Terry McDonell Conjectures Hilarious – How Hunter S. Thompson Would Have Covered Trump

by durrati –

Terry McDonell, who was an editor (at varying capacities) of Time Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated, among others, and who once endured a Dewers and LSD fueled round of golf with the late lamented Godfather of Gonzo Journalism, Hunter S. Thompson and George Plimpton…

“Here,” Hunter said, holding out three white tabs of blotter paper with an unfamiliar red symbol on them. “Eat these….”

…”You’d like George’s bat trick,” I said to Hunter, remembering how George once attracted bats in New Mexico by throwing his T-shirt in the air.

“No fucking bats!” Hunter said.

“Alas,” George said, and made himself a Dewar’s and water.

…plays a hilarious game in an August 3rd post of  the Literary Hub, in which he points out that if  Hunter were among us and wished to comment on Trump, he could save time and effort by merely swapping the Orange Outrage’s moniker for “Nixon” in the work, and the result would be dead on and most apropos…

For example:

“”Hunter followed Nixon from the late 1960s when he wrote in Pageant Magazine that Nixon/Trump was “…a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad… absolutely humorless; I couldn’t imagine him laughing at anything except maybe a paraplegic who wanted to vote Democratic but couldn’t quite reach the lever on the voting machine.” 

Ring any bells?”


““Or try this from The New York Times, no less, on January 1, 1974: Nixon/Trump was a… “mixture of arrogance and stupidity that caused him to blow the boilers almost immediately after taking command. By bringing in hundreds of thugs, fixers and fascists to run the Government, he was able to crank almost every problem he touched into a mind-bending crisis. About the only disaster he hasn’t brought down on us yet is a nuclear war with either Russia or China or both but he still has time, and the odds on his actually doing it are not all that long… Even Senators and Congressmen have been shaken out of their slothful ruts, and the possibility of impeachment is beginning to look real…”” 

Ding, ding, ding!

I don’t want to push the boundaries of fair usage, so I’ll leave Mr. McDonell (no relation, Lawrence spell his with two Ns) with his conclusion.

“Now, with Trump in the White House degrading the Presidency and enriching his family at the same time, how far are we really from Jared Kushner getting caught red-handed taking cash bribes across his desk in the West Wing. Hunter would be all over that. And he’d want to get paid for sure, but maybe he’d work for a little less because the assignment was so worthy.”

But the game is fun, and I had no desire to leave off, so I sought out a few more examples and made the necessary adjustment.

From Fear and Loathing: on the Campaign Trail ’72

“McGovern/Clinton made some stupid mistakes, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things Richard Nixon/Trump does every day of his life, on purpose, as a matter of policy and a perfect expression of everything he stands for.
Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President?” 

That certainly works, it could have been written just last year…

From “The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time.”

“Nixon/Trump represents that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character almost every other country in the world has learned to fear and despise.”

Another winner.

From Hunter’s obit for Nixon, published in Rolling Stone and republished in The Atlantic.

“Nixon/Trump was(is) so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning.”

And also from the obit…

“Richard Nixon/Donald Trump was(is) an evil man – evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency.”

And the obit’s coup de gras :

(Bold Mine)

Nixon’s/Trump’s spirit will be with us for the rest of our lives — whether you’re me or Bill Clinton or you or Kurt Cobain or Bishop Tutu or Keith Richards or Amy Fisher or Boris Yeltsin’s daughter or your fiancee’s 16-year-old beer-drunk brother with his braided goatee and his whole life like a thundercloud out in front of him. This is not a generational thing. You don’t even have to know who Richard Nixon/Donald was to be a victim of his ugly, Nazi spirit.

He has poisoned our water forever. Nixon/Trump will be remembered as a classic case of a smart (here we find our sole discordant note) man shitting in his own nest. But he also shit in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the Presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon/DonaldTrump? broke the heart of the American Dream.

Thompson certainly has a way with sending them off…

But I’m still not tired of this game, so I have decided to challenge you, dear readers, to construct your own gonzo barb, in the spirit of “The Bad Hemingway Contest”, on which to skewer der Gropenfuhrer.

Here’s mine:

“Like Kurtz sweating out a fierce, ravaging tropical malady on the banks of the hellish steaming Congo, I stumble in a gin and mushroom induced stupor towards the eerie glow of grotesquely pulsating floodlights over the rollicking gridiron home of the Huntsville Alabama Fighting Panthers, death to the Austin/Deacatur Black Bears, and the venue for this late August redneck Bacchanalia/Trump rally.

As I approach, struggling mightily to breath in the noxious humidity filled soup that passes for air here, I hear the obnoxious braying yelps of the Orange Satan himself intoning the vicious mantra of his campaign and assault on all that is decent: 

”Lock her up!”

With a deafening auditory retort that can only be likened to the cries of a vast churning herd of stricken and dying wildebeest screaming their final awful cadenza on the banks of a poisoned NASCAR oasis, came the crowd’s chilling reply…

 ”Lock her up!” ”Lock her up!” ”Lock her up!”

Now, I was paid in good American dollars to report on this fascist clusterfuck; but what if, upon entering, I were recognized for the foul Republican hating anarchist of their fevered Keystone Light six pack nightmares I surely am?

I reach for the police special .38 tucked furtively in the waistband of my dessert cammo hiking shorts, imagining briefly a heroic gun-blazing death, à la Sgt. Rock’s courageous but stupid rookie PFC zombie charging a Nazi pillbox… 

But I have a deadline.

Pulling out my pint bottle of Beefeater instead, I swig mightily and contemplate the horror, the horror, of this beast slouching towards the District of Colombia. 

Thank Jeebus that won’t happen.  


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos