What Fresh Hell Is This?

October 9, 2010

Craig Smith Does It Again. Again.

Every Saturday, or so it seems, Richard Mellon Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review publishes yet another interview between staff writer Craig Smith and some more often than not prominent member of some more often than not prominent conservative think tank.

How ever many there are, one thing is for certain: Smith never discloses the financial connections between his boss, Richard Mellon Scaife, the foundations Scaife controls (the Allegheny, Carthage and Sarah Scaife Foundations), and the think tank employing the conservative he's interviewing.

This week, Craig Smith interviews Robert L. Pfaltzgraff Jr., founder and president of the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis. Any reader of this blog will know that I've danced this dance before - more than a few times. Even so, I have to admit that the amount of money Scaife's funneled to this particular think tank is, even for me, surprising.

And it's all due to the alphabetical listing of beneficiaries on the Foundation Annual Report.

I started at the most recent reports and found that:
  • in 2009, the Sarah Scaife Foundation gave $710,000 to the IFPA
  • in 2008, the Sarah Scaife Foundation gave $860,000 to the IFPA
  • in 2007, the Sarah Scaife Foundation gave $710,000 to the IFPA
  • in 2006, the Sarah Scaife Foundation gave $735,000 to the IFPA
  • in 2009, the Sarah Scaife Foundation gave $610,000 to the IFPA
By my count, that's $3.625 million.

As the letter "I" is rather close, alphabetically, to the letter "H" it wasn't that difficult for my little eye to spy up the list a wee bit to the Heritage Foundation. And what did I find?

This:
  • in 2009, the Sarah Scaife Foundation gave $600,000 to the Heritage Foundation
  • in 2008, the Sarah Scaife Foundation gave $600,000 to the Heritage Foundation
  • in 2007, the Sarah Scaife Foundation gave $400,000 to the Heritage Foundation
  • in 2006, the Sarah Scaife Foundation gave $800,000 to the Heritage Foundation
  • in 2009, the Sarah Scaife Foundation gave $800,000 to the Heritage Foundation
By my count that's $3.2 million.

What does that tell us, my friends? It tells us that over the last 5 years, Richard Mellon Scaife gave close to a half million dollars more to the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis than he gave to the Heritage Foundation (where he's on the Board of Trustees).

He must really really like the IFPA. Perhaps there's a reason. Perhaps this is it. From the Media Transparency project at media matters:
Founded in 1976 with seed money from the Scaife Family Trust, with the initial goal of bringing awareness of the danger of international communism and the need for a strong defense for the United States...
None of which, of course, is disclosed when Scaife's staff writer, Craig Smith, interviewed Robert Pfaltzgraff, founder and president of the IFPA.

The circle jerk continues.

6 comments:

rich10e said...

"snore"

Pgh_Knight said...

Pointing out the funding is nice and all... but what about the substance of the article? Is what was said true or not?

EdHeath said...

PK, obviously there is a link the article, no one is stopping you from reading it. But I think the point is whether Craig Smith would either ask difficult questions or consider all the issues when his boss Scaife is funding Pfaltzgraff. This is not so much reading a newspaper article as it is reading a press release.

Dayvoe said...

PK;

The content of the interview is (at least for this blog post) irrelevant.

They could be talking about the particle/wave duality found in Quantum theory and it would STILL be a conflict of interest because the paper's readers remain uninformed as to the financial relationship between Scaife and the Institute he funds and his paper interviews.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

The content of the interview is (at least for this blog post) irrelevant.

@Dayvoe.. So.. It's the seriousness of the charge, not the facts. Sweet.

You Liberals are a true work of art. I come here mostly to see how bunched your panties are with respect to the Trib and life in general.

You and Maria should charge the Trib 'rent'.. the 'rent' they're occupying in your mind. :)

EdHeath said...

CM, not only do you spread Republican lies about health care reform and taxation of the rich (even as you hamfistedly bungle the numbers), now you say that say that conflict of interest is no big deal for newspapers, as long as they have the correct point of view.

When the Saudi who owns the second largest share of Fox News finances the Al Qaeda purchase of tactical nuke that kills millions of Americans, will you still think that conflicts of interest are no big deal?