12.16.11 5:02 AM ET
Christopher Hitchens on Waterboarding, Mother Teresa, and More Controversial Moments (VIDEO)
One Committed Columnist
What does it feel like to be tortured? Most people would never want to find out, but to be fair, Christopher Hitchens isn’t like most people. To authenticate his Vanity Fair article about interrogation tactics, Hitchens agreed to be waterboarded. Talk about dedication. After the brutal experiment, he concluded that waterboarding doesn’t simulate drowning–it is drowning. His article for Vanity Fair entitled “Believe Me, It’s Torture,” ran in August 2008.
Why Women Aren’t Funny
It’s no joke: Christopher Hitchens didn’t believe women were funny. In a Vanity Fair essay this year, the author insisted that as a whole, men are funnier than women. His musings caused TV critic Alessandra Stanley to recruit some of America’s funniest women such as Tina Fey and write a rebuttal with hilarious photos for Vanity Fair. Never to be outdone, Hitchens issued a rebuttal of his own in video form. Watch as the targeted man defends his stance and highlights the real achievement of the essay—“making sexier women try harder” to amuse him.
Hitchens’s Greatest Fear
From challenging Mother Teresa’s faith to calling Bill Clinton a rapist, nothing was off-limits for Christopher Hitchens. Earlier this year, 60 Minutes chronicled 61 years of writing, boozing, chain-smoking, and protesting by the envelope-pushing author. The profile also gave an honest glimpse into Hitchens’s battle with the cancer, which would eventually claim his life. But as this video shows, his worst fear of cancer wasn’t that it would kill him, it’s that it would keep him from writing.
God Is Not Great
Never one to shy away from controversy, Hitchens considered himself an atheist and consistently questioned organized religion. In fact, he wrote a bestselling book with the provocative title, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. So, it should come as no surprise that Hitchens found several “inconsistencies” in the story of Jesus Christ. Watch as he questions the “myth” of Jesus and insists “the fakery of the story” makes it unbelievable.
Proud to Be an American
When asked why he traded in a platinum green card for American citizenship, Hitchens gave one reason: September 11. The journalist had lived in America since 1981, but after the 9/11 terror attacks, Hitchens said he felt like “he hadn’t paid the price of the ticket.” Flooded with patriotism, he wanted the rights afforded to every American–among those, jury duty and the right to vote. Watch as Hitchens describes his first time at the polls, and why the “insulting” selection of Sarah Palin as VP pushed him to vote for that senator from Illinois.
The Life, Love and Hates of Christopher Hitchens
Hitch. That’s what friends called the famous author. In a true demonstration of respect and admiration, Stephen Fry and a bevy of friends and colleagues gathered to highlight the life and career of Hitchens, but the ailing author was not able to attend the event and was forced to watch from home. In the words of Stephen Fry, Hitchens was “a hero of the mind.”
War of Words
There are debates, and then there are Christopher Hitchens debates. In 2005, Hitchens debated the Iraq war with British M.P. George Galloway. The professorial journalist is never at a loss for facts and seems to know the history of the region like others know their phone numbers. Watch as he masterfully stays on topic even with distracting boos from a disapproving audience.