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Burying the lede in an unmarked grave

scarshapedstar's picture

Maybe it's just me, but something seems hinky at Well, not just them; I haven't caught a single mention of Sean Hoare's conveniently timed death in the American media.

Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words:

Re-he-heally? Okay, how about today?

Weird, huh? Now, yes, if you click "Past 7 days" you get some results. You also get some results if you try the first two searches for "Sean Hoare death", but not "Sean Hoare dead", even though most of the search results use the word "dead" and not "death".

Whatever, I'm probably just picking on an algorithm. But let's take a look at the actual hits we get.

All but one come from The Lede, not the NYT proper. Hmm. Speaking of The Lede, here's what's really fucked up. Check out the lone mention of Hoare's death in the NYT:

"Opponents Seize on Cameron’s Ties to Suspects"

Yeah, I mean, the star witness turning up dead is a minor detail, hardly worthy of a headline. In fact, it didn't even end up above the fold.

A version of this article appeared in print on July 19, 2011, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Tabloid Uproar Forces Cameron To Shorten Trip.

You have to read down 7 paragraphs before you find this:

The parade of casualties from the scandal continued to lengthen one day after the head of Scotland Yard resigned, when one of his deputies, John Yates, also stepped down. The investigation also took a grim turn when Sean Hoare, a former reporter in his mid-40s who was the first to say publicly that Mr. Coulson was aware of the widespread “phone hacking” at News of the World when he was the paper’s editor, was found dead in his north London home. The police said they did not initially regard the death as suspicious.

Mr. Hoare’s interview implicating Mr. Coulson in a New York Times magazine article last fall was one of the factors, the police have said, that prompted them to reopen an investigation into The News of the World after the probe had brought convictions and jail sentences for two men then faltered, with Scotland Yard officers saying there was nothing more to pursue.

(Emphasis mine. Quite the refrain, eh? Wait, were these the same 'officers' who just resigned for taking bribes? I wonder...)

That's it. Bleedin' but not leadin'. Presumably, this is the last time the NYT will ever mention the late Sean Hoare, seeing as this happened frickin' yesterday and it's already a footnote.

One question, though: why?

No votes yet


coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

too close to their cronies' home?

I would adore seeing what slime is turned up here with a simple, honest investigation. I jest of course...about a "simple, honest, investigation".

Bryan's picture
Submitted by Bryan on

Sean Hoare may or may not have been telling the truth about Coulson, but he would never have been called as a witness because of major credibility problems due to his well-known chemical dependency problems. He probably got some of his best tips as a reporter in AA meetings or rehab.

If someone wanted him dead, they could have done it with with a bottle of whisky and a couple of baggies left on his doorstep.

The Guardian has been digging into this for months and developed their own sources. If there were anything suspicious about the death, they will dig it out.

The police probably had his address tagged for multiple ODs, and wouldn't be suspicious. The medical examiner has to tell the public what happened.

He might have been annoying, but he wasn't a serious threat to anyone other than himself.

The New York Times didn't do a very thorough background check, or they wouldn't have used what he said without a lot of legalize appended.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

In another twist, a former reporter at the News of the World who early on accused Coulson of knowing about phone-hacking at the paper, apparently died at his home in Watford. Police said the death of a man identified by British media as Sean Hoare, who was quoted extensively in a New York Times Magazine piece on the hacking scandal last September, was "unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious."

Given Hoare's well known drug problems, it would have been easy for a News Corp operative to give him slightly too much or slightly too pure of whatever it was the he used. It would kill him, but would not look like a poisoning.

The point would be to make an example of Hoare, to show laid off News of the Word employees what happens to whistle blowers.