August 05, 2003

HOPE DOESN'T FLOAT: Christopher Hitchens

HOPE DOESN'T FLOAT: Christopher Hitchens has a great anti-obit of Bob Hope in Slate, in which he alleges that the late comedian went his entire 100 years without ever saying anything funny. Hitchens, the author of an anti-Mother Teresa book, has clearly never been shy about speaking ill of the dead.
But the most fascinating part of Hitch's screed is his evisceration of the New York Times obit of Hope that was written by longtime Times film critic Vincent Canby. Lots of jokes have been made about how news organizations put together obituaries of Hope and other aged celebrities years in advance, but the Times has set a new low- Vincent Canby, who along with Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris, and James Agee was among the stars of my senior thesis, died three years ago.
It was bad enough when CNN accidentally released a premature obit of Hope in 2001. Yes, Bob Hope was so old that he actually outlived the man who wrote his own obituary.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 5, 2003 11:15 PM
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