Hitchens “No Journalist”: Insider
A person of long and wide experience with journalism and politics writes an interesting analysis of the Hitchens affair:
‘Hitchens has been in a spiral for a long time, more than a decade, and he threw in with the neocons sometime in the mid-1990s, and with David Irving about that time, too. As you know, he’s close to David Horowitz as well . . .
On Hitchens: On the one hand, he seeks attention and will cover himself with excrement to get it. On the other hand, he’s given important platforms for his ugly and sick efforts. In the latest case, you are once again too kind to consider him a “journalist.” He behaves like a member of a sectarian political movement. He does little that a journalist does, like call for comment, ascertain the facts, etc.
He has been given private email by a political comrade because he’s a reliable outlet and no one else in the right wing food chain will handle this particular matter right now. This isn’t “journalism,” it’s a political op. He’s delighted to be a tool, because it feeds his sense of importance, not least for the sensation of the underhanded, clandestine nature of the action. (People who like that sort of thing don’t usually engage in [only] one form of it.)
I think it’s important to raise the question of where he received the emails, that he deliberately distorted their contents, and that he acts as a political operative, not a journalist. Cobban’s point about Slate is very, very, very well directed. Editors have responsibility too.’