Video: Hitchens destroys sniveling anti-war journalist Chris Hedges

posted at 11:55 pm on June 5, 2007 by Allahpundit

I was going to save this for tomorrow morning but it simply can’t wait. You may remember Hedges from Rockford College’s 2003 commencement ceremony, where he launched into a critique of the Iraq war so obnoxious that he was booed off the stage. His latest book, just published, is a polemic against the Christian right entitled, I kid you not, “American Fascists.” He is, in short, the cartoonish epitome of the modern leftist journalist, and as such he’s perfectly willing to defend the merits of religion from Christopher Hitchens. And by “religion,” I think you know which particular religion I have in mind.

Having thus set the stage, I turn you over to Zombie, who shot this clip and has a transcript — plus other photos and videos — at his site. Just one little taste and then you’re on your own:

A perfect picture [gesturing towards Chris Hedges] has been given to you of the cretinous relationship between sloppy moral relativism, half-baked religious absolutism, and the journalism that lies in between.

What precedes that is almost lyrical. Don’t miss it.


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PWNED!

DwnSouthJukin on June 6, 2007 at 12:04 AM

That’s going to leave a mark.

(AP, the Rockford College link is bad.)

Jaibones on June 6, 2007 at 12:06 AM

he says at the end, that’s ok I won’t reply… ahahaha this could not have been at a university, they were actually clapping for our soldiers…

Kaptain Amerika on June 6, 2007 at 12:08 AM

PWNED indeed. That was a jaw-dropper.

wccawa on June 6, 2007 at 12:17 AM

Wow.

That’s all I got. Wow.

Farmer_Joe on June 6, 2007 at 12:19 AM

So hoping that this would show up when I saw it in the headlines. Thanks for posting another pile of Hitchens goodness, AP.

Krydor on June 6, 2007 at 12:20 AM

Good grief – Hitchen’s tore him a new hole.

Get out the Bactene ointment. Wow.

Dr. Gecko on June 6, 2007 at 12:24 AM

Hitch shredded that guy. Daaaaayum.

Bad Candy on June 6, 2007 at 12:25 AM

As said before…wow.

The dish Hitchens served that pseudo-intellectual is the same dish that should be served to the pseudo-intellectual kids and professors on American college campuses.

Not to mention damn near the whole of Europe.

Montana on June 6, 2007 at 12:30 AM

Hedges silence at the end says it all.

I say this for Hitch…he’s no hypocrite he hates all religions and doesn’t play the typical liberal double standard of trashing Christians,Jews and Catholics while bending over backwards to appease followers of Islam.

mlong on June 6, 2007 at 12:31 AM

I wish it wasn’t edited so I could hear the points Hitchens is rebutting.

Nonfactor on June 6, 2007 at 12:31 AM

That video was so nice, I had to watch it twice. We need more logic like this.

KCtheKat on June 6, 2007 at 12:33 AM

God works in mysterious ways. Bravo, Mr. Hitchens!

(Never thought I’d write that)

Militant Bibliophile on June 6, 2007 at 12:34 AM

Nonfactor, I think Zombie has the whole thing taped at his/her/its site.

Bad Candy on June 6, 2007 at 12:37 AM

The entire discussion seems like one of morality. It doesn’t sound like Hedges is condoning murder, he just has a weak point and Hitchens attacks it rather easily. It isn’t that hard to say “suicide bombings are immoral.”

Nonfactor on June 6, 2007 at 12:41 AM

That was painful for me to watch. I can’t imagine how much misery Hedges is in.

windbag on June 6, 2007 at 12:48 AM

And its Hedges fault, he should have never let himself defend the indefensible, but he did, and Hitch ripped him to bloody gibs for it.

Bad Candy on June 6, 2007 at 12:48 AM

And its Hedges fault, he should have never let himself defend the indefensible, but he did, and Hitch ripped him to bloody gibs for it.

Bad Candy on June 6, 2007 at 12:48 AM

As I said, weak point.

