Last night I attended a family-style poetry reading at the American Enterprise Institute. Joseph Bottum, parting books editor at the Standard, organized and hosted the event, which featured several works from a lovely manuscript of children’s verse he is writing. The panel included poet, critic, NEA biggie Dana Gioia, Standard editor Bill Kristol, Mary Eberstadt (professional troublemaker and author of an excellent new book on day care and other ways parents escape their obligations), Tim Kelleher*, actor and poet, and Christopher Hitchens. I left after a very entertaining half hour (work called), missing the best part.
According to two eye-witnesses, during the second or third go-around in which panelists read favorite examples of children’s verse, Ole Hitch pulled out a flask, right there on the AEI dais in front of a roomful of children and a pair of television cameras (C-Span was recording), and took a pull before placing his flask on the table, in full view of the audience, for continued access.
Cool, profane, get-to-a-meeting-please: It's hard to know how to view such behavior.
*correction: not Thomas Kelleher as I originally wrote. Tim played Ted Sorenson in Thirteen Days and has many other showbiz credits.
1 hour ago