ARCHIVE: The Scaife Divorce Mess

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The WAPO, for once, performs a genuine public service by running this story

Low Road to Splitsville—

Right-Wing Publisher’s Breakup Is Super-Rich In Tawdry Details

By David Segal Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 22, 2007
PITTSBURGH  With some select comments from original thread
[print_link]  Looking for a perfect little weekend vacation this fall? Here’s a travel tip you don’t hear very often: Head to Pittsburgh. Right away.
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Seriously, get in the car and read this story later, because when you’re done reading, you’ll wish you’d left 10 minutes ago. There are towns with better vistas, sure, and there are getaways with more sunshine. But only Pittsburgh is the scene of the fabulously tawdry and surpassingly vicious spectacle that is the divorce of Richard Mellon Scaife.
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Remember him? The cantankerous, reclusive 75-year-old billionaire who’s spent a sizable chunk of his inherited fortune bankrolling conservative causes and trying to kneecap Democrats? He’s best known for funding efforts to smear then-President Bill Clinton, but more quietly he’s given in excess of $300 million to right-leaning activists, watchdogs and think tanks. Atop his list of favorite donees: the family-values-focused Heritage Foundation, which has published papers with titles such as “Restoring a Culture of Marriage.”
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The culture of his own marriage is apparently past restoring. With the legal fight still in the weigh-in phase, the story of Scaife v. Scaife already includes a dog-snatching, an assault, a night in jail and that divorce court perennial, allegations of adultery. Oh, and there’s the money. Three words, people.
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No. Pre. Nup.
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Unfathomable but true, when Scaife (rhymes with safe) married his second wife, Margaret “Ritchie” Scaife, in 1991, he neglected to wall off a fortune that Forbes recently valued at $1.3 billion. This, to understate matters, is likely going to cost him, big time. As part of a temporary settlement, 60-year-old Ritchie Scaife is currently cashing an alimony check that at first glance will look like a typo: $725,000 a month. Or about $24,000 a day, seven days a week. As Richard Scaife’s exasperated lawyers put it in a filing, “The temporary order produces an amount so large that just the income from it, invested at 5 percent, is greater each year than the salary of the President of the United States.”
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The numbers are just one of many we-kid-you-not dimensions to this tale. In late 2005, Ritchie Scaife peered through a window at one of her husband’s many homes and saw him with one Tammy Sue Vasco, a woman whose colorful criminal history includes an arrest for prostitution. And this tryst was no one-afternoon stand. Ritchie Scaife describes Vasco in court filings as her husband’s “mistress.”
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It gets better. But to fully appreciate this mesmerizing debacle, one must study it up close, for its many strategic blunders and its moments of epic brutality — like a visit to Gettysburg, minus the gravitas. The good news, weekend travelers, is you can get close enough to most of the landmarks to gawk to your heart’s content.
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So buy a map and pack a lunch. And keep your hands inside the car.
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Fireworks From the Start
We begin in Ligonier, 50 miles east of the city, at the Rolling Rock Club, once part of the Mellon estate, now a social center for the city’s small community of super-rich, a place where Dick Cheney has gone game bird-hunting on a few occasions. The Scaifes wed here 16 years ago, with a reception that included a massive display of fireworks. The two had been openly dating for years, while Richard was married to his first wife, the former Frances Gilmore, with whom he had two children, and Ritchie was married to an attorney named Westray Battle, with whom she had a son.
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Friends were not surprised that Ritchie, with her elegant cheekbones and lilting Southern accent, had turned the head of one of the country’s richest men, currently No. 380 in the Forbes 400. She is known within high society as a woman who is fierce and formidable when she has a goal in mind, and in the ’80s, her top priority was marrying Richard Scaife, say acquaintances.
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Now, to the site of postnuptial domestic bliss, such as it was.
