By: Kidman J. Williams
It has all of the standard soap opera drama: betrayal, intrigue, a man and a woman, insane accusations, and crazed illusions of revenge. What else can you really say about the drama between Gonzo Today and a Hunter S. Thompson fanboy Facebook group? Some might say that it is just useless drama. Some might say that it is childish. This writer says that it is one camp making outrageous claims that can’t be backed up with facts.
The fallout happened swiftly between the leader of the fan group and former Gonzo Today member Leah Jay (as known on Facebook) and GT Editor-in Chief Clayton Luce. This prompted Jay to reach out to other writers at GT with the intent of taking them away. Writers like Josh Chambers, Donnie Casto, Eric Rubelmann, and even myself were contacted via Facebook IM trying to make claims that Clayton was a thief. This tactic of divide and conquer, worked…for a short time. Josh and Eric both came back to GT happier than ever.
Regardless of how quick and painless the break was it sent the fanboy leader into a focused rage that brought old enemies of Luce’s back from the dead, like Patrick Jordan. Who has made outlandish comments towards GT many times in the past with idle threats and saying things like,
“Yeah if Clayton hadn’t blocked me months ago I was gonna see if he wanted to go four rounds with me in the Octagon at gonzofest. but I guess not. I sure hope if anybody going to gonzofest if you see him give him a good pop… tell him its from me… he knows who I am…
He’s expecting it..haha”
As you can see, his grammar is impeccable. I can’t even imagine why Clayton Luce blocked him.
They made claims of Gonzo Today publishing Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s work, even going as far as making these claims to Anita Thompson (Hunter’s widow) and wasting her time and energy that just fed into the fanboy leader’s overactive id and vengeful mindset.
When Gonzo Today posted the private pictures and correspondence that were owned by Kevin Simonson, a longtime friend of Hunter’s, the proverbial shit truly hit the fan. This move sparked some serious heat that prompted Jay to send more messages to the Widow Thompson.
Clayton Luce put out a warm response to the accusations trying to explain.
This video seemed to fall on deaf ears. All it did was cause a childish, unimaginative, and badly done response video that came from a petty man with a yearning to please his leader. The video then sparked a slew of slanderous comments in the feed under it.
Through all of this, myself and others have kept quiet during these turbulent times of drama and ridiculous claims. Myself and other writers with Gonzo Today are still in fact a part of the group that Leah runs. When it is nice, it is a really nice fangroup of people who love Hunter Thompson. When it is at its worst, it turns into a dragon with sharp teeth and a desire to destroy for the purpose of destruction. Leah even made quotes that were against the writers at Gonzo Today, not just Clayton himself. This prompted me to finally stop being neutral. When you are taking shots at a whole company of writers and artists and not just a single vendetta against one person, there is a problem with that. This sparked many quotes from Leah Jay like this one.
“I want to beat everyone at Gonzo Today with that thing he picked up in Kona…”
There were many more like these making claims about the writers. This sparked our own video made by myself and Chris LoBosco. It was taped at about four in the morning and while it DOES take some shots, I think it makes a strong point.
One of the most unique things about Gonzo Today is that it not only gives more experienced writers like myself a place, but it also gives amateurs a place to hone their skills and learn from other people. Make no mistake that this is a business; we like to have fun, inform with honest journalism, and of course entertain everyone on some level, but this is a business with people who don’t really care about what one person’s personal ideas about us are. That is why the video we did was lighthearted and kind of silly.
I will say this though. I personally have no problem with Leah as long as the attacks against my fellow artists and writers at Gonzo Today stop. I myself am friends on Facebook with a close person to Leah. Why? I think he is funny and respectful. I am just tired of the slander and misinformed claims.
Kidman J. Williams