The great fun of Christopher Hitchens is that the commentator so often says things in formal settings you'd expect to hear around the dinner table after many hours of wine and whisky. The Vanity Fair columnist usually pulls this off, in part because a ribald manner is now expected of him, but there's always the risk of pushing it too far, as in the following clip from MSNBC's Tim Russert. Just after Hitchens jokes with pundit Andrew Sullivan to get on with his point and "don't be such a lesbian," he takes a regretful look toward his navel, apparently realizing he may have just put his foot in it. Ah, Hitch, your public expects nothing less. If MSNBC gives you a hard time, the first ten rounds are on us. Video and transcript (via Media Matters) after the jump.
SULLIVAN: Two things. One, it's important to clear up that he [Wright] did not say "The Jews are going to get you" in some conspiratorial, classic anti-Semitic fashion. I think that's just —
HITCHENS: He [Wright] thinks only Jews are going to object to [Rev. Louis] Farrakhan and [Libyan leader Moammar] Gadhafi. Excuse me?
SULLIVAN: No, he didn't say "only."
HITCHENS: No, but —
SULLIVAN: Again, you keep playing with that quote. We're happy to have it on the record. And now you've made me forget my second point, which is —
HITCHENS: Oh, well, don't be such a lesbian. Get on with it.
SULLIVAN: I'm sorry, I've forgotten my second point. But I do think that's important. And I don't think Wright is Farrakhan. And I don't think Obama, in any conceivable way, represents anything but racial inclusion and integration. And anybody that looks at any part of his career and can be in any doubt about that is beyond me.
The reason he went to that church, clearly, if you read his biography, is he wanted to understand what it was to be black in America. He didn't understand. He's a very polyglot person. He grew up in Hawaii, he had some time in Indonesia.