Why I love Christopher Hithens in spite of myself

Christopher Hitchens is rude, boorish, obnoxious and just plain hard to like. I loathe his hawkish stance on Iraq. I despise his bullying, and I abhor the pseudo-intellectualism that he brings to many of his subjects. I have reviewed his book "god is not great" elsewhere, and found it to be shoddy and vituperative. I am taken aback by his trashing of Mother Teresa and irritated by his crowing over her purported loss of faith as revealed in her diaries.

So why do I root for him against his adversaries?

I was watching YouTube the other night and entered "Hitchens" into the search engine. For the next half hour I watched him take on -- and either take apart or intimidate -- one TV blowhard after another. He eviscerated Sean Hannity and showed him up to be an ignorant non-entity. He drew only worshipful praise from Lou Dobbs. He won favor from fellow-atheist Bill Maher.

In each of these interviews, what impressed me most about Hitchens was his unflappability. Even when he is not sure what he is talking about (watch him gesture toward his head when he talks about a human's too-large adrenal glands) he exudes this calm sureness that I can only admire. As shallow and ignorant as he is, he vastly outstrips the omniscient pinheads who populate our TV screens.

So I appreciated C.H., if only for the luscious opportunity to see someone at least equal in intellectual depth to our famed talking heads, but invulnerable to their tactics. And also speaking from the depths of his personal belief -- however wrongheaded -- and not from a list of popular talking points. Someday, Chris H will meet his match. It may be on this side of the eternal divide or the other. But until then, I will enjoy his heartfelt, if arrant, diatribes, and continue to rejoice that for a few minutes, on 21st century market-driven, populace-pandering TV, our on-screen personalities have played host to someone they cannot spin and cannot handle.