The Best of Hitchens, Round 4


More from the New Yorker profile:

    “No, excuse me,” Hitchens said. His tone tightened, and his mouth
    shrunk like a sea anemone poked with a stick; the Hitchens face can,
    at moments of dialectical urgency, or when seen in an unkindly lit
    Fox News studio, transform from roguish to sour. (Hitchens’s friend
    Martin Amis, the novelist, has chided Hitchens for “doing that
    horrible thing with your lips.”) “Fine,” Hitchens said. “Now that I
    know that, to you, medical ethics are nothing, you’ve told me all I
    need to know. I’m not trying to persuade you. Do you think I care
    whether you agree with me? No. I’m telling you why I disagree with
    you. That I do care about. I have no further interest in any of your
    opinions. There’s nothing you wouldn’t make an excuse for.”

    “That’s wrong!” they said.

    “You know what? I wouldn’t want you on my side.” His tone was
    businesslike; the laughing protests died away. “I was telling you why
    I knew that Howard Dean was a psycho and a fraud, and you say,
    ‘That’s O.K.’ Fuck off. No, I mean it: fuck off. I’m telling you what
    I think are standards, and you say, ‘What standards? It’s fine, he’s
    against the Iraq war.’ Fuck. Off. You’re ‘Any liar will
    do. He’s anti-Bush, he can say what he likes.’ Fuck off. You think a
    doctor can lie in front of an audience of women on a major question,
    and claim to have suppressed evidence on rape and incest and then to
    have said he made it up?”

    “But Christopher . . .”

    “Save it, sweetie, for someone who cares. It will not be me. You love
    it, you suck on it. I now know what your standards are, and now you
    know what mine are, and that’s all the difference-I hope-in the world.”