Nonfactor on June 6, 2007 at 12:53 AM

Hitchens is a bigot and has completely blown his credibility with me over his remarks on Christianity.

Benaiah on June 6, 2007 at 12:59 AM

Yeah Nonfactor, but you still have yet to admit Hedges should have never let himself get in that position, so it is his own damn fault. Plus I think Zombie and some of his/her/its links offers some interesting insight as to why he may have allowed himself to be defending such a futile point.

Bad Candy on June 6, 2007 at 1:02 AM

Clarity is a powerful tool, and leftists tend to be bloodied by it.

Jaibones on June 6, 2007 at 1:02 AM

Keith Olbermann questions the timing.

Montana on June 6, 2007 at 1:02 AM

he says at the end, that’s ok I won’t reply… ahahaha this could not have been at a university, they were actually clapping for our soldiers…

I’m pretty sure it was about half a dozen people in the room.

Patriot33 on June 6, 2007 at 1:03 AM

Hitch is the British Fallaci. We need more like him in this country. Fierce and unrelenting and showing no mercy to these morally insane left-tards.

Jewel on June 6, 2007 at 1:10 AM

Last time I saw a filmed duel with that kind of result, the loser wound up with a blade through the heart and a “Z” slashed across his clothes. Hedges needs the proverbial “Check-up from the neck up” before he thinks of going to a debate as anything but an observer from here on in.

52Ranger on June 6, 2007 at 1:10 AM

Wow.

That’s all I got. Wow.

Farmer_Joe on June 6, 2007 at 12:19 AM

Farmer_Joe, you took the word out of my mouth.

Christoph on June 6, 2007 at 1:14 AM

That was a BURN for the ages.

V15J on June 6, 2007 at 1:16 AM

OWNED!

JG2K6 on June 6, 2007 at 1:16 AM

Absolutely brilliant! (in a Hitchens like accent)

186k on June 6, 2007 at 1:33 AM

Ya kinda get the feeling that maybe Hitch enjoyed that a little, because this Berkley dude was speechless.

Nice touch with the parts about Iraq, Iran, and the UN “Disarmament” comittee. What can you say to that?

Tman on June 6, 2007 at 1:53 AM

“What you mean is that you wish you had read it.”

Brilliant!

Misha I on June 6, 2007 at 2:13 AM

I don’t get what Hedges is getting at when he says he should be reading Shipling’s White Man’s Work (world?) I’m not smart enough, someone help me out.

zombieshakespeare on June 6, 2007 at 2:19 AM

I heard Hedges being interviewed about his book on the Dennis Prager show and he actually said that Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University is the moral equivalent to al qaeda or hamas, one or the other.

zombieshakespeare on June 6, 2007 at 2:23 AM

This smackdown is nothing but pure gold. The point at the end where the hapless Hedges can do nothing but sit there in bewildered confusion at his arguments being cut to shreds by Hitchens is priceless. I have to agree, “Wow” just about says it all.

P. James Moriarty on June 6, 2007 at 2:35 AM

I don’t get what Hedges is getting at when he says he should be reading Shipling’s White Man’s Work

He was saying “I feel like I should be reading Kipling’s ‘White Man’s Burden’”, a typical braindead leftist sneer at Kipling’s poem, which suggested (extremely short version) that the Evil White Oppressors had actually done something to improve the tribal dungholes they Evilly Suppressed.

For examples of actual improvement, see India and pretty much all of Africa.

The reason they hate that poem so much is, of course, proof that they know little to nothing of history either, which is why Hitch retorted with “what you mean is that you wish you had read it.”

Misha I on June 6, 2007 at 2:49 AM

“The fact that they hate that poem so much…”

Sheesh, preview is my friend. There’s a reason as well, but it would lead to a three-page dissertation and, besides, everybody with an IQ above room temperature already know that reason.

Misha I on June 6, 2007 at 2:54 AM

This is why I will forever love Hitch, no matter his transgressions (to which none have been visited upon me).

