Clintonstein Meets The Scaife Man

Hillary Clinton was interviewed yesterday by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. She took the opportunity to continue a pattern of personal attacks on her opponent, Barack Obama:

“He would not have been my pastor,” Clinton said. “You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.”

What’s interesting about this encounter is not the rough and tumble tenor of modern electioneering. That has sadly become all too familiar in these dog days of democracy. What rattled my antennae was the venue Clinton chose for these remarks.

Clintonstein Meets The Scaife ManThe Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is owned by billionaire right-winger, Richard Mellon Scaife. Scaife has a place all his own in what Clinton herself tagged the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” He is a principal in, or contributor to, rightist political and media organizations like NewsMax, the Media Research Center, the American Enterprise Institute, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the Landmark Legal Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, and the American Spectator.

During the presidency of Bill Clinton, Scaife funded investigations into the Clinton’s public and private lives that was as expansive as it was incredulous. He promoted allegations of sexual infidelities, real estate scams, drug running, even the murder of Clinton aide Vince Foster. Through his newspapers, books and films, he relentlessly sought to destroy the Clinton administration and reputation via smear and innuendo.

Independent Prosecutor Ken Starr, who came to head the official Clinton inquisition, was unable to prove any allegation or to succeed in producing a conviction in the Clinton impeachment. However he was later named the inaugural dean of the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, which was created with an endowment by Scaife.

It would have been bad enough for Hillary Clinton to sit down with the Tribune-Review staff given the facts set forth above. But this meeting was more than an editorial gathering. Amongst the participants was head honcho himself – Richard Mellon Scaife.

How could Clinton sit across the table from the man who has made the most vile accusations against her and her family? According to her it was for a lark. She said it was…

“…so counterintuitive that I thought it would be fun to do.”

To allow herself to be questioned by Scaife after his smear campaign against her requires a measure of cognitive disconnect that seems superhuman. It certainly isn’t an afternoon of playful recreation. And what makes this even more bizarrely unthinkable is that she cavorted with her abuser in order to cast abuse at her Democratic rival.

Clinton has previously shown poor judgment in this campaign with regard to the media. She accepts donations from Rupert Murdoch and recently agreed to participate in a Fox News-sponsored debate (which did not take place because Obama declined the invitation). But this transcends any mere deficiency of judgment. What justification is there for submitting yourself to questioning from a man who falsely accused you of murder and other atrocities? Is the need to exploit every media availability so overwhelming that nothing is too repulsive?

If there wasn’t a photograph of it, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Clinton & Scaife
Hillary Clinton and Richard Mellon Scaife

Where exactly are the outer limits of her ambition?

Update: The outer limits are apparently not at distributing articles from the American Spectator, the same magazine that Scaife used to accuse her of murder. The Clinton campaign is circulating a Spectator article that accuses Obama adviser, and former Air Force chief of staff, Merrill McPeak of antisemitism. If she expects people to believe the Spectator’s allegations about McPeak, should we also believe their allegations about how she murdered Vince Foster?