Christopher Hitchens, the late essayist and sot, was a man who purposefully cultivated a lot of friends of a certain type—rich, self-important, generally dim-witted and hence easy for a well-spoken Oxbridge debater to impress—and he electrified Washington D.C. society mainly by not being a completely charmless bore. Now those friends are the primary caretakers of his legacy, and, if the newly announced "Hitchens Prize" is any indication, they are going to memorialize him in the least Hitch-like ways possible.
The outpouring of grief, goodwill, and teary encomia that has attended news of Christopher Hitchens' passing would—if he was anything like the persona he presented in print—have turned his stomach. He loathed sentiment, welcomed combat, and delighted in inflicting hard truths. In that spirit, it must not be forgotten in mourning him that he got the single most consequential decision in his life horrifically, petulantly wrong.
Christopher Hitchens, the Clinton-loathing, religion-mocking, Kurd-loving, war-mongering, ball-waxing British drunk who contained multitudes and seemed to be insulting you somehow even when you agreed with him, which was precisely 59% of the time, has died of complications from esophageal cancer at the age of 62.
Yesterday we showed you video of Erich "Mancow" Muller, a Chicago-based right-wing shockjock, appearing as a guest on Keith Olbermann's show to discuss his being waterboarded. He claimed it led to an ideological conversion! But now a tipster has provided information that suggests the whole thing may be a hoax.
• Hachette is cutting salaries and asking staff to work overtime. Fun! [Gawker]
• Amazon is blaming an "embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error" for the dropping the sales rankings of thousands of gay and lesbian books. [AFP]
• Bravo has picked up four new shows, including one produced by Sarah Jessica Parker and another by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. [THR, THR]
• NBC's Boston affiliate, WHDH, has backed down from its threat to skip Jay Leno's new 10pm show when it debuts this fall. [B&C]
• Marriott will no longer automatically provide guests with a free copy of USA Today or the Journal. You're gonna have to ask for it from now on. [E&P]