Video: Hitchens defends Rushdie on “Question Time”; Update: British lord compares Rushdie to Holocaust denier

posted at 1:05 pm on June 22, 2007 by Allahpundit

Not that there’s much mystery as to what he’ll say, but I’ve been eager to hear Hitchens finally weigh in on this. Thanks to our pal Sugiero for putting me out of my misery. I’ve been curious about the “Question Time” show, too, ever since reading Martin Amis’s story about his own appearance on it. Sounds like “Hardball” but with more guests and Bill Maher’s audience trucked in for some clapping-seal atmosphere. Amis:

What is the most depressing thing about Britain you have observed since your return? And the best? GRANT MULLIN, Surrey

The most depressing thing was the sight of middle-class white demonstrators, last August, waddling around under placards saying, We Are All Hizbollah Now. Well, make the most of being Hizbollah while you can. As its leader, Hasan Nasrallah, famously advised the West: “We don’t want anything from you. We just want to eliminate you.” Similarly, when I went on Question Time the other week, a woman in the audience, her voice quavering with self-righteousness, presented the following argument: since it was America that supported Osama bin Laden when he was fighting the Russians, the US armed forces, in response to September 11, “should be dropping bombs on themselves!” And the audience applauded. It is quite an achievement. People of liberal sympathies, stupefied by relativism, have become the apologists for a creedal wave that is racist, misogynist, homophobic, imperialist, and genocidal. To put it another way, they are up the arse of those that want them dead.

Judging from the applause here for Baroness Williams (and from op-eds like this), it’ll be awhile before they crawl out of that ass. Watch for the cutaway to Hitchens when she says Rushdie’s “deeply offended Muslims in a very powerful way.” He’s almost literally choking down the bile.

Update: Another good catch by Sugiero. It’s British Lord Nazir Ahmed appearing on France 24 and comparing Rushdie’s religious skepticism to the factual revisionism of Holocaust deniers. The irony of Britain’s first Muslim peer complaining about Britain’s insensitivity to Muslims is irresistible.


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Comments

I watched Question Time once a few years ago with Tony Blair on it. It was the first British political show I had seen. Like many Americans, I for some reason, expected it to be a more enlightened, more sophisticated, deeper version of our shows. C-Span on steroids.

Boy, was I wrong. It was the most absurd theater. Basically, it was as if a bunch of sub-moronic high school rebels said “Oh! Looky.. We got Mr. on the hot seat! Let’s show the rest of the school how cool we are.” It was completely pointless and I didn’t learn anything except, Britain doesn’t deserve Tony Blair.

IreneFingIrene on June 22, 2007 at 1:15 PM

Bah.. it should have said Mr (insert name of hated math teacher or assistant principal of discipline)

IreneFingIrene on June 22, 2007 at 1:17 PM

That was awesome…wow…

Not only the ass kicking, but that a show like that has people that can speak English and not spit all over everything like a common baseball player like Canary Boy Matthews.

They don’t seem to have mastered the Dental arts, however.

benrand on June 22, 2007 at 1:20 PM

Amen, Hitchens.

PRCalDude on June 22, 2007 at 1:21 PM

Hitchens is great. I don’t think I could be friends with him because he comes across as a jerk, but he is great to watch. As coarse as he is, I havent heard him say anything I disagree with.

SnakeintheGrass on June 22, 2007 at 1:22 PM

I laughed out loud at the end of the clip when Hitch shouted “and that’s an insult to Islam!!!”

AlexB on June 22, 2007 at 1:22 PM

Shirley Hitchens got home and drained every ounce of sherry in the place then beat the servants. Now if we could just get Hitchens and Gore on stage together…..I’d even go for a Pay-per-view for that one.

Limerick on June 22, 2007 at 1:23 PM

Shirley Williams…..type slower Lim.

Limerick on June 22, 2007 at 1:24 PM

“High time you said that, Madam.”

PRCalDude on June 22, 2007 at 1:27 PM

Heh, Hitch had such an exasperated look on his face…

Bad Candy on June 22, 2007 at 1:31 PM

Bad Candy on June 22, 2007 at 1:31 PM

Finally got a blog, eh?

