Outlaw Journalist

Book Digest Hunter Thompson was sufficiently talented, charismatic, whacked, imaginative, and much more to warrant countless books. Credited with inventing gonzo journalism (as Gabriel García Márquez is with magical realism, neither of which exists outside the work of its inventor), Thompson offered the possibility of an American journalism untethered to PR operatives or celebrity toadying, which of course is easier if one takes on a questionable celebrity of one’s own. I like former California Gov. Jerry Brown’s take on Thompson:
Hunter S. Thompson took muckraking to an outer edge in the early 1970s, when he was among the first to detect the rancid odor of White House corruption. His screeds against the sitting president were overwrought and tinged with paranoia, but Nixon’s resignation would vindicate his torrid animadversions…

Thompson’s gone and so is much of the ‘60s. He had the roughest of edges but such raw journalism—in some unimagined form—might be just the antidote to mendacious media interface. Ad astra per aspera, or as Hunter would end his pieces: Res ipsa loquitur.
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