Wednesday, June 28, 2006

This is what a Niagara of ridicule looks like

In a rhetorically overblown attempt to sneer at the YearlyKos convention, Christopher Hitchens cites Alexander Cockburn's actually quite excellent critique of the event.
The Daily Kos lot received such a Niagara of ridicule for their meeting in Las Vegas (Alexander Cockburn's column in The Nation, available in a slightly different form on the Counterpunch site, making me almost feel sorry for them) that I now feel guilty for piling on.*
This is funny for numerous reasons. First, outside of Hitchens' imagination, there was no Niagara of ridicule, just Cockburn and a few others on the left. The reaction of the mainstream media was surprisingly deferential, considering. They actually paid attention to a bloggers' convention as a potentially serious political force with multiple prominent articles in the New York Times and elsewhere. And as for almost feeling guilty for piling on, he is obviously simply lying.

Even funnier is the fact that he would choose to cite Cockburn on anything, given the true Niagara of ridicule Cockburn has quite justifiably channeled in his direction. The same day Hitchens published his piece, Cockburn had this gem on his website:
Hitchens Hails the "Glorious War"

The recent memorial for long-term New York Review co-editor Barbara Epstein, sadly felled by cancer on June 15, was disfigured by an unseemly outbursts from Christopher Hitchens. There was a list of invitees for the private ceremony and C. Hitchens -- a sometime NYT contributor -- was not on the list. He implored to be admitted, and some misguidedly decent soul gave him the green light.Visibly taken with drink, in the estimate of at least one observer, Hitchens showed up and soon made his way to Jean Stein, a close friend of Barbara Epstein, also editor of Grand Street in recent years. Hitchens spared Stein the habitual presentation of his hairy cheek but made a low, facetious bow and offered his hand. Stein icily declined, saying she had no desire to shake hands with him for many reasons, not least the fact that Hitchens had attacked one of her best friends, Edward Said, while he was on his death bed. As Hitchens retreated, someone remarked to him, "So your glorious war has turned out to be a total disaster, hasn't it?" "It is glorious,"the sodden scrivener blared, "and it is my war because it needed Paul Wolfowitz and myself to go and convince the President to go to war."As mourners digested this megalomanic outburst, Hitchens continued, "And we are going to kill every Al Qaida terrist and Baathist in the country and that's a good thing. They need to be killed and we will kill them."
In context with many, many other similar pieces Cockburn has written about Hitchens the drink soaked, born again warmonger, this is indeed what a Niagara of ridicule looks like.

The rest of Hitchens' article, along with the entirety of his writings since 9/11, recently covering such erudite topics as the manly American quality of blowjobs, is not worth the bother of reading. Just pathetic.

* Then there is the perhaps somewhat petty issue of style. However, since Hitchens fancies himself a bit of a stylist, I will stick a pin in him here too.
...making me almost feel sorry for them) that I now feel guilty for piling on.
I mean really, does he proofread before he publishes any more?


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