Ian Murphy (writer)

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Ian Murphy
Born (1978-10-31) October 31, 1978 (age 39)
Buffalo, New York
Residence Amherst, New York[1]
Citizenship United States
Occupation Writer
Employer The Beast
(formerly, The Buffalo Beast)
Political party Green Party of New York State

Ian Larry Murphy (born October 31, 1978) is an American alternative journalist and satirist who is the editor and a reporter for The Beast, an alternative, online newspaper based in Buffalo, New York. He was the Green Party nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives, NY-26 district election in early 2011.


Murphy, a native of the Buffalo area, gained national attention in February 2011 for prank-calling Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker while claiming to be billionaire David Koch, and posting a recording of the conversation online.[2] The conversation was said to reveal Walker's plots to defeat Democrats on a budget standoff[2] and Walker's willingness to cooperate with wealthy donors to quash public sector labor unions.[3]

Shortly after the Koch prank, Murphy became the Green Party candidate in the New York's 26th congressional district special election to replace Republican Chris Lee who had resigned after sending a shirtless picture of himself to a woman on Craig's list.[4][5] According to the Green Party of New York state, Murphy ran to challenge the "anti-worker, pro-war, pro-corporate, anti-environmental agenda of the Democrats and Republicans."[6] During the campaign, Murphy created a satirical website using the name of rival Republican candidate, Jane Corwin, in the URL.[7] Murphy was excluded from participation in the televised candidate debates—in one case because he had previously insulted the debate moderator in one of his Buffalo Beast articles.[8] The Green Party objected to the TV station's action saying it denied voters their First Amendment right to hear the views of all the candidates.[9] Just 25 percent of registered voters turned out for the off-season election, despite national media attention.[10] Democrat Kathy Hochul won, and Murphy finished last in the four-way race with about 1 percent of the vote.[10]

Controversy and criticisms[edit]

In 2007 Murphy wrote a column which purported to be an undercover report from the Creation Museum entitled "Let There Be Retards".[11] He drew the ire of conservatives with his May, 2008 editorial entitled, "Fuck the Troops".[12]

In February 2011 Murphy prank-called newly elected Wisconsin governor Scott Walker posing as David H. Koch,[13] a wealthy Walker campaign contributor and funder of anti-union efforts in Wisconsin and other states.[14] During the secretly recorded call, Walker discussed possible plans to trick absent Democratic lawmakers back to Wisconsin to obtain a quorum for the passage of the controversial anti-union legislation.[3] Murphy posted the recording on The Beast, obtaining national attention, a cult hero's welcome at the Wisconsin protests and an appearance on MSNBC.[15][16] The governor's office confirmed that the call occurred.[17][18] Koch later told the conservative Weekly Standard he considered the prank call and posting of the secret recording comparable to identity theft.[19]

In late July 2011, Murphy was charged with disorderly conduct during an outdoor anti-gay marriage protest after he allegedly "directed a sex toy toward officers and told them that it was a microphone", according to the police report summary.[1] Murphy later posted the actual charge which was "disrupting a religious service", and denied the charges saying he was arrested for filming the actions of police officers—with his camera being confiscated and erased.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kevin J. Bargnes (July 24, 2011). "Gay marriage vows are shared, but political passions stay high: Grisanti is targeted amid talk of 2012". The Buffalo News. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b David Weigel (March 9, 2011). ""Koch" Stinger Speaks Out About NPR Sting". Slate. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b David Weigel (May 24, 2011). "NY-26" Operation:Infiltrate". Slate. Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Official Site of Ian Murphy for Congress". Retrieved June 1, 2011. 
  5. ^ The seat had been vacated by U.S. Representative Chris Lee who had resigned immediately after shirtless photos he had sent to a woman surfaced online.
  6. ^ "Green Party Nominates Ian Murphy for 26th Congressional District". April 20, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  7. ^ Brian Montopoli (April 29, 2011). "Satire site targets GOP candidate Jane Corwin". CBS News. Retrieved May 8, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Debate scheduled in NY House 26 race". Buffalo News. Associated Press. May 6, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Green Party Calls on WGRZ To Include Congressional Candidate Ian Murphy in the May 12 CD-26 Debate". May 11, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Robert J. McCarthy (May 26, 2011). "Hochul gains odds-defying victory: Democrat seizes House seat in 26th District with outcome carrying national impact". The Buffalo News. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  11. ^ Ian Murphy (May–June 2007). "Let There Be Retards: My Special Time At The Creation Museum". The Beast. Retrieved June 1, 2011. 
  12. ^ Ian Murphy (May 2008). "Fuck the Troops: A Beastly Opinion". The Beast. Retrieved June 1, 2011. 
  13. ^ Buffalo Beast website Archived 2011-02-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Eric Lipton (February 21, 2011). "Billionaire Brothers' Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute". New York Times. 
  15. ^ Sandy Cullen (March 6, 2011). "Walker prank caller gets cult hero's welcome from protesters". Wisconsin State Journal. 
  16. ^ Goldberg, Adam (February 24, 2011). "Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's Prank Caller, Ian Murphy, Appears On MSNBC's 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 1, 2011. 
  17. ^ Greg Sargent (February 23, 2011). "Governor Walker's office confirms prank Koch call". The Washington Post. 
  18. ^ Lauren Kelley (February 23, 2011). "Scott Walker Falls for Killer Prank by Liberal Blogger Posing as Tea Party Sugar Daddy David Koch". AlterNet. 
  19. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P. (March 26, 2011). "Kochs lash out at 'dangerous' critics, 'radical' Obama". Politico. 
  20. ^ Ian Murphy (July 31, 2011). "Murphy's law II: The weird and weak legal case against me". The Buffalo Beast. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 

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