Monday, July 05, 2004

Hitchens: Still Going Downhill

Christopher Hitchens on the much dread Scarborough Country, 30 June:

I wrote 4,000-word review of this film, which is full of lies and is itself a lie, on “Slate” magazine, what, nine days ago now. And I said to them, you have a war room, you claim, you have lawyers, you claim, who will sue anything you don‘t like. You have a rapid response team, so bring it on. And I know, without boasting—I hope I don‘t seem arrogant, but...

That was that week‘s most blogged piece, as the Internet specialists say. In other words, it was the most linked article on the Internet. A lot of people read it. And it flatly calls him as a liar and a fraud and a coward.

Oh yeah the incoherent rant -- which I shall not link to -- that was without doubt the most blathery convoluted piece of scrambled shit Hitchens has ever written. A mild rebuke may be found here.

You are effectively, with the Michael Moore presentation, you are looking straight down the gun barrel of an al Qaeda video. God and the Iraqi people won‘t forgive? He is talking the language of jihad.

This is progress. Forget it that Michael Moore hates America. Forget it that Moore is a pacifist (yes, that's a pejorative in nouveau Hitchensspeak). Forget it that Moore's a fellow-traveller and jihad sympathiser. It's beyond that, now: Michael Moore IS al-qaeda.

This acusation, despite the weaselword "effectively", I think, is something Moore could persue legally.

If you want my personal opinion, as someone who has observed Mr. Moore down the years, I don‘t think he has any principles at all. He will do anything to get applause, as you can see from the little clip you just showed. He likes applause from stupid crowds and he punches the applause button.

That strikes the self-revisionist note, Hitch. Then again, maybe not:

The success of Michael Moore's film about Roger Smith and General Motors has aroused an envious spirit of emulation in my breast. -- Hitchens, in The London Review of Books, June 1990