You were a very vocal critic of the Clinton administration, but you were in correspondence with Sandy Berger, Clinton's Defense secretary. Are you guys still friends?
Oh, yeah, definitely, he's a good boy. I disagree with a lot of my friends. Just because he's my friend doesn't mean he has to agree with me.
Are you still in touch with Patrick Buchanan?
Occasionally. We're still friends. Patrick is a libertarian, or at least in that direction. I think of politics as a circle, not a spectrum of one line not just right and left. Patrick and I are often pretty close. Patrick's an honest person. He's a straight guy and very smart guy.
What do you think of the state of political journalism?
Very bad. Very lazy and almost cowardly in its obsequiousness.
What important questions are they not asking?
God damn, man. Who wrote these questions for you?
Well, they're all kind of pertinent, but let's take a break and kind of work up to some of these.
OK. I'm going to ask you some more softball questions. What are you driving these days and what's its top speed?
Oh Jesus, you really are one of these, aren't you? It's snowing out. I drive a Jeep Cherokee through the snow.
If they offered you the post of the governor of Samoa today would you accept it?
Oh. That's interesting. Well, yeah, if I thought I could really have free hand. It would be an adventure. I'd try it for a year.
What's the best drug to write on?
You've got dumb questions.
Um, sorry. Have you ever done ecstasy?
Yeah. It seemed kind of mild and talky. I didn't mind it. It's not in the nature of the kind of drug I am normally accustomed to, it was a quasi-drug, I guess.
You have claimed to be the most accurate reporter people could read. A lot of people would disagree. How would you defend that claim?
With the exception of typos, I have some ungodly typos in my work. In terms of my...I might not get the dates right every once in a while. I try to be more accurate than other journalists, which is not that difficult. You have to distinguish between what happened and what the situation was.
Do you think that's due to your willingness to put objectivity by the wayside?
Well, you can't be objective when you're dealing with passionate situations, politics and so forth. I guess you can, I never have. For instance if you were objective about Richard Nixon, you would never get him or understand him. You had to be subjective to understand Nixon. You have to be subjective to understand the Hells Angels.
What's the best firearm for home security?
Twelve gauge short barrel shotgun.
And what's the best for just fucking around?
Machine guns are kind of nice. You can have a lot of fun with them. It's like watering the lawn. I don't get to play them very often.
Ralph Steadman said that you almost killed him in a gun-related explosion while he was visiting you in Aspen. What happened?
I don't know that story, but no doubt it's right. I can think of several times. Ralph is well acquainted with my lifestyle.
Right, but I mean, there were those assholes who flew the plane into the World Trade Center.
Who were they indeed? Now, [cough] do you believe that, that a bunch of Arabs jumped up from some kind of a campfire and fucking mountains over there and snuck into this country and hijacked those planes and did that by themselves?
Well what are you proposing? I mean I think they were funded years ago by the CIA and it was a blowback, but, I don't think there was any direct... Are you saying there might be some other American agency or some international agency that directly supported them in that?
Uhh, this is tricky territory, but yeah, that's what I'm getting at.
I can't sit here and jerk up documents like Joe McCarthy, there's no proof of that. But I'm sure there is. And the idea that we're getting the whole story, uh, through the uh, the media, or from the president, is absurd on it's face because you never do, for one thing. And there's so many unanswered questions and loose ends and uh, lets see, well, lies! Yeah, about what happened. That they, in the run-up to that day, the years, I wrote a column about it right after it happened.
I'm curious about why you're doing the kinda sports-centric thing with ESPN. I know you started as a sports journalist but...
I got a soft spot in my heart for sports and what the hell, I bet on it, I'm into it all the time, I might as well make some money on it. One of the things I think I've learned over time is I have to make movie on, excuse me, money on, I have to get paid for my vices somehow, or else its gonna be destructive. If you're paid for being crazy, then you're not crazy, is that right?
And when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
I think the real difference is functional and dysfunctional rather than sane or insane. And John Walsh at ESPN is an old friend. And I like it, it keeps me, the column kept me kinda sane, a regular deadline every week. I gotta finish it and read it the next day. I like the regularity of it. I grew up in newspapers. And it just gives me a nice little break every week.
Well that was my last question.