Sep 21, 2020
Okay, This Mediaite Secret Identity Guy Thing Just Got CRAZY
Back on Tuesday, we tried valiantly to explain to you how Mediaite managing editor Jon Nicosia was a pen name for one Zachary Hildreth. Far be it from us to criticize using a fake name, but generally we are not doing it to cover up our string of felonies as Hildreth was. Well, except Dok Zoom. He’s wanted in 13 or 14 states now. Hildreth wasn’t just the kind of guy who had a nom de plume to cover up that he’d been a big crimer. He was also a weird boss who pretended to be Donald Trump and made a suicide pact with his mom. These things are weird, right? Oh good lord things get so so much weirder.
So one of the crime-related problems Hildreth talked about in his “forgive me, for I have sinned” column was to say that he was the victim of an unspecified crime perpetrated by his then-boyfriend.
But in 2005, I was back in the spotlight when my ex-boyfriend was charged with a crime against me (he was found not guilty). That involved more media attention and more digging into my past. It was time for me to start a new life.
The boyfriend was indeed charged with a crime, and that story is also very weird.
In a later and more disturbing incarnation, he serially seduced gay men, stole their money, and then, when confronted, turned “violent and abusive.” […]
In 2006, Hildreth actually testified in trial against one of the men he’d conned, who was up on assault charges because Hildreth said he was attacked; a “jury will decide whether a former emergency room physician from Weymouth charged with slashing the neck of his boyfriend with a shard of glass was an assailant or a victim,” wrote the The Patriot Ledger. So yes, at this trial, Hildreth’s boyfriend was found not guilty of attacking him. But the trial was as nasty as can be, with the attorney for Hildreth painting the boyfriend as a crazy drug addict who believed in aliens. (The boyfriend “said it was Hildreth who talked of aliens from space, at one point claiming to be one, and that he did not believe him.”)
Huh. Well, maybe we could give him the benefit of the doubt on that one, given that it went all the way to trial and sounds weird. Oh wait, except for the part where Hildreth was already a serial bit of felonious and was also apparently completely unable to tell the truth about anything whatsoever.
Five former employees said that Hildreth had told them he was a trauma surgeon who lived in the D.C. area with his boyfriend. Another one said that he told her he was a surgeon who lived in Massachusetts.
Three former staffers described Hildreth as eager to demonstrate his expertise on health matters.
“He did this thing where he gave medical advice,” one former staffer said.
Perhaps he learned all the medical advice from the doctor dude he said assaulted him? We’d also like to point out that it is generally super easy to check into whether someone is a licensed doctor. For example, in DC, one could just look here. Not a foolproof scheme. Also, too, let us take a moment to explain that it is hard to write regularly on the internet when one is also doing some other semi-shitty non-blogging job, and we suspect that trauma surgeons do not have the kind of downtime that allows them to rip videos on the regular or to make dick jokes on the internet.
Indeed, his fellow employees seemed the slightest bit skeptical about his dual surgeon-blogger lifestyle.
Five former staffers told Capital that Hildreth had said he could afford to work for free because of the living he made as a surgeon.
“He said he was a doctor or a surgeon, worked at a hospital 24/7, and watched videos [while] on call,” said one former employee. “Though it was weird because he was always watching videos.”
“He said [pulling videos] was just a hobby,” another said.
“I was skeptical of his story,” one ex-staffer said, “[but] it didn’t affect his ability to pull video clips.”
True. Being a lying liarpants does not generally impair your ability to do a glorified version of operating a VCR. Oh wait. Did we talk about the part where he said he was an Iraq war veteran or that he actually lived in Massachusetts or that his boyfriend was involved in black ops, which is why Hildreth’s life was so hush-hush and he couldn’t have friends over for drinks at his pad?
Capital New York also has more details on the larceny and fraud crimes that Hildreth briefly explained in his apologia.
According to the [Boston] Globe, Hildreth told [investors] that he was due a multimillion dollar inheritance and that Massdata had signed contracts with large companies such as the defense contractor Raytheon, but he actually had no inheritance and had forged the contract agreements. […]
Hildreth was convicted on 46 separate counts of “larceny, obtaining a signature with intent to defraud, and accepting a note under false pretense” and sentenced to 12–15 years in state prison. His lawyers appealed the decision, arguing (among other things) that the jury should have been allowed to consider an insanity defense.
Hildreth next made news in 1992, when the Globe reported that he had bribed a guard to smuggle a personal computer into his minimum-security prison. The guard was fired and Hildreth was transferred to a different prison.
After five years in prison, he was released, only to be convicted of larceny again a few years later and sentenced to three more years in prison.
Clearly Mr. Hildreth has always had a casual relationship with the truth. Let’s say a nodding acquaintance with the truth. Actually, let’s say that Hildreth and truth no longer reside in the same zip code. This probably does not affect his ability to rip videos from cable news to the internet, so for now he’s still got a job.