PRCalDude on June 22, 2007 at 1:32 PM

by Allahpundit ……..Watch for the cutaway to Hitchens.. I caught the LOOK. Mercy I beleive he’s ready to engage the enemy. The mans a great role model for masculinity as well as free speech. Did he get his start in Hyde Park?

sonnyspats1 on June 22, 2007 at 1:33 PM

Chris Hitchens is a brilliant and imposing debater and I always find myself quite pleased to be on the same side of a question as he, and apprehensive when I find myself in disagreement with him.

That was fun to watch.

Fred on June 22, 2007 at 1:35 PM

Yeah PR, I’ve had my crapblahg for a mere week. I meant to put it in a few days ago, but I didn’t get to it till whenever Malkin opened MM.com’s registration. I matched up my two accounts and updated them together, so there you go, its fun, and I think I’m doing decent given how technically incompetent I am. Its mostly fun frivolous crap, but there’s some serious stuff mixed in.

Bad Candy on June 22, 2007 at 1:40 PM

BTW, any of you numbskulls are welcome to visit mah blahg and comment, you don’t have to register or anything. Most of my traffic as far as I can tell comes from Ace of Spades readers.

Bad Candy on June 22, 2007 at 1:48 PM

I thought the entire discussion was well done, and some good points were made.

Jaibones on June 22, 2007 at 2:04 PM

No one better than Hitchens. Interesting that only one on the stage was concerned that this insulted Muslims, the rest of the panel was, by and large, onside with the notion that the internal affairs of Britain are none of Pakistan’s business.

Krydor on June 22, 2007 at 2:04 PM

Hey, I know the primary focus is Hitch and the Old Bag but let’s not forget Boris Johnson. The one time they let the conservative guy speak, he made one of the wittiest and honest observations of the whole night.

Kudos, Johnson!

ScottMcC on June 22, 2007 at 2:06 PM

hitchens is so smart it’s scary. also, too bad you never hear phrases like “pants merchant” in american debates. (joking)

wryteacher on June 22, 2007 at 2:11 PM

…It is quite an achievement. People of liberal sympathies, stupefied by relativism, have become the apologists for a creedal wave that is racist, misogynist, homophobic, imperialist, and genocidal. To put it another way, they are up the arse of those that want them dead.

Brilliant!!!

Fred, call him Christopher. He hates to be called “Chris”.

I love C. Hitchens is an understatement.

Entelechy on June 22, 2007 at 2:13 PM

That was so excellent! Props to the director for knowing how things would go down…giving us plenty of Hitch reaction shots as that dinosaur “Liberal Democrat” talked about the “bad timing.”

Jim-Rose on June 22, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Looking at and listening to Baroness Williams I just know that she is a Jew hater.

Hilts on June 22, 2007 at 3:11 PM

Fantastic first video… The second? Oh my GOSH I wanted to strangle both Nazir and Ahmed..Both completely idiotic. Especially Ahmed…What an idiot.

tickleddragon on June 22, 2007 at 3:45 PM

At least he believes in the Holocaust (I think…)

AlexB on June 22, 2007 at 3:45 PM

Okay..maybe not “strangle”…since they have freedom of speech too. But maybe just look at very sternly, and tell them they offended me and hurt my feeeeeeeeeelings.

Grow up, babies!

tickleddragon on June 22, 2007 at 3:46 PM

This highlights how much we’ve lost our political minds.

Mojave Mark on June 22, 2007 at 3:56 PM

Basically, the Muslims demand that we submit to Sharia law, that we should respect an Islam that demonstrates the utmost contempt for all things non-Muslim. Every day, Islam renders itself more vile in my eyes.

I’m also struck by the fact that the banners in the Pakistani demonstration were written in English rather than the local dialect. Obviously, these protests are meant for Western eyes. They think that we are so weak minded that they can push our politically correct buttons to get their way.

When these demonstrations continue, the US should award Rushdie the Medal of Freedome for upholding the right to free speech in the face of Muslim barbarism. Then every Western nation should take turns awarding Rushdie an honor to make the point that Muslims will not infringe on our rights.

Tantor on June 22, 2007 at 4:06 PM

Wow does that show steal all the camera movies from The Weakest Link???

Spassvogel on June 22, 2007 at 4:22 PM

People of liberal sympathies, stupefied by relativism, have become the apologists for a creedal wave that is racist, misogynist, homophobic, imperialist, and genocidal. To put it another way, they are up the arse of those that want them dead.

