I didn’t know him personally (which may have been for the best), but I followed his work. He did what a satirist is supposed to do, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, and he was especially expert at the latter. Now Murphy has died.
Friends and colleagues of journalist and satirist Ian Murphy, former editor of the recently revived Buffalo Beast, an alternative online news site in Buffalo, NY, report that Murphy has died. Murphy passed away on July 17, 2019, Buffalo Beast staff said. He was 40 years old. The cause of death has not been confirmed.
In life, he was a professional weirdo.
Ian Murphy is the editor of The BEAST (buffalobeast.com), a half-satirical news and opinion website dedicated to militant rationalism and quasi-journalistic hijinks, which was founded in 2002 as a Buffalo, NY biweekly rag by Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi. Murphy is best known for prank calling Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wherein he posed as arch-libertarian moneybags David Koch. He’s also infiltrated the grand opening of Ken Ham’s Creation “Museum” by posing as a Christian reporter afflicted with “Asperger’s Syndrome by proxy,” gone undercover in the Church of Scientology while on hallucinogens, canoed to Canada to expose ineffective and profit-driven post-9/11 border security, and proudly received hundreds of death threats. In the spring of 2011, Murphy ran as the Green Party candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives to fill the seat vacated by disgraced “Craigslist Congressman” Chris Lee. While reaping a pathetic one percent of the vote, Murphy nonetheless scored a comedic victory, and national press, for creating a scathing parody of his Republican opponent’s website. Murphy has also been published by Alternet, Crooks & Liars, The Daily Beast, Free Inquiry, and The Progressive. And as of this writing, Murphy is standing trial for “disruption of a religious service” with a dildo. In reality, he was arrested for filming a police officer while covering a National Organization for Marriage anti-gay marriage rally. So if he doesn’t show up, he’s probably in jail.
He was the gonzo commentator for our era, and now he’s gone. He was a better reporter than the sad fumbledums working for the 24 hour news networks, that’s for sure — we’d be living in a better world if he’d been hired to replace Chris Cilliza. Actually, we’d be better off if the corpse of Ian Murphy replaced Cilliza — it’s not too late!