Crikey editor Misha Ketchell writes:

Was Christopher Hitchens p*ssed when he appeared on Lateline on
Monday night? One tipper thought he was so we checked it out with an ABC source who said
the explanation behind Hitchens’s petulant on-air
behaviour (listen to some audio here) on Monday night is much worse – he’s actually like that all the time,
even stone-cold sober.

According to a media insider it’s highly unlikely Hitchens was under the influence because when
he did his Lateline cross it was early in the morning in Washington.
And his bullying behaviour on-air was far from atypical. In fact the
Lateline cross was shot in a different studio to that normally favoured by the
ABC because technical staff in the normal studio refuse to be in a room
with him. “He’s annoyed a lot of people in Washington,” our source said.

Apparently last time Hitchens appeared on Lateline he was so fragile he didn’t remove his sunnies until the moment before the
camera started rolling. When he did, his eyes were incredibly bloodshot but it was
too late for production staff to do anything about it.