Pitching to Editors Gonzo-style

Maverick author Hunter S Thompson’s letter to apply for a job at the Vancouver Sun has been republished recently in the Ottawa Citizen shedding some light on the author’s approach to getting a job.

First up he starts by complimenting the paper saying he “got a hell of a kick” out of reports he’d heard about the paper. Then he goes onto give a little career background: “I stepped into a dung-hole the last time I took a job with a paper I didn’t know anything about (see enclosed clippings)…”

And he’s got some good tips on letting a prospective employer know what they might be in for writing “don’t think that my arrogance is unintentional: it’s just that I’d rather offend you now than after I started working for you”.

And Thompson didn’t pull any punches when it came to a critique of journalism:

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity… I would rather be on the dole than work for a paper I was ashamed of.

For all his bravado, it’s unclear whether Hunter S Thompson ever wrote for the Vancouver Sun despite showing his willingness to commute from New York with “It’s a long way from here to British Columbia, but I think I’d enjoy the trip.”

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