Eat The Press

Hitch eats, smokes, argues.jpg

from globeandmail.com

Christopher Hitchens continues his round of publicity for his new book, God Is Not Great (take that, Allah!), this time with a meaty interview in Canada's Globe and Mail by New York-based columnist Simon Houpt. It's a highly entertaining read, mostly because you get the sense that the entire lunch was a verbal jousting match with Hitch on the offensive. After Hitch inveighs against religion and decries his lily-livered counterparts in the press for failing to uphold the First Amendment/agree with him, he lets slip a bit of news:

As the lunch winds up, he is asked what he thinks about the news that The New York Times this week announced it would no longer participate in the White House Correspondents' Dinner, the annual event where the press and the president spend an amicable evening together. He hadn't heard the news. "How did I miss that?" he exclaims. "I'm upset, is my reaction." He explains that he'd wanted Vanity Fair, in whose name he hosts an annual after-party, to be the first to pull out of the dinner.

So does that mean VF is pulling out of the dinner? And if so, whither the Hitch-hosted afterparty? We've put in a query to VF but wanted to bring this fun profile (and sexy pic!) to you forthwith.

Also, Hitch in a rare moment of self-effacement:

The photographer has arrived. Hitchens orders another glass of wine and asks that he not be photographed with cigarette in hand. "I really wish I could give it up. Though I don't think I'm a role model or anything, it is a fucking awful habit and I'd rather not flaunt it."

Aww, Hitch, you're a role model to us! Oh wait, you're not.

Update: According to Beth Kseniak, VF executive director of PR, Vanity Fair is "neither in or out" regarding the dinner. Well, that clears that up.

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