Hitchens on Today

Christopher Hitchens has had two fairly well publicised articles out during the past week. The first, from Newsweek, attacked Sarah Palin; the second more recent piece appeared in Slate and attacked “the host of damage-control commentators” who rushed to claim that religion was not a motivating factor in the Fort Hood killings.

No prizes for guessing which topic Hitchens was invited on the Today programme to discuss just before 7 this morning. Also, no surprise that Hitchens – well-known for his anti-Palin views – was the only person interviewed. I very much doubt that it even crossed the minds of the Today editors to seek the perspective of a commentator with a more sympathetic opinion of Palin. In the highly unlikely event that Hitchens had been asked on to discuss Fort Hood, I thinks it’s a near certainty that an opposing voice would’ve been heard.

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5 Responses to Hitchens on Today

  1. Umbongo says:

    Later on Today, if you were (un)lucky you could have caught the “interview” by Evan Davis of Mandelson.  Two points:

    1.  Why interview a Labour spokesman on the basis of information about the Queen’s Speech leaked by Labour for party political advantage?  After all, we’ll all know the details of the Queen’s Speech later today so an interview later today or tomorrow can take place in the full knowledge of the facts.  The BBC, through Today, thus handed Labour the opportunity to set the agenda rather than letting matters wait for 12/24 hours so a rather more disinterested analysis can be applied?
    2.  The Davis-Mandelson interview was marked by the stomach-churning sparkiness of two gays enjoying a bit of a verbal nuzzle.  Mandelson’s appeal to Davis “with all love and respect” to be allowed to carry on uninterrupted with Labour propaganda quite upset my breakfast.  It reminded me of a similar (though far less politically charged) interview between Russell Harty and Dirk Bogarde both of whom couldn’t wait to get off-screen and into the green room to share mutual revelations.  This is not anti-gay: had the interview been between a man and a woman so obviously sexually attracted to one another, it would have been just as distasteful.  However, the mutual attraction appeared to prevent the usually incisive Davis from pursuing his political prey with the thoroughness such an interview demands.


    • Roland Deschain says:

      Not sure I agree with you there. Evan Davis repeatedly attempted to get Mandelson to explain what the point was in legislating for intentions rather than explaining how the intentions are to be achieved. Mandelson was unable to answer this and his appeal “with all love and respect” was probably designed to put Davis off (well it certainly put me off) as he didn’t like Davis’s refusal to accept a non-answer.

      That no answer was ever forthcoming was down to Davis running out of time and having to pursue other topics.


      • Umbongo says:

        Point taken – Davis wasn’t fazed until Mandelson’s appeal to his (Davis’s) “better nature”.  Even so, under different circumstances Davis might have gone for the jugular rather than change the subject.  However, quite why the BBC insists on it’s news items to use future news (eg the Queen’s Speech will say  . . . or Gordon Brown will announce . . . ) leaked by Labour for party political advantage is only explicable in terms of bias.


  2. Grant says:


    On the other hand, not much love lost between  Andrew Pierce ( gay ) who first “outed”  Mandelson some years ago !


  3. Millie Tant says:

    The comments above reminded me of this pic from a couple of weeks ago:


    The chains, my dear, the chains! Enough to frighten the horses.