The Great Debate
And, as anticipated, the moderators were incredibly biased. Ben Stein was openly antagonistic toward Hitchens, and Hitchens didn't mind at all (one presumes he gets it all the time). They also could have controlled the debate much better, it reminded me of the most recent Democratic debate, where there was more talking between the debaters than question-answering. The few questions that were asked of the debaters were tremendously inane creationist claptrap, almost verbatim out of the Index of Creationist Claims. It would have been really nice to have a question that was antagonistic toward Mr Richards (the Theist).
All that said, I think Hitchens could have done a better job. One of Richards's key points was that the universe had a beginning, that it came from nothing, and must therefore have a cause. Besides being readily refutable philosophically, we don't even know it's true. I think if Hitchens had pointed all that out, then repeatedly stress (although he did stress it once early) that God is a shitty explanation for this anyway, "I don't know" is a far better answer, that Richards would have been blown out of the water.
In fact, I would have stressed the atheist's uncertainty, and the beauty in that uncertainty. I know it's not terribly persuasive to someone who has committed to Theism, but neither is anything else, and I think that the openness of our minds, and our ability to say, "I don't know", are two things that should be stated at every opportunity.
I have only one last criticism of Hitchens, the debate was only 105 minutes (90 "televised", the rest Q&A with the audience), and expecting extensive coverage of all the issues is absurd. However, dismantling Intelligent Design can be done in that time (especially since Hitchens definitely got more than his fair share). Sticking to the topic (which Richards correctly criticized Hitchens for not doing) would have been more effective than tangents that, while true critiques of religious, were a bit misplaced. But perhaps that is an unavoidable consequence of the way his mind works.
That said, he was great, and I would have paid to listen to him. Plus he gave autographs afterward, and personalized them too (something Richard Dawkins did not do, but Dawkins had a considerable line to deal with, while Hitchens had only a handful of fans). If you have the chance to listen to him, whether in a speech or in a debate, even one totally stacked against him, you should absolutely do it. It was well-worth the hardship I now have doing the work I need to get done for tomorrow.