Reuters reporter Joseph Menn showed clear bias in withholding negative information about now-presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke — including the candidate’s former involvement in a hacker community and authoring a “murder fantasy”–until after a failed U.S. Senate race against Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas). Menn reportedly knew about the controversies since 2017, but Menn said that members of the hacking group wouldn’t confirm the Democrat’s membership unless Menn promised not to write about it until after the November election. Menn also apparently struck a similar deal with O’Rourke himself.
“I wanted the full story for my book, which spans decades, rather than 1 scoop ahead of a state vote,” Menn tweeted. “I offered O’Rourke the same terms. He accepted, and we spoke.”
Menn apparently now wants to cash in on this story, thinking that he could sell more books now that O’Rourke, a prolific fundraiser, is running for president.
“No one thought he would lose the Senate race & immediately enter onto an even bigger stage, but here we are, and the embargo is up,” Menn tweeted. “The book is out soon, O’Rourke is running for president, and people should hear the missing part of his story.”
Reuters published the report about O’Rourke’s past on Friday, detailing the candidate’s participation in the “Cult of the Dead Cow,” infamous hackers that reportedly invented the term “hacktivism,” and allegedly stole credit card numbers to pay for long-distance telephone service, violated copyright laws and hacked into computers, according to the report. Reuters did claim that O’Rourke never “engaged in the edgiest sorts of hacking activity.”
Reuters also said that as part of his participation in the group, a 15-year-old O’Rourke wrote fiction stories under the name “Psychedelic Warlord,” including a “murder fantasy” short story about running over two children with a car.
O’Rourke’s former opponent Cruz was upset by Reuters’ bias.
“So Reuters had evidence in 2017 that Beto may have committed multiple felonies — which Beto confirmed on the record — but deliberately withheld the story for over a year to help him win his Senate race? But when he’s running against Bernie etc, NOW it’s news?” Cruz tweeted.