What Fresh Hell Is This?

October 23, 2011


I'm usually a fan of the P-G's Tim McNulty but I think he got this one a just teensy bit wrong (or maybe the snark's too subtle for me to see this Sunday morning).

He's writing about Potter's Slag Heap post that is itself about this hit piece in the Tribune-Review.

And as I said, unless I am missing the snark McNulty writes that while the entire essay is worth reading, the protesters are to blame for the bad press:
Surely they knew they were signing up for this kind of public flagellation when they targeted -- among all the corporate properties spread around Pittsburgh -- one owned by Mellon.
That last link (to "Mellon") gets you to an old Brooks Jackson CNN piece from 1998.  (The formating is kinda quirky so you might find that you can read it clearer here.)  The entwining of Scaife money with right wing causes are well known to anyone reading this blog.  But that's beside the point.  I should point out that BNY Mellon owns the land upon which Occupy Pittsburgh's continuing its protest and I am not sure Richard Mellon Scaife has any direct connection to BNY Mellon.  In a piece from 2007 describing the banking concerns of the various branches of the Mellon family, we learn:
Another well-known member of the Richard Beatty branch is Richard Mellon Scaife, who publishes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and is the chairman of several foundations, including the Sarah Scaife Foundation and the Allegheny Foundation. His mother was Sarah Cordelia Mellon, the daughter of Richard Beatty Mellon. There was a time when Mr. Scaife had a direct connection to the family institution; he was a member of Mellon Financial's board back when it was Mellon Bank from 1958 to 1979. [emphasis added.]
Past tense.  Perhaps things have changed. Perhaps not.  Perhaps he still owns Mellon stock, perhaps not.  No way to know for sure, is there?  Unless I can see a direct connection, I can't assert that there's a direct connection.  But again, that's beside the point.

The point is, take a disinterested step back and take a look at what McNulty is saying. He's saying that the protesters are to blame because they should have known that a backlash like this was going to take place - that the conservative paper in town would counter attack either at the behest of its connection to a wealthy multinational corporation or as a favor to it or in philosophical sympathy with it.

But isn't that (too much corporate influence if not outright control of the news media) among the issues the OWS movement is protesting?

Doesn't Vidonic's hit piece prove that they're right?

Or maybe I missed McNulty's snark.  Maybe he's saying that all along and I just missed it.

UPDATE: An astute reader whose opinion I value big time emailed in to let me know that I, indeed, missed McNulty's snark. Apologies all around.

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