Glenn Beck Prays For Fox News,
Laughs About Sean Hoare's Death

Political Hitman

Glenn Beck laughed about the death of a whistleblower involved in the phone hacking scandal and asked listeners to "pray" that Fox News was not involved in the crisis.

On his Tuesday show, Beck joked about the death of Sean Hoare, who was the first journalist to go on the record about the phone-hacking crisis at the News of the World in a 2010 New York Times article. Hoare was found dead in his London home on Monday. Beck said he loved the story of the death.

"I'm not saying that foul play was involved, but it is suspicious that he's dead," Beck said, laughing. (On Tuesday, police categorically concluded that no third party was involved in Hoare's death.)

He then joked that Vladimir Putin was involved in the death, before turning to Fox News, which, like the News of the World, is owned by News Corp.

Fox News has destroyed itself.

Is the death of whistleblower, Sean Hoare, a laughing matter? Last year, he told the New York Times that his former friend and editor, Andy Coulson, had actively encouraged him to hack into voicemail.

Explaining why he had spoken out, he told said: "I want to right a wrong, lift the lid on it, the whole culture. I know, we all know, that the hacking and other stuff is endemic. Because there is so much intimidation. In the newsroom, you have people being fired, breaking down in tears, hitting the bottle."

The hacking was really the tip of the iceburg, the entire culture that employed him was essentially dysfunctional. In his own words, "I was paid to go out and take drugs with rock stars get drunk with them, take pills with them, take cocaine with them. It was so competitive. You are going to go beyond the call of duty. You are going to do things that no sane man would do. You're in a machine."

Up to his elbows in drugs and delirium, he described his job description at the Sun's Bizarre column, then run by Coulson, in the following terms: "There was a system on the Sun. We broke good stories. I had a good relationship with Andy. He would let me do what I wanted as long as I brought in a story. The brief was, 'I don't give a fuck'."

He was a born reporter. He could always find stories. And, unlike some of his nastier tabloid colleagues, he did not play the bully with his sources. He was naturally a warm, kind man, who could light up a lamp-post with his talk. From Bizarre, he moved to the Sunday People, under Neil Wallis, and then to the News of the World, where Andy Coulson had become deputy editor. And, persistently, he did as he was told and went out on the road with rock stars, befriending them, bingeing with them, pausing only to file his copy.

He made no secret of his massive ingestion of drugs. He started the day with "a rock star's breakfast" a line of cocaine and a Jack Daniels usually in the company of a journalist who now occupies a senior position at the Sun. He reckoned he was using three grammes of cocaine a day, spending about 1,000 a week. Plus endless alcohol. Looking back, he could see it had done him enormous damage. But at the time, as he recalled, most of his colleagues were doing it, too.

"Everyone got overconfident. We thought we could do coke, go to Brown's, sit in the Red Room with Paula Yates and Michael Hutchence. Everyone got a bit carried away."

It must have scared the rest of Fleet Street when he started talking he had bought, sold and snorted cocaine with some of the most powerful names in tabloid journalism. One retains a senior position on the Daily Mirror. "I last saw him in Little Havana," he recalled, "at three in the morning, on his hands and knees. He had lost his cocaine wrap. I said to him, 'This is not really the behaviour we expect of a senior journalist from a great Labour paper.' He said, 'Have you got any fucking drugs?'"

And the voicemail hacking was all part of the great game. The idea that it was a secret, or the work of some "rogue reporter", had him rocking in his chair: "Everyone was doing it. Everybody got a bit carried away with this power that they had. No one came close to catching us." He would hack messages and delete them so the competition could not hear them, or hack messages and swap them with mates on other papers.

In the end, his body would not take it any more. He said he started to have fits, that his liver was in such a terrible state that a doctor told him he must be dead. And, as his health collapsed, he was sacked by the News of the World by his old friend Coulson.

When he spoke out about the voicemail hacking, some Conservative MPs were quick to smear him, spreading tales of his drug use as though that meant he was dishonest. He was genuinely offended by the lies being told by News International and always willing to help reporters who were trying to expose the truth. He was equally offended when Scotland Yard's former assistant commissioner, John Yates, assigned officers to interview him, not as a witness but as a suspect. They told him anything he said could be used against him, and, to his credit, he refused to have anything to do with them.

We have scratched the surface...the real story is not about hacking. It's about drugs. Is Glenn Beck sober?

NEXT: The anatomy of a cover up is censorship through murder.


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