Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Sid Vicious

I'm going to go see Sidney Blumenthal talk about his new book "The Clinton Wars" at the National Press Club tonight. Why? dunno. Well, yes I do. A portion of the book is dedicated to slandering Christopher Hitchens, and I want to see if the Hitch will turn up to defend his honor. (He won't).

The story is this: Hitch and Blumethal were good buddies. Hitch hates Clinton, Sid works for Clinton, but they decide not to let that sour things. Well, when the Lewinsky hearings were going on, there was some question as to whether or not Lewinsky was a "stalker" of sorts. This allegation was denied, but Christopher Hitchens stepped forward and signed an affidavit attesting to the fact that at a recent lunch, Sid had repeatedly referred to Lewinsky as a stalker. Hitch's betrayal of his friend was an explosive issue that threw his colleagues at the liberal Nation into an uproar. Hitch made snide comments about the left perferring to close ranks and protect their own rather than tell the truth. If anybody's interested, here is Hitch's rebuttal to Sid. Not really an earth-shattering scandal, just the kind of personal politics that interest the type of pathetic person that is titillated by the goings-on of B-list intellectual celebs. Namely, moi.

So I don't want to buy Sid's book or anything, but I thought I could sit in the front row and make lascivious faces at him to see if I could make him lose his place. I mean, Christ, I've been in D.C. for like 8 months and haven't ONCE been propositioned by a senator, a representative, or *even* a White House aide. I am clearly going to the wrong parties.*

*Such as the one last weekend where, instead of meeting any power brokers/sugar daddies, I had the displeasure of meeting a guy that looked like a West Side Story reject who introduced himself thusly, "My name is Paul. But my friends call me Jackknife."

A selection from the Sid/Hitchens exchange, regarding the lunch date during which Sid allegedly called Lewinsky a stalker:

Hitchens on Blumenthal: "I don't think I will or could ever forget the transformation...Where was my witty if sometimes cynical, clever if sometimes dogmatic, friend? In his place seemed to be someone who had gone to work for John Gotti. He talked coldly and intently of a lethal right-wing conspiracy that was slowly engulfing the capital. And he spoke, as if out of the side of a tough-guy mouth, about the women who were tools of the plot."

Blumenthal on Hitchens: ""As we ate and drank, they laughed and laughed. Tell us more, what happened then?...Hitchens roared, Carol giggled...It was impressive how anyone could be so lubricated and articulate...My mistake had been to think that he was a harmless entertainer. The surprise was that he was capable of doing harm without conscience or regret."

Hitchens, again: "I had the ability to nail the lie, and when contacted by the House Judiciary Committee, I did so nail it. And I would do it again."


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