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"Even his funeral was illegal"

"He Was a Crook" is a obituary written for Richard Nixon by Hunter S. Thompson, and published in Rolling Stone. The obituary is amazingly harsh, venomous and vicious, and pulls no punches out of respect for the dead, which is to be expected from Thompson who made his career in politics attacking Nixon.

"Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism -- which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place."

When Nixon died, Thompson tried to write a fitting obituary for him. He tried to write nice things about the man, maybe to make peace with someone who he'd been fighting for decades. He even arranged for Johnny Depp to deliver it at the funeral. He gave up.

Then he saw the funeral on TV, and Bob Dole delivered "such a shameless, self-serving eulogy that even he burst into tears at the end of it". Nixon was painted "as a champion of the American dream and a hero". Thompson was enraged, and he wrote "He Was a Crook".

When it came out it starkly contrasted all of the mild, forgiving obituaries published in other newspapers, and Thompson holds that "it's blood cold accurate". To some it was outrageous slander of the dead, to others it was a refreshing bit on honesty.

I would like to reproduce the entire text here, but it is copyrighted and I don't know how to contact Hunter S. Thompson to get permission.
For now, the text of "He Was a Crook" is available here:


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