Monday, February 21, 2005

Yet Another Candidate for a Trip to the Crossroads

After the FAZ, it's the turn of the London Evening Standard to reverse the attribution on Dr. Thompson's obituary of Nixon. What is it with these people? Here's the link to their story. Scroll down a little, and it's cock-up ahoy in paragraph 11:
"At the height of the Watergate scandal he was described by President Nixon as representing "that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character".
To go round it once again, no, he was not! President Nixon was described at the height of the Watergate scandal as representing that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character that every other country on earth has learnt to fear and hate, by Hunter S. Thompson - not the other way around.

Now, having seen this twice today, I began to worry that in fact it was me who was twisted and that everyone else was right - hell, that would be normal - but a few web searches show that no-one before Thompson's death seems to have mentioned Nixon saying it. You would have thought it would be a memorable utterance for a serving President and one to go in the Nixon canon along with "my dog, Checkers", "inoperative statement", "pathetic helpless giant", "silent majority", "secret plan to end the war in Vietnam" and the rest. But no. No trace. No electronic trace at least. So I think it's fair to say that the general scholarly consensus on the authorship of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail can rest intact.

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