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Thursday, April 01, 2004

PowerCloset TimeCapsule: 1998
February 22, 1998 C-SPAN Journal’s 28-year-old weekend host Sandy Hume is found dead in his Arlington, Virginia apartment.
Competing against news of a major shake-up within Republican House leadership ranks, the news has a brief media flash by Wednesday February 25 when this appears on the Media Research Center’s CyberAlert page:

Some sad news. Sandy Hume, the 28-year-old son of FNC's Brit Hume, died Sunday in his Arlington, Virginia apartment, apparently from suicide. A reporter for The Hill, a weekly Capitol Hill newspaper, the younger Hume broke the story last year of how House leaders were plotting to topple Speaker Newt Gingrich. A few years ago he worked for the American Spectator. You may recognize him from his appearances on C-SPAN and most recently on his father's FNC show, Special Report with Brit Hume.

March 2, 1998
Tony Snow
Remembering Sandy Hume
As Christopher Caldwell points out in the most recent Weekly Standard, Sandy wrote about everything from Capitol Hill intrigue to gay- rodeo aficionados. On the final weekend of his life, several magazines engaged in a furious bargaining war to win his services -- at a salary that would be eye-popping for any journalist his age. Television networks also flocked his way -- we had hired him at Fox News Channel. He had the look, the poise, the presence. He could explain complex events simply and fully. He could make prospective mothers-in-law swoon.

March 9, 1998
The late Hill reporter Sandy Hume had just finished his first feature for George magazine before his February 22 suicide. The topic? Bill Paxon. Hume, the 28-year-old son of Fox News’s Brit Hume, made news last year when he broke the story that the Buffalo congressman was part of a group trying to oust House leader Newt Gingrich. Hume’s recent work on former congresswoman Susan Molinari’s husband analyzes the congressman’s political origins and future, according to George senior editor Richard Blow.

April 24, 1998
The Royal Flush

The Flush contacted high-profile activist, host of PBS' Reliable Sources, and columnist for Lesbian and Gay New York Andy Humm about Congregate -- the alleged blackmailing of Rep. Bill Paxon and reporter Sandy Hume by House majority leader Dick Armey, which may have led to Hume's bizarre suicide and Paxon's decision to leave the House of Representatives.
Humm has published two pieces in L+GNY about the case. He told the Flush, "Paxon and Hume attended a Republican Party fundraiser together the night before Hume's suicide."

Other Hummings:
1. Hume had "a reputation for coke addiction as a reporter in Warrenton, VA."
2. "Years ago, at a conference of gay SUNY students, an activist bragged about sleeping with Paxon, then a state legislator."
3. That councilman "Sal Albanese went to a reporter with a file of materials on Susan Molinari's alleged relationship with a female aide after her divorce," when Albanese was running against Molinari for Congress.
4. Humm turned us on to an article in the Buffalo Beat (Paxon's district is in Buffalo) which reported that Paxon and Hume had "angry public words" at the fundraiser before Hume killed himself, and that the Hill, Hume's employer, got calls from the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek and Time asking about the connection between Paxon and Hume.

Randomly Googled remark from Pete in a topic file entitled Sandy Hume’s Death on dated October 20, 2002:

Many folks on the hill were perplexed by Sandy Hume's ability to bang out blockbuster stories on a short deadline. He never seemed to work very hard but had impeccable source(s). Two hours before deadline he would go out into the lobby and make a 30-minute phone call, then jump in his chair and bang out a great story.
Some suspected that he had only one source and concocted confirmations to meet the standard. His source was invariably correct.
…A 28 year old man, being touted as the next Pulitzer Prize winner and has just accepted a position with both Fox News and Newsweek doesn't just suddenly decide to shuffle off his mortal coil on a whim. Something transpired of sufficient magnitude that Sandy Hume felt there was no solution except ending his life.
Killed himself because he got a DUI? Lends whole new meaning to the word "overkill". It is preposterous on the face of it.
Though some might say that the Hume Suicide-Paxon connection is a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument, the fact remains that Hume and Paxon were in close communication and the temporal connection between events is very suspicious and compelling.

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