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Head west on Route 30 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and follow the signs to Pittsburgh. Once in the city, notice that “Mellon” is slapped on just about everything — buildings, libraries, banks, streets, and on and on. That would be Andrew Mellon, the uncle of Richard Scaife’s mother, a financial wiz who built a Gilded Age fortune through banking and oil. Income from the trusts of that estate yields roughly $45 million a year for Scaife, according to a filing by his wife. That’s a gross disposable income of nearly $4 million a month, apparently just for having been born. As the lawyer of his soon-to-be-ex-wife noted, “These massive streams of income are attributable to no employment, business enterprise or other effort — intellectual, physical, creative or ministerial — past or present.”
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During the years they dated, Richard and Ritchie had lived a block and a half apart, in a moneyed section of town called Shadyside. Once the two were united in holy matrimony, for reasons perhaps only they know, the arrangement didn’t change. She lived on a cul-de-sac called Pitcairn Place. He lived two blocks away, on Westminster Place, in a huge red-brick Georgian-style home, with a multi-car garage and an American flag on the front door.
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Dickie, as he’s known to his handful of friends, acquired a mean streak at an early age, according to his now-deceased sister, Cordelia Scaife. (She once told The Washington Post that she and her brother hadn’t spoken for 25 years.) His trouble with alcohol started when he was at prep school, and he later was tossed out of Yale when he rolled a keg of beer down a flight of stairs and broke the legs of a fellow student. His father, a below-average businessman, died a year after Richard graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. His mother was “just a gutter drunk,” as Cordelia put it.
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Scaife owns a handful of newspapers and newsweeklies, including the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, a conservative answer to the Post-Gazette. When he isn’t tending to this modest publishing empire, he’s underwriting what Hillary Clinton once called “a vast right-wing conspiracy.” His highest-profile expenditure is the $2.3 million he gave the American Spectator magazine in the mid-’90s, to try to unearth prurient and embarrassing details about Bill Clinton’s years as governor of Arkansas. (The magazine came up virtually empty-handed.)
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Though he jousts, indirectly, with public figures, Scaife seems to detest attention. He almost never speaks to the media, and on one of the few occasions he did, it was to tell a reporter, who’d sandbagged him on the street, that she was ugly and that her mother was ugly, too.
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But Scaife is said to be extremely kind to his staff, which includes security, a chef, housekeepers, and a pilot for his DC-9. His lawyer did not return calls requesting comment for this story.
As for Ritchie Scaife, she was considered by her peers to be ostentatious and a touch too loud, say two acquaintances. Publicly, she was credited with helping to humanize her husband. It was she who reportedly helped him get sober after years of alcoholism, and she who persuaded him to channel some of his philanthropic largess to tsunami relief. (Richard Scaife has long given to charitable causes, but conservative politics is his passion.) Ritchie was involved with his business, too, serving on the board of her husband’s publishing company. Through her lawyer, she declined to comment for this article.
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At some point in late 2005, Ritchie started having suspicions about her husband and hired a private investigator named Keith Scannell, a specialist in high-end surveillance for insurance companies. In December of that year, Scannell followed Richard Scaife to nearby North Huntingdon, home of Doug’s Motel, a place where the TVs are bolted to the furniture and rooms can be rented in three-hour increments, for $28. (It’s now under new management and renamed the Huntingdon Inn. Head east on Route 8, then east on Route 30.) There, according to Scannell, Scaife spent a few hours with Tammy Sue Vasco.
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Why a billionaire would shack up at Doug’s Motel, of all places, is a mystery. Ditto his choice of companions. Vasco is a tall, blond 43-year-old mother who in 1993 was busted in a sting operation after showing up at a Sheraton hotel and offering to have sex with an undercover cop for $225, the Post-Gazette reported.
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Social Register material she is not, but Vasco and Scaife seemed to have a relationship that went beyond the purely professional. The two usually met each other twice a week, for months, at the motel, says an employee of the motel. Scaife would show up in a chauffeured car, dressed in a suit, wearing cuff links, always bearing flowers. Vasco would be waiting in same room every time, Room 5 on the ground floor, facing the parking lot, said the employee. Mr. Dick, as he was known at the motel, would stay for two hours or so, then get back in the car, which had been waiting, and leave.
