Prosecute the torture.

May 15, 2010

More On Craig Smith And The Trib's Conflict 'o Interest

It's not every week that's for sure but Pittsburgh Tribune-Review staff writer, Craig Smith, can often times be found on the pages of the Trib's editorial page interviewing conservatives tied to institutions supported by the Trib's owner, Richard Mellon Scaife.

There is never a mention of the money trail in any of these interviews.

This week he revisits the Heritage Foundation (beneficiaries of about $24 million of Scaife Foundation money over the years) and it's Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy, former Attorney General Edwin Meese.

They're talking about Elena Kagan - but we'll get to that misinformation later. I wanna look at how entwined Meese is with Scaife money. I've already mentioned The Heritage Foundation.

According to the media transparency project over at mediamatters.com, Ed Meese was director of the Capital Research Center from 1998 to 2007.

Guess what?
  • The Richard Mellon Scaife controlled Sarah Scaife Foundation gave a little over $2 million to the Capital Research Center while Ed Meese was its director.
  • The Richard Mellon Scaife controlled Carthage Foundation gave $225,000 to the Capital Research Center while Ed Meese was its director.
That's about $2.25 million by my count so far.

Again, according to mediamatters, Ed Meese was the Vice-Chairman or Treasurer (depending on the year) of the Landmark Legal Foundation from 1997 to 2007.

Guess what?
  • The Richard Mellon Scaife controlled Carthage Foundation gave $3.75 million to the Landmark Legal Foundation during those years.
  • The Richard Mellon Scaife controlled Sarah Scaife Foundation gave $3.525 million to the Landmark Legal Foundation during those years.
That's a little more than $7.25 million by my count.

Then there's the $240,000 from the Sarah Scaife Foundation while Meese was director of the Mercatus Foundation ($80,000 each in 2006, 2007 and 2008).

So not counting the Heritage Foundation, there's more than $10 million in Scaife controlled money that's gone to institutions with heavy ties to former Attorney General Ed Meese.

And yet not a peep from Craig Smith about any of it in this interview.

Who says there's no vast right-wing conspiracy?

But let's look at that interview. There's a brief apophasistic moment in this Q&A:
Q: Questions have been raised about her sexual orientation. Do you think that will be an issue? Or should it be an issue?

A: I doubt it, I doubt it. I don't see why it should be.
So they get to raise the scary "L-word" by denying that it should be an issue. Sneaky, huh?

But then there's this:
Q: You've found some of the things she's written troubling. What bothers you?

A: Well, there are things that she has written about the court. She hasn't written much, to tell you the truth.

But ... she's had some statements about the First Amendment. I think she's written an article on the ability to censor speech that is what she calls ... hateful speech or improper speech.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the rightwing smear. Look at the framing of the charge: Meese "thinks" she's written an article on "the ability to censor speech." Who's ability? Does it actually say what he says it says? The point is, you can rest assured they want you to think it's another liberal guv'ment bureaucrat censoring conservative speech. That she's looking for ways to censor conservative speech.

Here's the article she wrote, by the way. All 106 pages of it. I wonder if Meese has even read it. I only say that because on page 17 she writes:
Consider the following snapshot of impermissible motives for speech restrictions. First, the government may not restrict expressive activities because it disagrees with or disapproves of the ideas espoused by the speaker; it may not act on the basis of a view of what is a true (or false) belief or a right (or wrong) opinion. Or, to say this in a slightly different way, the government cannot count as a harm, which it has a legitimate interest in preventing, that ideas it considers faulty or abhorrent enter the public dialogue and challenge the official understanding of acceptability or correctness. Second, though relatedly, the government may not restrict speech because the ideas espoused threaten officials' own self-interest-more particularly, their tenure in office. The government, to use the same construction as above, cannot count as a harm, which it has a legitimate interest in preventing, that speech may promote the removal of incumbent officeholders through the political process. Third, and as a corollary to these proscriptions, the government may not privilege either ideas it favors or ideas advancing its self-interest-for example, by exempting certain ideas from a general prohibition. Justice Scalia summarized these tenets in R.A.V.: "The government may not regulate [speech] based on hostility-or favoritism-towards the underlying message expressed."' [emphases added]
She quotes Scalia?? Does Ed Meese know that? Does Craig Smith? Does Richard Mellon Scaife?

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