As to “White Man’s Burden”, the proper response would be, “you should read White Man’s Guilt.”

I do miss the cigarette and rocks glass of brown liquid though.

askheaves on June 6, 2007 at 2:56 AM

Awesome!

Aylios on June 6, 2007 at 3:22 AM

The word “debate” can hardly be used. Hedges was destroyed IMO.

Yakko77 on June 6, 2007 at 4:15 AM

I say this for Hitch…he’s no hypocrite he hates all religions and doesn’t play the typical liberal double standard of trashing Christians,Jews and Catholics while bending over backwards to appease followers of Islam.

mlong on June 6, 2007 at 12:31 AM

Yeah. It’s hard for me personally to get too enthusiastic when he turns his hose on someone else, me standing here all wet. But there seems little question that he’s his own guy. And I guess if I didn’t nod and give him a thumbs up when he gets something right, I’d be guilty of some major hypocrisy, since I complain more or less continually that the Left refuses to concede points (and therefore remains the Left).

Axe on June 6, 2007 at 4:43 AM

It’s the liberal position to defend the anti-West/anti-Christianity. It is objectively siding with the enemy, but they are doing it very slyly by using an angle involving religion.

I had a liberal friend actually defend the burqa. I didn’t let him get away with it.

But they’re just so much smarter than everyone else.

benrand on June 6, 2007 at 5:05 AM

Simply beautiful dissection of a moonbat by one of the only tolerable lefties on the planet, mostly for these views he has on the war. However his bro Peter took it to him though on the anti- God issue & book last week I have to say. lol‘Woulda missed this without the post here, Thanks Allah.

chicagoray on June 6, 2007 at 5:49 AM

Way to go Hitch!!

Viper1 on June 6, 2007 at 6:39 AM

I’m still getting used to Hitch.

But, I did enjoy his dismantlement of Hedges there.

nailinmyeye on June 6, 2007 at 7:24 AM

THIS is why I love Hitchens. I have seen him do this kind of thing time and time again. He never raises his voice. He doesn’t foam at the mouth. He quietly, succinctly, and intelligently talks about the evils of Islamofascists and he always gets the upper hand, at least with me. In spite of his views on religion, I admire him. He has, in his journey, broken from many on the left who were once his friends. Or, I should say, they have broken from him. That had to be a lonely time for him.

Glynn on June 6, 2007 at 8:19 AM

I heard Hedges being interviewed about his book on the Dennis Prager show and he actually said that Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University is the moral equivalent to al qaeda or hamas, one or the other.

zombieshakespeare on June 6, 2007 at 2:23 AM

If that were true — and I have no idea — it would be the same sort of quivering moral equivalence that Hitch was roasting this weenie over.

Hitch is often admired, I think, for his willingness to move outside of liberal orthodoxy whenever common sense and truth require it, as in the war on Islamofascists. In reverse, this means that I can admire Hitch for these viewpoints, but not give him a pass for his anti-religious extremes when they make no sense.

Liberty University is the farthest possible thing from Al Qaeda, and no knee-jerk atheist hatred can alter that manifest truth.

Jaibones on June 6, 2007 at 8:27 AM

Say what you will about Hitchens.

The man knows the power of words!!!

Where was Hedges’ attempt to loudly interject, obfuscate and shout down his opponent?

A lame sneer towards Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden” was the best Hedges could do?… The verbal equivalent to bringing a banana to a Gun fight. And Hedges got roundly and soundly b*itch slapped for it!

Jack.

Jack Deth on June 6, 2007 at 8:45 AM

I’ve never been a big fan of Hitchens, to me he always comes across as so arrogant and self-righteous it turns my stomach a little….but….man that was good!!!!!

vcferlita on June 6, 2007 at 9:04 AM

It’s so much easier to understand Hitch when he has moonbats to illustrate his point.

budorob on June 6, 2007 at 9:45 AM

I don’t get what Hedges is getting at when he says he should be reading Shipling’s White Man’s Work

Right before Hedges saya that Hitchens paraphrases Kipling’s “Tommy”:

“Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;”

Hedges stupidly gets the name of the poem wrong hence Hitchens’ retort.

aengus on June 6, 2007 at 10:24 AM

saya=says (oops!)

aengus on June 6, 2007 at 10:25 AM

Walk off Grand Slam for Hitchens.

