Media Malpractice: Reuters Held Negative Beto Story Until After 2018 Senate Race
In 2018, Reuters held on to a negative report about then-Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke until after his race against Sen. Ted Cruz was over.
Last week–just one day after O’Rourke announced his candidacy for president–Reuters released a report revealing that the former congressman was once a member of a computer hacking group called the Cult of the Dead Cow.
The Washington Examiner reports: “Hours after publishing the report, Reuters put out a follow-up piece that said the author, reporter Joseph Menn, held on to O’Rourke story for more than a year. Menn said he found out about O’Rourke’s membership in the Cult of the Dead Cow as he was doing research for a book on the well-known hacking group.”
Menn wrote, “While I was looking into the Cult of the Dead Cow, I found out that they had a member who was sitting in Congress. I didn’t know which one. But I knew that they had a member of Congress. And then I figured out which one it was. And the members of the group wouldn’t talk to me about who it was. They wouldn’t confirm that it was this person unless I promised that I wouldn’t write about it until after the November election. That’s because the member of Congress had decided to run for Senate. Beto O’Rourke is who it was.”
Menn said he then met with O’Rourke and told him he would not publish the information until after the race.” And he said, ‘OK,’” Menn wrote. “And he told me about his time in the Cult of the Dead Cow.”
O’Rourke wrote for the hacking group as a teenager under the name “Psychedelic Warlord” and his works included disturbing fiction where he detailed the murder of children:
“One day, as I was driving home from work, I noticed two children crossing the street. They were happy, happy to be free from their troubles…. This happiness was mine by right. I had earned it in my dreams. As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two. I was so fascinated for a moment, that when after I had stopped my vehicle, I just sat in a daze, sweet visions filling my head.”