Real Genius
Friday, June 11, 2004
I was browsing through my cable channels tonight when I saw Scarborough Country on MSNBC.

For starters, I never watch Scarborough Country. Along with Fox News, MSNBC between 6 am and whenever (IMUS In The Morning), People in the News on CNN (Paula Zahn has pissed me off enough for a lifetime during her days on American Morning with her endless Clinton-bashing), etc. I don't watch or read the "other side" perhaps as much as I ought to. If my work tempo allowed me, I'd probably do what I used to do a while ago, i.e. really do follow what they are writing about closely, follow it line by line, identify the inconsistencies or the moments of flat-out dishonesty and refute their silly arguments by pure facts. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun that is, or how easy it is to build upon point after point once you're on to someone or something. That said, I do usually have a pretty good idea of what they are up so, thanks to the blogosphere. That's one of the functions of this new era I find most fascinating. There are a number of great sources that follow everything, and I mean everything regularly, which implies that you don't have to visit pages whose counters you'd rather not increment, or sites whose appearances flat-out repulse you.

Back to Scarborough. Seeing the title would've been enough for me to go browse on, past MSNBC. But seeing Hitchens' face and the word "Reagan" was enough to stay on, and I did until the end of their discussion,

I didn't use to follow what Christopher Hitchens was up to back during the Clinton years. Only after I read David Brock's Blinded by the Right did I learn all about his incredible hostility towards 42. He used to impress me a lot with his prose and thoughts on the Nation, that is, until the nation started gearing up for the war on Iraq. His closeness to his Kurdish buddies and his fantasy world took over the marvelously articulate and intelligent Chris we know and installed some wacky figure in his stead... I shall, though, quite comfortably state that Hitchens writes some of the best obituaries I've ever read, anywhere. I am "the kind" that doesn't think death grants one the immunity from criticism, especially if that person has done much to affect the lives of others. His pieces after Bob Hope's death and Mother Theresa's were not only strikingly accurate, but also his ability to fuse sarcasm and elegance so seamlessly makes almost everything he writes so pleasant to read. That was what I expected when I saw his piece after the Gipper's passing. Well, it wasn't just an "expectation", given that the title was "Not Even a Hedgehog - The Stupidity of Ronald Reagan".

Please read... I urge you. I wasn't disappointed.

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