When President Trump was running for office, the media would latch on to every damaging accusation against him they could find – confirmed or not. After he was elected, the media doubled down on it. Kavanaugh hearings, anyone?
The media will destroy police officers without a shred of evidence. They’ll launch a lynch mob to end their careers because of a piece of cell phone video released on Facebook without any context.
But when it comes to their media darlings like AOC and Beto pushing America towards socialist values? They’ll bury facts in order to protect them.
On Friday, Reuters bragged that it had a scoop that Democratic presidential candidate Beto R’Rourke was once involved in a notorious hacker group.
But they intentionally sat on the story until after O’Rourke lost his Texas Senate race to incumbent Ted Cruz.
The story dropped on Friday morning by Reuters’ Joseph Menn. It came out that O’Rourke, who is a former member of Congress and the latest Democrat to throw his hat in the ring for the 2020 presidential race, had a secret membership in an infamous hacking group known as the Cult of the Dead Cow (CDC).
It’s the oldest and arguably the most influential collection of hackers in America, and although he was a member as a teenager, the group has protected his secret for decades so they wouldn’t damage his political career.
Menn has a book coming out about the group, and first learned more than a year ago – in 2017 – that O’Rourke was a member. He said on Friday that he sat on the story until AFTER O’Rourke’s high-profile Senate race in exchange for an on-the-record interview. He claims he was “on leave” from Reuters at the time so he could work on his book.
Menn had been diving into the CDC for years and “found out that they had a member who was sitting in Congress … and then I figured out which one it was.”
He claims they wouldn’t confirm that O’Rourke was the member in question unless he agreed to hang on to the information “until after the November election” in 2018.
To be clear, I offered @BetoORourke an embargo because it was for a book I was on leave to write, not for my day job, and because no one else who knew would confirm the facts before the election.
— Joseph Menn (@josephmenn) March 16, 2019
He agreed, then approached O’Rourke for an interview with the promise that it would not be published until after his Senate race. O’Rourke agreed.
Menn, of course, defended his reporting decision on Twitter. He said he only had a “guess” that O’Rourke was the CDC member in Congress and “zero sources.”
Gosh this is fun. I did not have the story before the November election because no one would talk.
— Joseph Menn (@josephmenn) March 17, 2019
He did not, however, explain how he came to guess O’Rourke’s involvement and if he had enough information at the time to independently verify his hunch without the CDC’s confirmation. He also went on to say he agreed to CDC’s terms because he “wanted the full story” for his book on the group “rather than 1 scoop ahead of a state vote.”
No one in cDc would talk about O’Rourke until I promised not to publish before the 2018 election. That was OK: I wanted the full story for my book, which spans decades, rather than 1 scoop ahead of a state vote. I offered O’Rourke the same terms. He accepted, and we spoke. (8/10) pic.twitter.com/psZCnSD9ZP
— Joseph Menn (@josephmenn) March 15, 2019
Shocker – CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter defended the decision on Twitter, writing, “Reporters who are writing books sometimes hold back certain info till their book comes out. That’s what the reporter says happened in this case.”
Reporters who are writing books sometimes hold back certain info til their book comes out. That's what the reporter says happened in this case. Book deal situations are definitely complicated. The Fox/Stormy situation didn't involve a book. What's your proposal — no books?
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 17, 2019
Responding to criticism about the decision, he added, “What’s your proposal — no books?”
O’Rourke spoke positively of the CDC in his interview with Menn. It’s a group which engaged in illegal activity… that apparently O’Rourke himself was part of.
According to Menn’s reporting, O’Rourke accessed cracked gaming software and stole credit card numbers in order to place free long distance phone calls.
“There’s just this profound value in being able to be apart from the system and look at it critically and have fun while you’re doing it,” O’Rourke said of the group. “I think of the Cult of the Dead Cow as a great example of that.”
The holding out of information is reminiscent of when NBC News sat on newsworthy information about then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in September of 2018.
That was when Julie Swetnick claimed Kavanaugh had participated in gang rapes. Her attorney, Michael Avenatti, said it was an allegation that could be corroborated by another woman.
But in late October – weeks after Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings – NBC revealed that the second woman contradicted Swetnick’s story during a phone interview on September 30.
Instead of publishing the information DURING the hearings and allegations in the Senate, NBC decided to intentionally hold out until AFTER the judge was confirmed.
No bias here, folks. As long as you’re on the right side of the media. Or should we say the left side….