Bob Guccione Jr. talked about the sacredness of good journalism, and its purpose “to completely change how people view the world.”
He was the featured speaker for the “Dinner + Talk” series held March 11 in the Delmonico Room at the Hotel Fauchère in Milford. Journalism has always been a calling for Guccione, who took a courageous stance on AIDS, when he owned Spin Magazine, and other controversial issues. He wants a return to people really talking to each other, even arguing with each other.
“People are obsessed with political correctness," he said.
This soft-spoken man has, in his own life, showed the courage to say what he thinks and to write about it as well.
“I’d rather fail for the right reasons than be successful for the wrong ones," he said.
Guccione spoke of being threatened by a Klansman when he was 29 years old. He did not cower or hesitate, but shouted into the phone, “You are too stupid to find me even if I gave you the address!”
And yet, he is very open and cares about people. His current venture, Wonderlust Travel (wonderlusttravel.com), an online travel publication, tells stories about people and interesting ideas. Its motto is “People first, buildings second.”
People often think the name of the site is “Wanderlust,” meaning “a desire to travel, restlessness, or unsettledness.” They may not realize that the word “Wonderlust” and the site itself is a Guccione creation. It means “seeking wonder, a sense of discovery, surprise, or amazement,” which is exactly what the site is about. And it's what Guccione is about, with his wonderful, wry sense of humor.
The “Dinner + Talk” series is part of the Fauchere’s winter events calendar and is designed to stimulate both palate and mind. With an elegant three-course dinner and speakers who talk to the audience candidly and conversationally, the restaurant has created several intimate and interesting evenings. They events are more like an elegant salon in someone’s living room, rather than a didactic presentation.
And so it was with Bob Guccione Jr.