Rupert Murdoch Funds Daily Reporter’s Hunter S. Thompson–Inspired Vegas Vacation


News Corp.’s iPad-only newspaper experiment isn’t exactly a runaway success so far, but it’s being praised as an interesting research and development project. It is also, apparently, the kind of long-lost journalistic endeavor in which a bold staff reporter can convince an editor to send him on a seven-day trip in search of the American Dream. Some 7,000 words to that effect appear in The Daily today to mark the 40th anniversary of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, featuring a fair share of history and introspection, but also a desert road race, strip clubs, gambling, and a paid photographer who may or may not have ingested magic mushrooms on the plane ride westward.

A week in and around the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, as relayed by Daily culture writer Zach Baron in two parts, includes both decadence (bathrobes, an in-room Jacuzzi, and a rental car) and “disaster porn” in recession-ravaged Las Vegas. Did I mention crooked cab drivers, a fire sale at the Sahara, and a lot of tequila? Also, naked women and bad music:

Parts three and four of the reporter’s drug- and perk-filled fairy-tale–nightmare hybrid are slated for tomorrow. It’s not exactly the “oldest dog in America, or the richest man in South Dakota” story called for by the tablet publication’s editor early on, and it’s certainly not the USA Today–style Middle American tabloid journalism The Daily was teased as targeting. But if that $500,000 a week in operational costs is going toward literary, long-form storytelling, Mr. Murdoch has done readers much worse.

Fear and Self-Loathing in Las Vegas [The Daily]