The Corner

Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P.

My own, er, tribute, recorded for Radio Derb, which just went to tape & will be up after lunch.

Christopher Hitchens has died, much too young.

I can’t say I was a fan, am not in fact sure I ever read to the end of anything he wrote. Hitch was a court jester for the liberal elites. He took care never to violate their most sacred taboos. Like Stephen Jay Gould, who also died too young, also of cancer, Hitch carried the banner of soft Marxism forward into the post-Soviet era.

I’m sorry if I sound lukewarm. I’m an opinion journalist, like Hitch, and I am fully aware, as he was, that it is a low kind of trade — “the vituperative arts,” as Auberon Waugh said. Hitch was superbly good at it, far better than I could ever hope to be, and miraculously productive to the end. Is that a bit better?

I’ll add this: Hitch was often fun to watch, quick at thinking on his feet, and something like a genius at not suffering fools gladly.

There now; it didn’t come out so bad. I even think the subject might have applauded it. Goodnight, Hitch.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

Most Popular


Jussie Smollett Jokes Declared Off-Limits

The Jussie Smollett story has been declared not fit for jokes. "It's a straight-up tragedy," declares the co-creator of a Comedy Central show, South Side, set in Chicago. Bashir Salahuddin, a former Jimmy Fallon writer, says “The whole situation is unfortunate. Particularly for the city, there’s bigger ... Read More

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More
Film & TV

The Movies Take On Limbaugh, Levin, et al.

Oh, good, here’s the lefty British comic Steve Coogan to give us his take on American right-wing talk radio. Let’s all settle in for some deep insights. The comedy-drama is dismally titled Hot Air. No, seriously. That’s what they came up with. Coogan’s Lionel Macomb is introduced to us via his ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Ignorant Comments on Israel

Making the click-through worthwhile: figuring out what President Trump meant when he said Jews who vote for Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty”; examining the data on how American Jews actually feel about Israel; and why Democrats will always find a way or a reason to avert ... Read More