From 1968 to 1972, Hunter Thompson was the central witch-doctor in a scene that linked Gary Hart to Warren Beatty and Sandy Berger to Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone. In the hands of Wenner, and the generation of flunkies which have taken control of the popular press and are his heirs, the Duke of Gonzo will stay memorialized in caricature as a radical, wrought-iron Leftist. The Jann Wenner version of history, bogus here as everywhere else, threatens to become so ubiquitous as to take on the sentimental aura of received truth.
In Thompson's hands, by contrast, the truth was bent but not broken. When Hunter lapsed into double vision, it was more like Doc Holliday's than Foreigner's: he had two guns -- one for each of you. But the kooky left that looks back upon their lion does so with lyin' eyes. In favor of stroking the man so hard that perhaps some of his truth would come off, the dandies and dilettantes and BS artists that outlived Thompson also outlived his vision.
The liberal cultural establishment of modern television, film, and music does not belong to Thompson, nor does he belong to it. Within his best pages, Thompson indicted the very sort of people who would grow up to eat coke, swap wives, and spoil their bastard children. And he denigrated the Democratic old guard that they replaced.