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Hitchens, Still Stirring Controversy; Women, Still Not Funny

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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SURE LOOKS FUNNY Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens wrung just a little bit more

manufactured umbrage out of his "Why Women Aren't Funny" shtick this morning, appearing on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC to defend the oh-so-

controversial thesis of his recent Vanity Fair column.

The seldom-sober polemicist told guest host Alice Rhee that the idea for the column arose from conversations with the magazine's "fearless editor, Graydon Carter." Hitchens continued, "We've long pondered the question of why it is if you want to have someone who is funny to dinner, you are by and large going to have to ask someone who is male." (In other words, ladies, should you ever be so fortunate as to dine chez Carter, kindly keep your mouth shut.) Both Carter and Hitchens were recently <a href="http://www.radarmagazine.com/exclusives/2006/12/vfs-carter-batters-eats-the

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-press.php" target="_blank">criticized at a public event by The Huffington Post's Eat the Press editor Rachel Sklar, who also criticized the piece in a post called "Christopher Hitchens Would Piss Me Off If His Piece Weren't So Damn Boring."

In the face of Rhee's mild skepticism, Hitchens then recapitulated his none-too-subtle argument that, for a man, coaxing a woman to mirth is the next best thing to bringing her to orgasm. "If you can really make a woman laugh, that's to say make her throw back her head, make her show all her teeth and her lovely tongue, then you've changed her expression, as it were," he said. "The sexual allegory of it isn't mutual, if you follow me."

"I follow you completely," deadpanned Rhee.

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