Ideological Funhouse: Rightwingers defending Hitchens from Antisemite Charge

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Sat Feb 13 22:04:24 PST 1999

Well, if you check out the rightwing web sites (such as, you will find that Christopher Hitchens has a new fan club - dubbed the "fairest commie-symp" writing - with some hoping he will join David Horowitz in the long march to the far Right.

Most interesting is a report that the White House is teaming up with THE NATION to smear Hitchens as an antisemite. The charge stems from Hitchen's defense of a book by David Irving, a noted Holocaust denier, back in 1996. Hitchens at the time was a big critic of Goldhagen's HITLER'S WILLING EXECUTIONERS and made a large defense of the German people's lack of majority support for Hitler or his antisemetic program.

The fun part is the split on the rightwing whether Hitchen's possible Holocaust denial makes his attack on Sidney Blumenthal and Clinton more or less admirable. As one FREE REPUBLIC poster noted, "Oh no ...he denied the Holocaust. Whats that compared to Perjury, Witness Tampering, Rape, Obstruction of Justice, Sexual Harassment, Abuse of Power...Do these people expect us to become numb to these crimes and then be outraged that someone had a BAD OPINION. Get real..."

It's a sad fact that Hitchens bit of stool-pidgeoning is the only bit of good news in these rightwingers lives right now. Seeing these rightwing nuts bending over backwards to say nice things about Hitchens is either massively amusing or completely nauseating - I'm not sure which.

BTW aside from Hitchen's usual iconoclasm in praising a devil (Irving) to bash a media icon (Goldhagen), Hitchens Holocaust comments seemed quite reasonable. Hitchens point that Hitler and the Nazis never received an electoral majority and their vote was falling when Hitler seized power serves Hitchens broader point of arguing that evil is not some sort of specifically German national disease but a general virus of humanity.


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