The habitually quotable Hitchens later glared out into the audience of editors and said, "Not one of you, I think, printed the Danish cartoon. Shame on all of you….Nobody lived up to the elementary responsibility of journalism." Speaking generally about religious fundamentalism and the personal risk his new book, "God Is Not Great," might pose, Hitchens said, "We all make a comfortable living out of the First Amendment, and give ourselves prizes every year for doing it. Well, you have to pay the First Amendment back [by fighting for it]….It's not my living. It's my life. I did not come to this country to be taught how to keep my mouth shut." The British-born Hitchens also announced proudly that he had recently become an American citizen, saying, "I've been waiting to say this for weeks: 'my fellow Americans.'"
Perhaps the most telling moment was when Hitchens recalled being asked to CNN's New York studio to talk about atheism. Just before departing, he heard about "that fat slut who had died — I can't remember her name." Anna Nicole Smith, the crowd piped up. "Yes, that fat slut," he repeated. "I thought, 'Well, I'm not going to be on TV now. Should I still let them pay for me to come to New York? Yes.'" And will he still allow those First Amendment-complacent editors to anoint him tonight? It's safe to say the answer is the same. — Irin Carmon