Fear And Loathing In The Alibi

Our Interview With Hunter S. Thompson Gets Exhumed

Michael Henningsen
4 min read
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Ten years ago, when the Alibi was called NuCity, then-Editor Alma García and former columnist and Personals Manager (not to mention longtime Hunter S. Thompson companion) Norma Jean Thompson (no relation) embarked on a whirlwind journey to spend several days with the father of “Gonzo” journalism, driving around his property at breakneck speed and attempting to interview him while clinging to their own lives.

NuCity was roughly three years old at the time, and García and Thompson's bizarre and entertaining story was one of the first major features for the paper. Ironically, it's even more entertaining to read now–10 years later, and after Thompson decided to trade in his typewriter for a bullet to the head–than it was when he was a living crackpot.

The text of our decade-old interview with Thompson will appear in its entirety on our website tomorrow (Feb. 24). For now, here are a few short excerpts:

On President Clinton

Norma Jean Thompson: Do you ever speak with Bill Clinton? Does he know what you're saying about him?

Hunter S. Thompson: Oh, yeah. I got into the Clinton thing with the idea that we could influence people … Yeah. The rock and roll president … He stands for everything I hate, violating the third amendment, search and seizure … I've said worse things about Clinton than I'm saying now … I think the worse thing I've ever said about him is that he has the redneck taste of a man who would go on a double date with the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart. That's a nasty thing to say. I've also said he has the morals of a lizard. He's a hiccup of history.

NJT: You really don't like him. Do you feel a responsibility to the people who take your opinions seriously? Doesn't it just help people rally around the right when you put him down?

HST: That's no reason why I should spend another four years getting tangled up by a treacherous asshole like Clinton. There are limits … He's further to the right than George Bush.

On General Politics

Alma García: You said in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail that traditional liberalism is dying or is dead. Is Clinton exemplifying that?

HST: They should have done some ethnic cleansing of liberals a long time ago.

AG: What are the top three things that should be on the presidential agenda?

HST: Resignation.

AG: Aside from resignation, is there any thing in particular you think should be at the top of the presidential agenda?

HST: It doesn't matter right now, because (Clinton) won't fight for it … If people rallied behind him and decided to get something done, some agenda he endorsed, he would abandon it. It's a no-win situation, a serious character flaw.

AG: Who are the politicians you like?

HST: Not many. I'd like Gore in the House. Clinton you really can't turn your back on. If the Gores stayed in the cabin (on Thompson's property), they'd fit it. I wouldn't have to worry about them stealing anything. Now if the Clintons stayed there …

AG: Who are the other bad politicians?

HST: Well, it's a crooked class.

AG: Who are the worst ones?

HST: Fewer and fewer good people are getting into politics.

AG: Who would you like to see as president? Next election, if it were possible, even if it's not someone who could possibly have a chance.

HST: I think Mohammed Ali would be good.

AG: Anyone who's a politician?

HST: If you're interested in generality … Gore. He's pretty interesting. He's the only one I'd vote for.

AG: And then we would have First Lady Tipper.

HST: Well, that's realistic. What if Clinton got sick? Tipper's not that terrifying compared to the Clintons.

Tune in tomorrow for more of HST’s 1995 opinions on drugs, sex, O.J. and … death.

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