What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 19, 2019

Pro-Choice Richard Mellon Scaife, Down The Memory Hole At The Tribune-Review?

Now this is interesting.

First, what's a "memory hole" anyway?  The name goes back (like a lot of this) to George Orwell and 1984. The main character of the novel, Winston Smith, works in the "Ministry of Truth" where he rewrites history to correspond with new government policies.  The memory holes were for destruction of the old documents. Orwell's description:
In the walls of the cubicle there were three orifices. To the right of the speakwrite, a small pneumatic tube for written messages, to the left, a larger one for newspapers; and in the side wall, within easy reach of Winston's arm, a large oblong slit protected by a wire grating. This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands throughout the building, not only in every room but at short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that any document was due for destruction, or even when one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the building.
By now it's a metaphor for the willful "forgetting" of a truth that doesn't correspond to the current worldview.

Why am I starting here?  After the recent events and its crescendo of attacks on womens' personal sovereignty, I wanted to revisit an Op-Ed from Richard Mellon Scaife (1932-2014), Before he died he (and the foundations he controlled) were some of the main funding streams for right wing conservative advocacy (The Heritage Foundation, for one). His conservative bona fides are solid as solid can be.

On February 27, 2011, I posted this - "giving credit where credit is due" to Scaife for publishing a column at the Trib that called for other conservatives to oppose defunding Planned Parenthood.

Yes, you read that right. Along with funding the Christopher Ruddy and the Clinton Project, along with funding The Heritage Foundation, conservative Scaife supported Planned Parenthood.

He wrote back then:
I met [Margaret] Sanger several times before her death in 1966 and was impressed by her intellect and her commitment to many issues, not the least of which was enabling every woman to be "the absolute mistress of her own body," as she put it.
What would Scaife think of the current abortion laws recently enacted in Alabama, Georgia and Ohio?

On conservatives' opposition to abortion and support for defunding Planned Parenthood, Scaife wrote:
On this issue, Republicans and conservatives are dead wrong.
So I guess that's a clue.

Here's the thing. The column was called "Don't Defund Planned Parenthood" and I linked to it in my blog post.

Go try the link. See what's there.

There's nothing there. The column's been moved. That in itself might not be a bid deal. Sometimes newspapers do that, I suppose, to save server memory for more active and current stuff. They'll move old material onto an "archive" server.

Like this - it's a letter disagreeing with Scaife's Planned Parenthood piece from a few days later.

And now the money-shot: I can't find Scaife's piece at his former newspaper.

Can anyone? I've gone through, google, the search function at the Trib AND the google advanced search, using both triblive.com AND archive.triblive.com and came up with the null set.

But it did make the rounds of various parts of the mediaverse. There's record of it at:
There's even a record that Scaife put out a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal.

Here's what it looked like.

So why can't I find it at The Tribune-Review?

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