GONZO journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, welcomed back to Jann Wenner's Rolling Stone, writing profile of Ruth Carter Stapleton with one hand while with the other arranging Jimmy Buffet's appearance at National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws fund-raiser here in Washington . . . David "The Best and the Brightest" Halberstam's book on power in America to focus on four media institutions: CBS, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Time magazine . . . Jack Anderson returns from Costa Rica with lie detector test results of interview with Robert Vesco for his TV show ("The Truth") he hopes will begin in February.

Washington Star publisher Joe Albritton reported upset that he wasn't invited to Federal City Club farewell to Jum Bellows last month. His good-bye gifts to Bellow: Cadillac and cash. One sponsor of the party, sports columnist David Israel, probably headed westward, along with others.

Washington Journalism Review is born again next week with double issue that includes cover story by Jack Cloherty on oil companies' PR efforts, ABC's Ann Compton has frank words about her colleagues on the White House beat. If money comes in, the magazine hopes to begin monthly publication in March . . . Esquire staffers, gearing up for bi-weekly publication in March, retreat to New England to meet and talk . . . Washington Star reporter Lynn Rosellini's multipart profile of Post publisher Katharine Graham killed by Star management for vague, non-public reasons.