Thursday, April 28, 2011

Christopher Hitchens vs. Michael Moore - Telluride Debate (2002)

Requests have been sent in recently for additional film/video of Christopher Hitchens, one example of which is the debate (or conversation) that took place between Hitchens and Michael Moore at the Telluride Film Festival on August 31, 2002. While footage of the event has proved to be elusive, Hitchens himself held on to a taped copy and brought it to MSNBC where an excerpt was aired during his appearance on Scarborough Country on June 30, 2004. From the transcript:

MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER/AUTHOR: It seems as if he and his group were the ones who did this, then they should be tracked down, captured, and brought to justice.

HITCHENS: Do you mind if I break in and say...

MOORE: Yes.

HITCHENS: Ask you, what is the “if” doing in that last sentence?

MOORE: What is the who?

HITCHENS: What is the “if” doing in that last sentence of yours?

MOORE: Well, all people are innocent until proven guilty in this country.

HITCHENS: So you have no...

(APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE: Even the worst piece of scum.

HITCHENS: I feel I have to press you on that. You regard it as an open question, the responsibility of Osama bin Laden?

MOORE: Until anyone is convicted of any crime, no matter how horrific the crime, they are innocent until proven guilty. And as Americans...

(CROSSTALK)

HITCHENS: No, that‘s all I asked you.

MOORE: Never leave that position.

HITCHENS: I'm sorry. So bin Laden's claims of responsibility strike you as the ravings of a clown, say?

(LAUGHTER)

HITCHENS: OK. Fine.

To date it appears nothing further has surfaced, though presumably copies were also provided to others involved in the festival. Hitchens dug out his copy to make a point two years later: "I looked to see if I still had the tape, because I thought, now, a guy who was 100 percent opposed to the war in Afghanistan at the time—that's Michael Moore—he thought it was a war for oil, a war for pipelines, an unjust war—why is he suddenly saying he is against the Iraq war because it's the distraction from the hunt for Osama bin Laden? You follow my point here?"

3 comments:

chiro said...

It would be great if someone from the festival could upload the complete conversation between this two big figures.

Thanks for posting

gumbot said...

so, is there video incoming?

gumbot said...

So is there going to be video released with this?