KY Journalism Hall of Fame induction has political flavor with Hunter S. Thompson, Mark Hebert in class

04/29/2014 06:17 PM

LEXINGTON — The rich political heritage of Kentucky has done more than produce interesting political characters the state has nurtured some influential political journalists.

On Tuesday, the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame inducted seven new members to their group of fewer than 200 journalists including two political reporters — Hunter S. Thompson and former WHAS-TV reporter Mark Hebert.

Thompson, a Louisville native, is best known for his own form of first person participatory “Gonzo” journalism.

It is perhaps fitting that Thompson is inducted this Kentucky Derby week. Thompson penned, “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,” for Scanlan’s Magazine on the 1970 Kentucky Derby, first highlighting that “Gonzo” style.

A banner was also hung this week in Louisville honoring Thompson and declaring the city, “Hunter’s Gonozoville.”

Jonathan Bastian, WFPL-Louisville’s local “Morning Edition” host, who grew up just doors away from Thompson in Colorado, accepted the award on behalf of Thompson’s widow, Anita.

Thompson wrote on politics for Rolling Stone Magazine and published a book on the 1972 presidential election, “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.”

Mark Hebert, who is perhaps best known for breaking the story of Gov. Paul Patton’s affair with nursing home owner Tina Connor, also was inducted in the 2014 class.

Hebert reminisced on his time covering politics and government in Frankfort and said the daily stories on the political beat are what he is most proud of in his career.

Also inducted into the Hall of Fame on Tuesday:

Elizabeth Hansen, Eastern Kentucky University

Dave McBride, Ohio County Times News

Lee Mueller, longtime Eastern Kentucky bureau reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader

Mike Philipps, Kentucky Post/Cincinnati Post

Wes Strader, Western Kentucky University


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