What Fresh Hell Is This?

July 7, 2010

More Tribbing At The Trib

Or maybe it's the same tribbing, who knows? Anyway on today's editorial page, Richard Mellon Scaife's braintrust writes:
Capping 7 1/2 long years of unrelenting temerity toward taxpayers, lame-duck Gov. Ed Rendell will go out the same way he came in: as a big spender.

Under legislation to boost the state's debt ceiling by $600 million -- ensuring still more reckless spending -- the guv will get $298 million to seal his spendthrift legacy.

Philadelphia's former mayor reportedly will spend about a third of his brotherly love on his favored city. Among recipients will be the Arlen Specter Library Project Center.

"At least call it 'The Taxpayers Library' or 'The Pennsylvania State Debt Center,'" writes Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation.
We've seen the Commonwealth Foundation before haven't we?

Yes we have. Richard Mellon Scaife has supported the Commonwealth Foundation to the tune of about $2 million.But take a closer look at what they braintrust did. Here's the reference again:
"At least call it 'The Taxpayers Library' or 'The Pennsylvania State Debt Center,'" writes Nathan Benefield of the Commonwealth Foundation.
And then search for the phrase "taxpayers library" at the Commonwealth Foundation you'll find this. It's a blog post about another piece at Capitolwire - something that requires a subscription to read.

Looks to me like the braintrust is using its vast media influence to get the word out (from behind a subscription wall, no less) about some tidbit from the Commonwealth Foundation. All with no mention of the $2 mil Scaife spent on Commonwealth while his editorial board gleefully touts its research.

The circle jerk continues.


EdHeath said...

Is "tribbing" a verb now?

In the Trib's defense, I saw a note somewhere (most likely in the PG) that Rendell signed the budget but lamented it did not have additional taxes he wanted. You know, yeah, we need the State to maintain social programs in this recession and I don't believe we need to worry about fiscal restraint now, but ... Fast Eddie doesn't need to try so hard to be a caricature of a tax and spend Democrat.

So yeah, conflict of interest, but Rendell is Rendell.

Pgh_Knight said...

the real question is: Is the report true?

Nathan Benefield said...


I’m not sure what you are trying to say. That we made up the Murtha and Specter funding, even though it's in the bill text (http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/billinfo/billinfo.cfm?syear=2009&sind=0&body=H&type=B&BN=2289)?

Or that we own Capitolwire, rather than just subscribe to the news service? Or that we control the entire media in this state (since the Specter and Murtha projects were mentioned in the Morning Call, the Post-Gazette, and the Inquirer?

Basically, we report facts, and you respond with "Commonwealth Foundation is evil." Intelligent response.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Thought I'd pass these thoughts along from another Website...

Every entrance to the Specter building will have revolving doors and turnstiles and there will be a life-size Arlen Specter-shaped weather vane on top.

And the Murtha building will have a giant sculpture of a pork chop on the roof.

Re: The Murtha building..
Let’s go all out and shape it like a piggy bank.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Those funny comments provided from FreeRepublic.

Bram Reichbaum said...


I believe Dayvoe's brief has been that the same folks who fund the CF write the Trib editorials which so frequently cite the CF -- which is a pattern at the Trib and maybe a couple other conservative think tanks as well.

I'm not sure how "evil" that is, but I can see where the Trib maybe ought to disclose whenever its publishers are basically quoting themselves. You don't see Post-Gazette editorials constantly leaning for support on some liberal think-tank that it is itself a part of or helped to start.

It speaks to the narrow insularity of the conservative brand that it needs to arrange these mirrors for the generation of optimal echoes.

Conservative Mountaineer said...


Right. I'm sure an editorial writer makes specific decisions concerning the amount of funds he/she, Scaife or anyone else makes to CF. H*ll, if he/she has the ability to make those decisions.. I want a jib as an editorial writer for the Trib.. gotta be worth more than I'm making right now.. and I'm an 'evil Conservative'.

Nice try. Please choose something from the bottom shelf.

EdHeath said...

@Conservative Mountaineer, apparently the specific newspaper has made a decision not to disclose when they are citing sources the owner of the paper also makes donations to. Do you think that newspapers should reveal conflicts of interest?

Obviously your comments about editorial writers deciding how much to send in grants to entities like the Commonwealth Foundation indicates you think we are stupid. I assume you don't dispute Dayvoe's numbers, so I guess you are just showing contempt for the concept of transparency and truth. Just like Michael Steele and the Republicans in Congress.

By the way, what did Bush accomplish in Afghanistan in his seven years?

Dayvoe said...

Dudes! Do I need to say it again? I guess I do, dudes.

It's a conflict of interest for the Trib to not disclose that its owner, Richard Mellon Scaife, has financially supported the think tank it is using as an informational source.

I thought it was a simple point.

Pgh_Knight said...

Now that we've cleared that up... Is the report true?

Bram Reichbaum said...

Well, that's a much SHORTER way to say it, yes. I suppose if you just want to go at it like a neanderthal...

Pgh_Knight said...


Why will no one answer my question?