, crack.
Christopher Hitchens made another appearance on MSNBC and again targeted the Clintons, claiming: "No other president has had a senator on hand in the Senate who does favors for businessmen who are later found to have given large donations from upstate New York to the Clinton Foundation. Is it a case of buy one, get one free? I would maintain that it is." But neither Hitchens nor 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue host David Shuster pointed out that according to The New York Times article to which Hitchens was referring, Hillary Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines "said that Mrs. Clinton did not solicit the donation from" the businessman "or discuss it with him or anyone on his behalf, and that she was unaware of its timing and size until last month."
On Hardball, Christopher Hitchens repeated an unsubstantiated claim he has made in the past: that Hillary Clinton "got" her husband to visit Pakistan in 2000 after a Pakistani-American PAC held a fundraiser that brought in $50,000 for her Senate race.
MSNBC again hosted commentator and author Christopher Hitchens, who again attacked Sen. Hillary Clinton, President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of state. Hitchens said Clinton "only cares about one thing, namely herself and her own prospects," adding, "After that, her impeached, disbarred husband and the many undeclared interests of his and hers that they nurture for the future."
Criticizing Sen. Hillary Clinton over her possible appointment as secretary of state, in three separate appearances, Christopher Hitchens purported to quote Clinton from 15 years ago to attack her foreign policy credentials. On MSNBC and CNN, from November 17-19, Hitchens claimed that Clinton directed her husband in 1993 not to intervene in the Balkans because it would detract attention from her health-care program. But the source he has previously cited for the assertion does not support it.
On MSNBC's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, discussing the possible appointment of Sen. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, Christopher Hitchens said of Clinton: "It's only true that she's respected in the Pentagon if people go around saying so. I've never heard that before." In fact, media outlets have previously reported that Clinton "has gained a lot of respect among military leadership" and has "built relationships" with military leaders such as Gen. David H. Petraeus and Adm. William J. Fallon. Clinton also received the endorsement of numerous retired generals and admirals during her 2008 presidential campaign.
On MSNBC's Tim Russert, responding to Christopher Hitchens, Andrew Sullivan said, "And now you've made me forget my second point," to which Hitchens replied, "Oh, well, don't be such a lesbian. Get on with it."
On Tim Russert, Christopher Hitchens said regarding Sen. Hillary Clinton, "[I]f you think of women who really have been put upon by men and by male supremacy, like Benazir Bhutto, as well, you can't imagine her resorting to this kind of self-pity or suddenly decide to feminize herself in the most clichéd way, of such -- by welling up and sobbing." Hitchens later added: "I just think that if she knew how it made her look, sort of alternately soppy and bitchy, she'd stop it. But she can't help herself, can she? She just can't."
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On MSNBC's Morning Joe, columnist Christopher Hitchens asserted that "[t]he Democratic candidates are all pretending to be as pious as they possibly can be," and stated of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: "It can't be that she suddenly decides that she's a person of faith. She has never particularly mentioned it before." In fact, Clinton has publicly discussed her faith for years, including in her 1996 book and in interviews at least as far back as 1993.
Norah O'Donnell incorporated the White House and Republican talking point that Democrats do not have a strategy to change course in the war in Iraq by asserting that "the thing that perplexes many about the Democratic Party is, what is the alternative?" Later, O'Donnell asked if "part of the problem that the Democrats have is that they don't have a message to respond to the president."
Numerous media figures have asserted that a recent report purportedly identifying former deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage as Robert Novak's original source for Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative prove that Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were not involved in the leak of her identity. However, Armitage's role as Novak's first source is not inconsistent with Rove's and Libby's involvements in the leak -- both were original sources of the information for two other reporters.
Christopher Hitchens concluded that Robert Novak's July 12 "tell-all" column and his July 16 appearance on Meet the Press "dissolved any remaining doubt" that the Bush administration "outed" Valerie Plame, but presented irrelevant facts and assertions in support of that conclusion.
President Bush and senior aides have claimed that Americans are increasingly disillusioned about the Iraq war because the mainstream media report only the violent and tragic events occurring there -- an accusation that has simultaneously been advanced by an array of conservative media figures.