reporting on the Spanish Civil War in the 30’s for the DailynWorker. Indeed, as Alexander Cockburn remarked, Claudnwas proud of his proper Communist ethic of putting partynfirst.nBut with regard to Fairlie’s charge, his correspondingnfailure to produce any hard evidence was just so much gristnfor the mill of Claud Cockburn’s son:nFor Fairlie one should, I suppose, nourish thenemotions that Aristotle thought to be evoked byntragedy: pity for a broken man, evicted from hisnlodgings, compelled to the hospice of The NewnRepublic, dependent on the charity of [editornMartin] Peretz, degraded in his intellectualnstandards so much so that he is, on some accounts,nwriting speeches for Senator Al Core, the candidatenmost esteemed by Peretz, trembling daily at thenthought that next Peretz will command him to joinnTipper Gore in some ceremonial bonfire of recordsnfrom Prince and Motley Criie; fear that somenkindred ghastly misfortune will one day befallnoneself.nThis gives you; in case you are unfamiliar with Cockburn, angood indication of why people like to read him. Celt that henis, he is most terrible in his pity.nAll this is highly entertaining, and it is for their entertainmentnvalue that the British are often so popular. Butnthis clowning around can both make a Briton’s career andnbreak it. Christopher Hitchens has made a name for himself,nand a good living, writing for his various outlets in Englandnand America, but “relative fame is not the same as influence.nHas he made anybody — except Paul Johnson perhaps, butnlet’s say anybody American — really mad, which is for anjournalist the sure sign of doing your job? The answer isn”sort of”: there have been yelps from the New Republic,nwhose parties he likes to crash, and from David Horowitz,nwhose “Second Thoughts” conferences he likes to crash,nand Bob Tyrrell of the American Spectator likes to call himn”Christabel.” Also he recenfly infuriated the pro-abortionnleft, which is to say almost all of the left, with a column lastnApril in which he came out of his pro-life closet. But withnthat one exception, outside of his fellow-journalists he seemsnto elicit little real irritation. And that means, despite hisnposition as Washington editor of Harper’s, that in thisncountry at least he is out of the debate. (The answer, cleariy,nis Hitchens needs to turn to the right.)nIt is for their entertainment value that thenBritish are often so popular.nAlexander Cockburn has the same problem, though henhas had more luck making enemies, and his columns in thenWall Street Journal are a perfect illustration of why. Whennhe is not preaching to the converted (in the Nation) he isnpreaching to the unconvertible. Like his forebear Sir CeorgenCockburn (War of 1812), he has taken it upon himself tontorch Washington, but with less success.n22/CHRONICLESnnnThere are some exceptions to this rule: John O’Sullivannat National Review, Peter Brimelow at Forbes, Tom Bethell,ntoo. It may not be coincidental that their politics arenconservative; for all its many faults the right defines itselfnwith the country, not in opposition to it, and as John Badennkeeps saying of the environmental movement, people havento believe you care before they’ll bother listening to you.nMr. Cockburn has convinced people of his love for Americanntail-fin cars, but not of his love for much American else.nPerhaps because they are less opposed to the U.S.npolitically, O’Sullivan, Brimelow, and Bethell have alsonattuned themselves more finely to the American politicalnidiom — as did Henry Fairlie: for all his bemoaned driftnleftwards, he could write with ah at least Americanizednviewpoint. There is too much of the Old Country languagenof trade unions and class warfare in Hitchens and Cockburnn(though I think Hitchens is learning) — the packaging isnwrong, and it also has marginalized them. In this countrynthe zealot interested in real change will sugarcoat his radicalnproposals in moderate, or at least more modern terms; innsuch a way do the Ins and Outs in Washington work towardsna “consensus.”nThis is not to say that Hitchens and Cockburn have notnbeen successful, because they have. They may also havencome to America because here they could find a successnthey could not find at home. Tom Paine (ChristophernHitchens’ hero, by the way) is once again archetypal: anstaysmaker and fired tax-collector who had got himself intondebt, he came armed with only a recommendation fromnBenjamin Franklin to start over in the New Worfd, andnwrote himself a place in the American founding myth.nAlexander Cockburn did not have much of a reputation innEngland before he crossed the Atlantic, where he has donenby any standards very well. Perhaps it has been helpful tonhim that in a country that cannot seem to produce ornpromote its own irreverent political comedians, a countrynwhose own journalists don’t seem to know enough to benable to crib even the odd apocryphal Anacharsis quote, henhas had less competition. There is no question, as Mr.nHitchens says frankly, that it is easier to freelance here, thatnthe grass is greener. That being so, both he and thenunapologetic Soviet apologist Mr. Cockburn have shownnthemselves to be — like so many leftists — good entrepreneursnwho are banking on capitalism.nIf there is any irony in this, it illustrates the filial greatnbesetting sin of British journalists (some): a tendency to sellnout. Among the antibourgeois left the endless stories aboutnpublic drunkenness and womanizing (leading my editor toncomplain that British journalists are “oversexed, overpaid,nand over here”) are perhaps less important — the offendednvalues being bourgeois values, after all. But surely selling outnthe revolution is another matter.nA recent interview by Don Kowet of the WashingtonnTimes makes great use of Mr. Hitchens’ $20,000 investmentnin the New York restaurant Indochine, where a typicalndinner will cost your typical revolutionary $50, and of hisnwhite wine-quaffing during their conversation. Hitchens’npreference for white wine by-the-glass with Mr. Kowet isnperhaps indicative of the other side to Hitchens’ andnCockburn’s careers: a yuppie.side. (Of this at least TomnPaine was innocent.) Mr. Hitchens is a contributing editor atn