Malpaso on June 6, 2007 at 10:30 AM

you still have yet to admit Hedges should have never let himself get in that position

That’s like saying Hedges shouldn’t be who he is. That’s what these guys do. They get up in these forums and preach sloppy intellectual treacle to a choir of adoring undergraduates, and gradually come to believe they are smart. They never dreamed that someone who is truly smart, and well-educated, would come along.

vcferlita on June 6, 2007 at 9:04 AM
I agree about the arrogance. He’s a great guy to have on your side, but . . .

What you mean is that you wish you had read it.

This is the quintessence of the term pseudo-intellectual. Referring to books you haven’t read in a debate with a well-read person? How stupid is that? That’s like throwing a hanging curve to Hank Aaron.

smellthecoffee on June 6, 2007 at 10:39 AM

Heh, I like the way he shoves the microphone out of the way at the end, as if to say, “I’m done.”

Mark V. on June 6, 2007 at 10:50 AM

Dr. Gecko on June 6, 2007 at 12:24 AM

Get out the Bactene ointment. Wow.

There isnt enough Bactene ointment on the entire planet to ease that………….

doriangrey on June 6, 2007 at 10:58 AM

I heart Hitchens.

I believe he became a U.S. citizen just recently.

Uh, that would be legally, not in the dark of night.

fogw on June 6, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Brutal KO for Hitchens.

thirteen28 on June 6, 2007 at 11:42 AM

It’s alarming how many people were applauding for Hedges. Useful idiots.

Is there anywhere we can here the entire debate?

PRCalDude on June 6, 2007 at 12:06 PM

I’m re-reading David Horowitz’s bio and he has a great quote in there about the left: “We were intoxicated by our own virtue”.

Hedges is a prime example (see also, the entire list of Dem Presidential candidates); they have this air of moral superciliousness that is sickening, and I’m glad Hitchens, for all his other flaws, past and present, is speaking up from the left about the dangers of Islamofascism.

linlithgow on June 6, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Is there anywhere we can here the entire debate?

PRCalDude on June 6, 2007 at 12:06 PM

Yes. When you watch it all Hedges isn’t really excusing suicide bombings, he wants to talk about religion (specifically Christianity) in America whereas Hitchens wants to talk about Islam worldwide. Hedges just does a horrible job at debating but otherwise he doesn’t say anything as “morally reprehensible” as ‘suicide bombings are okay.’

Referring to books you haven’t read in a debate with a well-read person? How stupid is that?

I believe he has read it, as has just about anybody who has taken a college level English course, Hitchens was just trying to get in a “zing” moment.

Nonfactor on June 6, 2007 at 12:58 PM

Yes. When you watch it all Hedges isn’t really excusing suicide bombings, he wants to talk about religion (specifically Christianity) in America whereas Hitchens wants to talk about Islam worldwide. Hedges just does a horrible job at debating but otherwise he doesn’t say anything as “morally reprehensible” as ’suicide bombings are okay.’

I’m fairly certain Hitchens has read plenty of Hedges’ writings and was addressing those. That’s what you do in a debate. When you see Christians in America plotting violent acts, then it’s appropriate to discuss Christianity in such debate, but not until.

PRCalDude on June 6, 2007 at 1:03 PM

then it’s appropriate to discuss Christianity in such debate

PRCalDude on June 6, 2007 at 1:03 PM

In such debate? This was pretty much just a convention at a college where these two could hawk their books. It was a discussion of morality, and Hitchens used the discussion to appear the hero by saying, basically, “suicide bombings are immoral”–not that hard.

