by Yail Bloor, mail clerk, National Affairs Desk
Yesterday, intrepid NBC news anchor Brian Williams joined forces with profound Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly to form a new 24-hour cable news channel, The Gonzo News Network.
“We were tired of all the pretty boys and vapid girls sitting behind desks, reading from teleprompters, pretending they’re doing journalism,” said O’Reilly. “All they do is talk shit. Real journalists get their boots into the shit.”
According to Wikipedia, “Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative.”
“For years, I have tried to report as objectively as possible,” said O”Reilly. “But true objectivity is impossible.so I have abandoned the pretense. It’s like in physics when the observer affects the observed simply by observing, That’s gonzo.”
The gonzo style of writing and journalism is most commonly associated with American counter-culture writer Hunter Thompson, who shot himself in 2005, but Williams has laid claims to its origin.
“I actually invented gonzo journalism,” said Williams. “I pretty much own the concept. It was back in the 1960s in England when I was covering the whole mod versus rocker thing. You know…The Who…Quadrophenia…anyway, I was embedded in a gang of mods, rode with them for about a year. Towards the end I was caught in one of their riots and would have been stomped to bloody pieces had I not run down a dozen rockers with my scooter. ‘Bullocks, mate, that was bloody gonzo,’ the mods told me.
“Later, when I was in ‘Nam, the shit was crazy but there was one particular drug-fueled weekend with cartoonist Charles Schultz that was totally off the hook,” Williams added. “When I wrote about it in Stars & Stripes (Uneasiness and Distaste in Da Nang) even Walter Cronkite started calling my stuff gonzo. ‘You’re fucking out there, Williams,’ Cronkite told me. I guess Hunter saw some affinities between my work and his and kind of latched onto the phrase, but that guy was always prone to exaggeration and self-glorification.”
O’Reilly often went hunting for wild boar with Thompson and former Vice president Dick Cheney. Thompson called O’Reilly the best shot in town because he completely obliterated his targets, usually while blindfolded.
“Hunter told me that I was the best journalist in the country and probably one of the best minds in general,” said O”Reilly. “He made me promise to carry on after he was gone, so that’s what I am going to do.”
When Williams was asked what inspired him to join O’Reilly, he said he didn’t really have much else to do.