The debate over on BBC’s Newsnight began civilly enough, as a small roundtable discussed the merits of drug courts, which are basically courts designed to deal with non-violent drug offenders. Instead of prison time, they often offer something along the lines of court-supervised rehab or mental health treatment. This seems like a perfectly logical use of the court system to me (and one with longer-term benefits), but apparently, British journalist Peter Hitchens disagrees. Matthew Perry is a huge advocate of drug courts, and as a recovering addict, he can attest to their benefits. Peter Hitchens, on the other hand, wrote a book, which apparently makes him a goddamn expert on addiction.
There are four members of this panel (including the host), but most of the back-and-forth is between Hitchens and Perry, and over the course of he debate, it escalates into bickering and sarcastic put downs (the two get particularly snippy with each other after the 7:00 mark) and ends with Hitchens ironically calling Perry smug.
It may be because I sympathize with Perry’s argument, or maybe it’s because I just really like Matthew Perry, but Peter Hitchens (who is the brother of the late Christopher Hitchens) completely rubbed me the wrong way throughout the interview. Apparently, after the debate, the two had to be escorted out different exits, and it’s no wonder: I kind of wanted to punch Hitchens in the neck by the end of it myself.
(Source: The Guardian)