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Fear & Loathing On The Net

HUNTER THOMPSON GOES CYBER

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Hunter S. Thompson, the Doctor of Journalism, the god of gonzo, the wild writer behind Fear and Loathing in countless places, has a new title: Net newcomer. The novelist and powerfully entertaining journalist has finally sat down long enough to squeeze out a weekly semi-sports column for ESPN.com. But this isn’t the hallucinating counterculture guy Johnny Depp portrayed in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Famous for long, drug-smothered narratives about meeting his deadlines, Thompson now files — on time, so far — ruminations on sports and politics and whatever else is on his mind. He has no mandate to stay on topic, says longtime friend John Walsh, ESPN.com’s exec editor, who, in the ’70s, handled the good doctor’s copy at Rolling Stone. So how does Thompson, notorious for his love of such crude devices as rifles, file his Web columns from his lair in the Colorado mountains? Via e-mail? Nope. Just check the old fax machine.