Virginia Tech was a “non-story,” no more important than news of a “traffic accident.” Magazine editors should be ashamed of themselves for not publishing the Danish cartoons. Anna Nicole was a “fat slut.” Religion “poisons everything.”
Oh, and women? They still aren’t funny.
Some words of wisdom offered by Vanity Fair contributing editor, author, National Magazine Award finalist and newly-ordained American citizen Christopher Hitchens at the American Society of Magazine Editors’ annual board meeting/luncheon at the Princeton Club this afternoon in New York.
Hitchens, politely grilled by Slate editor Jacob Weisberg, sounded off on everything from Imus to Saddam to George Tenet in front of a roomful of magazine editors, but his comments about the slain Virginia Tech students seemed to be the most provocative.
“Virginia Tech is a non-story,” said the British-born Hitchens, who said he took his oath as a U.S. citizen earlier in the day. “There were no implications” of anything bigger, explained Hitchens, who compared the shootings to a “traffic accident.” When one editor suggested the massacre pushed gun control to the forefront of the American conversation, Hitchens argued that the laws in Virginia were adequate — shooting people is already illegal, Hitchens said.
Weisberg suggested Hitchens — whose latest book, god is not great: How Religion Poisons Everything is out tomorrow — was a provacateur; Hitchens bristled. As a journalist, your job is to “take nothing on faith,” he said.
When asked about his controversial piece in which Hitchens argued women are not funny, he pointed to male friends who “would not have a prayer of getting laid without being amusing.”