Now Playing at Reason.tv: Christopher Hitchens on How The New York Times Sets the Political Agenda

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On Wednesday, February 6, journalist and best-selling author Christopher Hitchens spoke to the students participating in the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism's "politics and journalism semester" in Washington, D.C.

Presented by the center's founder and executive director, Terry Michael, Hitchens' comments cover a lot of territory in his inimitable style. Watch the video to learn how The New York Times sets the political agenda, why The Washington Post still carries horoscopes, and how media bias really operates.

Click on the image below for a reason.tv exclusive.

NEXT: Now Playing at Reason.tv: How The New York Times Sets the Political Agenda

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  1. Why more from from the bigoted neocon anti-religionist Hitchens.

    Reason’s a pretty rational, consistent magazine, until it comes to having to choose between anti-religious bigots and pro-religion libertarians. Reason’s editors take the former’s side every time.

  2. I thought Urkobold set the Political Agenda

  3. Okay, almost every time 🙂

    Did you happen to watch Reason-sponsored Hitchen’s unreasoned drunken rant against the filthy unwashed religious masses that are collectively destroying the world and setting up concentration camps for what remains?

    My point: what value does an authoritarian, anti-libertarian neocon like Hitchens add? Why the continual rolling out of the red carpet for him? I’m sure even Huckabee says the occasional libertarian-sounding sound-bite, and yet he’s (rightly) not given the podium at reason’s friday night orgies.

  4. because religion sucks and he’s the one saying it loudest.

  5. jj | February 25, 2008, 4:47pm | #

    Reason’s a pretty rational…

    Is that a ‘Drink!’ moment? I never can keep the rules straight.

    I guess I’ll drink because of that. Glub.

    And FWIW, I believe Hitchen’s style is entirely Imitable. I simply drink a 5th of scotch, smoke 2 packs of cigarettes, and read Jonathan Swift at double speed while sweating profusely, occasionally throwing in comments about ‘viscious troglodites’ and ‘crypto-defeatists’, and then say something about there being No God mixed with the effects of arbitraray British colonial boundaries providing us with the source of almost all the worlds most serious regional conflicts. Oh, and Mother Theresa was a self-congratulatory whore.

    That said, his book reviews in the Atlantic are always really, really, really good. The man can craft an essay like few other living. See the latest one on “Memoirs of an Anti Semite”

  6. i like hitchens too or used to like him more a few years ago cause i liked his rebeling against the left in theory. he’s sorta like camilla paglia in that they’re both smart but you’re never gonna agree with them on everything. it is strange that a lot of libertarians like him like the reason staff, tucker carlson and penn jillette when he’s basically a leftist hawk.

    you know what would be the best debate on the war in iraq ever? christopher hitchens vs. ron paul. both are good debaters but have never really argued against anyone who disagreed with them that was as strong at debate as they are. hitchens usually debates inarticulate anti-war liberals and paul has usually gone up against inarticulate republican hawks (rudy) and they usually win. hitchens is one of the only pro-war voices who’s opinion and intelligence i respect and paul is one of the best voices the anti-war movements got (whether the left likes it or not) and i think that would be a great debate cause neither would resort sneaky emotionalism tricks like most people losing debates do.

  7. My point: what value does an authoritarian, anti-libertarian neocon like Hitchens add?

    I think calling everyone who didnt particularly mind occupying Iraq (as long as we had done it successfully) a “neocon” is kind of weak. “Wrong?” = OK, most likely. But if you’ve read his copious body of work, you’d realize he doesnt exactly fit any particular category very easily.

    I dont know where you get the anti-libertarian thing either. He’s more of a libertarian nihilist.

    Nihilist: We believe in nothing, Lebowski. Nothing. And tomorrow we come back and we cut off your chonson.

    The Dude: Excuse me?

    Nihilist: I said [shouting] We’ll cut off your johnson!!!

    Although he doesnt own a marmot AFAIK.

  8. It don’t matter to Jesus.

  9. Hitch supports the billion dollar a week war against Jihadofascism, what could be more libertarian than that?

  10. Reason’s a pretty rational, consistent magazine, until it comes […]

    Or written another way:

    For a magazine called Reason

  11. Now that i’ve watched the segment, theres very little there to disagree with, and he is eloquent and witty as always.

    Hitchens is probably offensive to most Americans because he makes them aware of precisely how inarticulate they are.

  12. he’s sorta like camilla paglia in that they’re both smart but you’re never gonna agree with them on everything.

    Bingo. I never miss la Paglia over at Slate, and I generally try to read Hitchens.

  13. I think the reason why the editors keep posting Hitchens stuff is because they want to see me happy. It’s always nice to hear from someone intelligent who makes it a point not to give a fuck what other people think.

  14. Hitchens is probably offensive to most Americans because he makes them aware of precisely how inarticulate they are.

    Hey now, I resemble that remark.

  15. Suddenly I smelled scotch. I knew that there had to be a Hitchens thread.

    he makes them aware of precisely how inarticulate they are.

    He does speak good.

  16. Suddenly I smelled scotch. I knew that there had to be a Hitchens thread.

    I’m alsmost drunk – can I post on this therad?

  17. I think the reason why the editors keep posting Hitchens stuff is because they want to see me happy. It’s always nice to hear from someone intelligent who makes it a point not to give a fuck what other people think.
    That’s why I love him.

    I don’t agree with his politics, but he’s contrarian, unapologetic, and a complete douchebag, so I am a fan of him.

  18. Sam McManus | February 25, 2008, 6:37pm | #
    I think the reason why the editors keep posting Hitchens stuff is because they want to see me happy. It’s always nice to hear from someone intelligent who makes it a point not to give a fuck what other people think.

    Word.

  19. I suppose that when an Evangelical Nutjob occupies the White House, being anti-God grows similar to being Anti-Government.

    Too bad he agrees with deciding what government is best for other countries with our lives and our money. A shame, really…

  20. I’d like to publicly retract my statements about Hitch being scotch-besotted as it has recently come to my attention that he prefers gin (as a Brit should).

  21. Who the hell cares what Christopher Hitchens has to say about anything?

  22. Hitch is ok, but I imagine up close he’d have to be the biggest fuckstick imaginable.

    He’s also (as a bedwetting agnostic who’s more preoccupied with World of Warcraft) put me off being an atheist. In fact, the whole militant atheism movement is becoming dangerously like the People’s Front of Judea.

    People believe in God ok…..they just do. I’d argue till i was blue in the face for the separation of church and state but I don’t want to be part of a family or community who pour scorn on people who mind their own business and think there’s someone in the sky who’s looking after them.

    The other think I don’t like about the new Atheism movement is how ‘white upper middle class male Englishman’ it is. Hitch, Amis, Dawkins and A C Grayling all getting their cocks out and measuring them against one another. Ooooh chris look at my penis! Please look at mine!!! And Amis in the background stroking his johnson and inventing a new thirteen syllabled word for this next 7000 page treatise on man, machine, sodomy and atheism (NYT review to say like Bellow and Nobokov only more urgent).

    Good Lord, I appear to have got sidetracked….

  23. I don’t want to be part of a family or community who pour scorn on people who mind their own business and think there’s someone in the sky who’s looking after them.

    Well, neither would Hitchens. Hitchens has made this explicit in several debates. The problem is of course the mind your own business part.

    The other think I don’t like about the new Atheism movement is how ‘white upper middle class male Englishman’ it is.

    I suppose those are valid criteria for not liking something. Not sure how valid those criteria are for determining whether an idea is correct or not. By the way Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Michael Shermer aren’t English. There’s also Ayaan Hirsi Ali who somehow manages to not be male, white, nor English. But again, none of that should really matter.

  24. ‘Not sure how valid those criteria are for determining whether an idea is correct or not.’

    Oh no completely..banged to rights as they say. It’s just, as an English person, I wince everytime I hear Hitch and Amis on TV…I mean what the fuck is the deal with their accents…they become MORE and MORE English..they sound like something out of a bad PG Wodehouse adaptation.

    And discounting the class and sex issues, isn’t there something borrishly ‘male’ about these chaps who keep on telling us how we should stop believing in God (not that I do) and start getting boners everytime we see a fossil. ‘Oooohh I wondered what THIS evolved into?’

    As I say, I agree with 99% of what Hitch says and he’s an undeniably amazing man, I just still think he’s a complete penis.

    PS – how do I do italics and bolds?

  25. Can someone please tell me why this site uses only the month and day for dates everywhere except for the comment threads?

  26. As I read comments on Hitchens videos, I am often struck by how differently they see the man. In what capacity do you see Hitchens as an authoritarian JJ? A bigot? Seriously? Have you read anything hes written? Have you even been watching and reading the same Hitchens that I have? He is easily one of the greatest advocates for free thinking and free speech anywhere.

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