“When the Going Gets Weird, the Weird Turn Pro”


 July 18, 1937 is the birthday of Gonzo Journalist Hunter S. Thompson who also said:

“So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here — not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.” 
“There are a lot of ways to practice the art of journalism, and one of them is to use your art like a hammer to destroy the right people — who are almost always your enemies, for one reason or another, and who usually deserve to be crippled, because they are wrong. This is a dangerous notion and very few professional journalists will endorse it — calling it ‘vengeful’ and ‘primitive’ and ‘perverse’ regardless of how often they might do the same thing themselves. ‘That kind of stuff is opinion,’ they say, ‘and the reader is cheated if it’s not labelled as opinion.’
“Well, maybe so. Maybe Tom Paine cheated his readers and Mark Twain was a devious fraud with no morals at all who used journalism for his own foul ends. And maybe H. L. Mencken should have been locked up for trying to pass off his opinions on gullible readers as normal ‘objective journalism.’ Mencken understood that politics — as used in journalism — was the art of controlling his environment and he made no apologies for it. In my case, using what politely might be called ‘advocacy journalism,’ I’ve used reporting as a weapon to affect political situations that bear down on my environment.”

Filed under: Overheard


  1. A legend is his own time. I picked up Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas a few weeks ago because I hadn’t read it in years. I couldn’t get past the trunk…in hysterics! He nailed that one.

    Comment by Patrick Leathers — 7.18.2012 @ 7:31 pm

  2. “Hubert Humphrey is a treacherous, gutless old ward healer who should be put in a goddamned bottle and sent out with the Japanese Current.” How’s that for objective journalism?

    Comment by Doug Yoakam — 7.18.2012 @ 8:13 pm

  3. …Twirling in Ole’ Mississip…a fav

    Comment by Smokey's gal — 7.19.2012 @ 9:28 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment