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HUNTER S. THOMPSON, HOLOCAUST DENIER
By Ed Driscoll · May 24, 2004 02:08 PM · The Reich Stuff · The Return of the Primitive

How else to explain this passage in his ESPN column:

The long-dreaded 2004 Olympics in Greece will be the ultimate crossroads for sports and politics in this new and vicious century. The recent photos of cruelty at the Abu Grahaib all-american prison in Baghdad have taken care of that.

Yes, sir. We have taken the bull by the horns on this one, sports fans. These horrifying digital snapshots of the American dream in action on foreign soil are worse than anything even I could have expected. I have been in this business a long time and I have seen many staggering things, but this one is over the line. Now I am really ashamed to carry an American passport. Not even the foulest atrocities of Adolf Hitler ever shocked me so badly as these photographs did.

As I said last Sunday, Thompson and the late William S. Burroughs are the prime examples that sooner or later, decades of pharmaceutical excess catch up with a writer--and the results are not pretty. As James Lileks wrote that same day:
Thompson has less hope than the Islamists; at least they have an afterlife to look forward to. All we have is a country so rotten and exhausted itís not worth defending. It never was, of course, but itís even less defensible now than before.

He can say what he wants. Drink what he wants. Drive where he wants. Do what he wants. Heís done okay in America. And he hates this country. Hates it. This appeals to high school kids and collegiate-aged students getting that first hot eye-crossing hit from the Screw Dad pipe, but itís rather pathetic in aged moneyed authors. And it would be irrelevant if this same spirit didn't infect on whom Hunter S. had an immense influence. He's the guy who made nihilism hip. He's the guy who taught a generation that the only thing you should believe is this: don't trust anyone who believes anything. He's the patron saint of journalism, whether journalists know it or not.

Does anybody at ESPN proof Thompson? Is there an editor who receives his copy and says, "Abu Grahaib is worse than the Holocaust. Yeah, sports fans will love this!" Rush Limbaugh and Gregg Easterbrook were fired from ESPN last fall because of their excesses. It should be interesting to see if anything happens to Uncle Duke.

UPDATE: And the Airbrush Award of the month goes to...ESPN. After the Drudge Report had a link to the article which contained the above quote, ESPN doctored it to now read:

The long-dreaded 2004 Olympics in Greece will be the ultimate crossroads for sports and politics in this new and vicious century. The recent photos of cruelty at the Abu Grahaib all-american prison in Baghdad have taken care of that.

Yes, sir. We have taken the bull by the horns on this one, sports fans. These horrifying digital snapshots of the American dream in action on foreign soil are worse than anything even I could have expected. I have been in this business a long time and I have seen many staggering things, but this one is over the line. Now I am really ashamed to carry an American passport.

Gee, and I thought only the BBC airbrushed their stuff.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Drudge is mentioning the airbrush, here. Drudge writes:

But after being linked to the DRUDGE REPORT, a top editor demanded the sentence be immediately edited --without Thompson's okay, according to an ESPN.com staffer.

"Hunter can go too far sometimes," the Bristol-based ESPN employee told the DRUDGE REPORT.

Yes he can. So why aren't Thompson's excesses noticed before ESPN is deluged with email?

Of course, as Drudge notes:

As with the original, Thompson still concludes with the thought: "Now I am really ashamed to carry an American passport."
Why not move to France?

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