With author Christopher Hitchens
out promoting his new book, ‘Hitch 22: A Memoir,’ I was reminded of four summers ago when the British-born foreign policy hawk gave the finger to Bill Maher’s audience for derisively applauding put-downs of then-President George W. Bush’s approach to Iran. From an August 26, 2006 NewsBusters posting
Writer/author Christopher Hitchens on Friday night gave the finger to the Los Angeles studio audience of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. As he laid out the case for how it's Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who wants World War Three, not George W. Bush, Hitchens cited how Ahmadinejad “says the Messiah is about to come back.” Maher quipped: “So does George Bush, by the way.” That caused a loud eruption of audience applause and cheering, which led Maher to clarify: “That's not facetious.”
The crowd continued to applaud as Hitchens remarked, about those in attendance who had earlier cheered and laughed as Maher called Bush an “idiot” repeatedly: “That's not facetious. Your audience, which will clap at apparently anything, is frivolous.” Loud oohs and groans emanated from the audience, prompting Hitchens to give them the finger as he castigated them, “Fuck you, fuck you,” while the groans continued.
In a q & a a couple of weeks ago with USA Today’s Bob Minzesheimer
, Hitchens explained when and why he became a U.S. citizen:
I have an American wife and American kids (ages 26, 20 and 16), but it wasn't until 9/11, an attack on America and its ideals, that I felt I wasn't paying my proper dues, that I hadn't signed up properly.