It’s just a pleasure to watch that man work sometimes. He definitely has a way with words. Plus he’s absolutely dead-on.

When these demonstrations continue, the US should award Rushdie the Medal of Freedome for upholding the right to free speech in the face of Muslim barbarism. Then every Western nation should take turns awarding Rushdie an honor to make the point that Muslims will not infringe on our rights.

Tantor on June 22, 2007 at 4:06 PM

I wish that would happen, and that the West would make a united front against militant Islam. Not holding my breath, though. Unfortunately the same liberals that are always screaming about freedom of speech are too busy submitting like good dhimmis to actually defend the speech rights of a man whose only crime is writing a novel.

ReubenJCogburn on June 22, 2007 at 4:35 PM

Hitchens…I wish he were completely “on our side” so to speak. What a mind.

Spassvogel on June 22, 2007 at 4:35 PM

Wow! I’m so gay for hitch right now.

ronsfi on June 22, 2007 at 4:53 PM

Brilliant. Certainly not the least brilliant thing Hitch did was to pull a statement out of that windbag directly opposing muslim reactive violence. She would NEVER have said such a thing were she not shamed into it.

One ought to quake in their boots at knowing they intend to proffer an unsupportable but opposite viewpoint to both Hitchens brothers at the same time. A tasty snack of red meat indeed.

Freelancer on June 22, 2007 at 5:03 PM

I WILL NOT SUBMIT !!! The way Hitchens handled that panel was awesome. He tells it just like it is period. More should have the courage and fortitude to make a stand as he does.

bones47 on June 22, 2007 at 5:06 PM

DAAAAMN!…Hitchens smacked her a good one! I think Shirley Williams is gonna need to put some ice on that.

silenced majority on June 22, 2007 at 6:06 PM

Re: “Lord” Ahmed.
The man who invited a neo-Nazi to speak before the House of Lords has the nerve to use the Holocaust (or rather holocaust; he somehow forgets to use the definitive article) as an example for “offensiveness”.

scum.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article378140.ece

max on June 22, 2007 at 6:53 PM

I wish the Hitchens Brothers would be given a weekly talk show on television to just have them chat about what is in the news… I’d watch it just for the pleasure of hearing them talk… They would rarely agree, probably, as in this clip… Hee.

So glad to see Question Time weaselhood being given a kick in the ar*e! Wish it would be done much more often. This show is normally un-watchable because of its anti-Right bias.

lostinfrance on June 22, 2007 at 7:01 PM

You know, HItchens is great in so many ways but like Snake in the Grass, don’t think I would want to be friends with him either. And as for Lord HA HA, what a jerk.

Catie96706 on June 22, 2007 at 7:03 PM

The only thing I disagree with Hitchens on is his Partian shot: “And that’s an insult to Islam!”

He meant: “And that’s an insult to the relatively few sane members of Islamic countries who have not been utterly brainwashed by Mohammadism, and are therefore not true Muslims, and do not really believe in Islam as Mohammad meanst it to be believed in.”

But I guess he was pressed for time.

profitsbeard on June 22, 2007 at 7:11 PM

When these demonstrations continue, the US should award Rushdie the Medal of Freedome for upholding the right to free speech in the face of Muslim barbarism. Then every Western nation should take turns awarding Rushdie an honor to make the point that Muslims will not infringe on our rights.

Tantor on June 22, 2007 at 4:06 PM

While it isn’t unheard of for the Medal of Freedom to be awarded to a non-citizen of the U.S., it is rare and I would hope, demands a much larger impact on our own society than I believe Rushdie’s writing has achieved. I certainly would have no use for us doing so simply to thumb our noses at the religion of the perpetually offended.

However, the sentiment is not without merit. Surely there are ways that each of the free nations could honor him, simultaneously indicating solidarity with Great Britain regarding his courage, and our opposition to intellectual terrorism or tyranny.

Freelancer on June 22, 2007 at 9:24 PM

That used up lady on the panel…she represents all that is wrong with England today.

Montana on June 23, 2007 at 3:05 AM

Regarding Hitchens’ last point, Islam should be insulted. It’s inhuman crap.

Lazarus on June 23, 2007 at 3:10 AM

The Hitchens’ brothers were just excellent… and don’t they usually disagree with each other?

They sure were tag-teamin on that ‘bat

MoleOnABull on June 23, 2007 at 9:18 AM