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Anyone Else See It? Anyone Else Surprised?

If you haven't read the new Hitch, what are you waiting for?

Way back in '93, I think, Comedy Central was plugging the hell out of a new show they were (for once back then) producing themselves. It was to run after primetime, in the slot later taken (if I remember correctly) by Bill Maher. I can't remember the name of the program, but it was advertised as a searing, weekly look at television news, and the media in general.

The host? Christopher Hitchens.

This Hitchens guy, who I knew from a couple of articles and some Crossfire appearances, was a likeable liberal asshole, dependably wrong on the issue of the day.

So of course I watched the damn thing. Now, it might have run 30 minutes or an hour -- I don't recall and it doesn't matter. However it long was, I sat there transfixed. Hitch sat in a comfy chair, smoking a cigarette, running news video clips over his shoulder, and talked. Did I agree? It didn't matter. There was actual gray matter being beamed through the airwaves. Real intelligence and, my favorite, caustic wit.

I had no idea television could be like that. Or to be more exact, I never thought any television network would be daring enough to broadcast something so iconoclastic.

It lasted one episode.