Christopher Hitchens markets in everything test

by on June 8, 2010 at 4:03 am in Economics | Permalink

From a recent interview:

I trust you answer the e-mail of your friends at no charge.
I haven’t got to the point yet where phone calls and e-mails are billable, but I am working on it. That would be happiness defined for me. What I’m hoping is to get a 900 number, so I can tell all my friends, “Call me back on my 900 number: 1-900-HITCH22.” I can talk for a long time.

But who would want to listen?
That would be the 900-number test.

For the pointer I thank Hugo.  He asks me: whose 1-900 number would you like to ring?

Addendum: Here's Felix Salmon on Hitchens.

1 Rob June 8, 2010 at 5:08 am

Hitchens may be the most brilliant unlikable guy of our generation. He really is Gore Vidal’s successor.

2 C June 8, 2010 at 5:29 am

Andrew: best consistent commentator. Big ups.

3 Andrew June 8, 2010 at 6:46 am

I’m not fit to carry dearieme’s haggis.

4 anon June 8, 2010 at 8:05 am

900 numbers seem like a great way for anyone to try and sell advice, valuable or not.

“Psychics” have used these for years. Hitchens could set up a “Get your insult right here. Smart and hard!” 900 number, and bet he’d make a fortune.

Think of the ads:
“You too can be insulted by the guy who insulted Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and others far more famous than you will ever be. Unless you call now!”

(@Andrew: I really haven’t been paying attention – dearieme is Scottish?)

5 techreseller June 8, 2010 at 9:52 am

900, Thomas Jefferson. Oh wait, I guess he never had a phone number. Never mind.

6 kebko June 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I recently saw Hitchens on C-SPAN agreeing that he isn’t consistent. That statement seems to make the assertion of the linked article more complicated.

7 Careless June 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm

What’s the rate on 900s?

Set by the owner of the line. A typical rate was in the $2-$5 per minute range. I do not know if there was a cap on possible rates.

8 bkarn June 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

I always like to see comments from touted big-brained types like Salmon on Helen Thomas for their revealing nature. That Salmon characterizes this as some sort of one-off “oopsie” moment, ignoring Thomas’ long history of mean-spirited bigotry, “poor timing” and sneering disdain, and finds the blowback against her “chilling,” says quite a bit about how critical an eye should be used when considering anything he writes.

9 Mohan June 9, 2010 at 1:16 am
10 August 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm

(There is probably a catch that the incoming calls have to be from other Virgin Mobile phones – I don’t see why Virgin would pay their subscribers for calls received from other operators phones).

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