Nonfactor on June 6, 2007 at 1:10 PM

In such debate? This was pretty much just a convention at a college where these two could hawk their books. It was a discussion of morality, and Hitchens used the discussion to appear the hero by saying, basically, “suicide bombings are immoral”–not that hard.

Nonfactor on June 6, 2007 at 1:10 PM

What’s your point?

PRCalDude on June 6, 2007 at 1:16 PM

What’s your point?

PRCalDude on June 6, 2007 at 1:16 PM

Information. You haven’t watched the entire debate, I was merely informing you that it’s a discussion of morality. One could get the idea from watching these highlights (as I first did) that Hedges was excusing suicide bombings, he isn’t.

Nonfactor on June 6, 2007 at 1:22 PM

Nonfactor on June 6, 2007 at 1:22 PM

But Hedges has equivocated regarding suicide bombings in his work, and Hitchens has every right to take the opportunity to point up this sinister aspect of Hedges anti-Americanism/anti-Christianity.

Hedges’ comment about thinking he ought to be reading White Man’s Burden was an attempted stab at any Western thought that “we” can improve the lot of those less advanced. A nifty zinger by Hitch, indeed.

But his harshest comments were aimed at the audience, and were outstanding in their passion.

…and by the way a lot of your own future, ladies and gentlemen, is staked on the hope that federal secular democrats can emerge from this terrible combat, and that we can protect them, and offer them help while they do so. We know that they’re there, and I’ve met them, I love them, and they’re our friends.

Every member of the 82nd Airborne Division could be a snake-handling congregationalist for all I know. But these men and women, who you sneer and jeer at them, and snigger when you hear applause and excuses for suicide bombers, and you have to live with the shame of having done that. These people are guarding you while you sleep, whether you know it or not, and they’re also creating space for secularism to emerge, and you better hope that they are successful.

Pardon me transcribing, but it was worth repeating, especially on D-Day.

Any, by the way, Hedges never denies his apologia for suicide bombers when directly accused by Hitchens.

…it’s the exact [pointing directly at Hedges] equivalent of the evil nonsense talked by Hedges and friends of his, who say that suicide bombers in Palestine are driven to it by despair…

Thorough ownage.

Freelancer on June 6, 2007 at 4:17 PM

I guess it’s easy to portray Hitchens as “genius” when you are only showing one side of a debate. Why were Hedges responses not shown? Were his questions not shown? Why were his thoughts not presented? This is nothing more than a hack editing job to make Hitchens look good.

calirighty on June 6, 2007 at 4:20 PM

Quite honestly I expect a lot more from Hot Air than a one sided hack job. If I wanted to see that I would go watch Olberman.

calirighty on June 6, 2007 at 4:22 PM

What I liked about this clip is that it sounds like the kids were listening. Maybe even getting it. Maybe.

Tantor on June 6, 2007 at 4:24 PM

Hopefully they were. And don’t get me wrong. I don’t particularly care for either of these two guys. I just think that if you are going to present the idea of someone “destroying” someone in a debate that you should be responsible and show the WHOLE debate and not just the parts that make one person look good. That is irresponsible journalism.

calirighty on June 6, 2007 at 4:27 PM

I would like to see Hitch debate Hugh Hewitt on the subject of Mohammed Cartoons. I don’t think HH has ever come around to the notion that allowing American media to cower in fear of publishing the cartoons was a BAD idea.

netherman79 on June 6, 2007 at 7:37 PM

People who enjoy Hitchens and a good debate should download the podcast of Hitchens’s debate with Mark Roberts on Hewitt’s show Tuesday about all things religious. I fall somewhere in between an aetheist like Hitchens and a pastor/theologian like Roberts, but they both made compelling arguments and were very polite to one another. Even Hitchens managed to keep himself from getting personal and was surprisingly respectful even when pressing Roberts. Definitely worth a listen.

Dudley Smith on June 6, 2007 at 11:33 PM