Hitchens vs. Stewart

I’m late for the ball on this, I know, and for that I should be soundly flogged.

But is it me or did comedian Jon Stewart give a rhetorical beating to Christopher Hitchens during a semi-intelligent discussion about the Iraq war the other night? I know the supposed representative antithesis of the liberal establishment has been slipping lately, even backing out of a statement an old Nation colleague challenged him on, and, yeah, there are the accusations of his excessive drinking, and, yeah, he was only on the show to plug his book, but I think Stewart emerged victorious if not far more clear-headed in his arguments—even outdoing that pissy little cat fight with Tucker Carlson.

Now, just imagine if the man who would be serious considered himself an intellectual equal to the sorry sobs to whom he’s so good at making fun. On second thought, scratch that. It only works (and the part of work here means being funny) if the subject is self-effacing.