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“He actually seemed infatuated with Tammy,” says the Doug’s Motel employee, who did not want to be identified because of the powerful parties in the case. “She’d talk about trips that he took her on, to California, New York City. And it was great for her. It changed her life.”
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Despite a long history of financial disputes and a variety of liens, Vasco currently lives in a three-bedroom house that an attorney named Patrick Derrico bought outright for $50,000 a few years ago. Her name is currently on the deed. Derrico, who practices in Washington, Pa., would not discuss the deal, or Vasco.
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She has also traded up from the Jeep she once drove. She’s now behind the wheel of a dark green Toyota Sequoia, a large SUV that goes for about $40,000. Attempts to reach her for comment through her father, who lives in West Virginia, and through Derrico were not successful. She did not reply to a message hand-delivered to her home.
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A few days after Scannell reported the Doug’s Motel rendezvous to Ritchie Scaife, she noticed Vasco’s Jeep in the driveway of his mansion at Westminster Place. Gaping through a window, according to court papers filed by her lawyers, she spotted Vasco. Then the trouble started.
Private investigator Scannell, commenting on what became a much-discussed local news story, put it this way: “Mrs. Scaife acted as any loving wife would upon finding out just days earlier that her husband had a confirmed meeting, for several hours, at a $40 motel with a woman previously arrested for prostitution.”
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Police would later say that Ritchie Scaife began pounding on doors and windows and refused to leave, which is why she was promptly arrested for “defiant trespass.” She was handcuffed and driven downtown to the Allegheny County Jail — near the Liberty Bridge, at 950 Second Ave. — where a woman accustomed to traveling with a personal hairdresser spent the night in what her lawyers later called a “grim” holding cell.
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The trespassing charge was eventually dismissed, but as Ritchie Scaife’s lawyer stated in a divorce filing, “The marriage was over!”
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Baring Fangs
Both sides lawyered up, and the war over the Scaifes’ considerable assets began. Ritchie started at a bit of a disadvantage: Few of her belongings were actually in her possession. In 2002, Richard had told his wife that as a birthday gift he would renovate her home, which required her to temporarily relocate virtually everything she owned. When the legal proceedings began in early 2006, Ritchie’s home was still uninhabitable, and she lived around the corner from Pitcairn Place, at the home of William Pietragallo, her lawyer, and Pietragallo’s wife, a friend of Ritchie’s for many years.
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For Pietragallo and his colleagues, one of the first orders of business was persuading Richard to cough up his wife’s goods. Which took some doing. A lawsuit was filed, with Ritchie’s lawyers accusing Richard of behavior “designed to harass and annoy Wife” and “to create obfuscation, chaos and uncertainty as to the existence, location, condition and ownership of the vast amounts of personal property owned by the parties.”
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The key word here is “vast.” One of the most astounding stacks of papers in the pile that is the Scaife divorce is the inventory of Ritchie’s stuff, compiled by her lawyers. The list runs for more than 80 pages, like an episode of “Antiques Roadshow” that will not end. Meat platters, sardine forks, melon forks, a circa-1804 Dutch teapot, a painting by Magritte, Victorian cream pitchers, bread trays, candlesticks, a sterling silver nutmeg grater, flatware service . . . you get the picture. Much of it was stored at Vallamont, the weekend house Richard Scaife owns near the Rolling Rock Club.
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“Defendant has and continues to unlawfully hold in his possession six pairs of asparagus tongs manufactured by Mappin & Webb, Birmingham, 1926 weighing 10 ounces total,” reads one of dozens of paragraphs. “The last-known location for these items was at ‘Vallamont,’ 132 Pheasant Circle, Ligonier, Pa. 15658. The estimated cost for these items is $1,800.”
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Eventually, Scaife returned this massive collection, with Ritchie’s lawyers accusing him of “dumping” the stuff on her without a proper heads-up. Scaife’s lawyers countered that the transfer was handled with respect and care.
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The real fight, though, was not over the Shreve & Co. finger bowls. It was over the dog. Specifically, a yellow Labrador retriever named Beauregard, who Ritchie has told friends is a direct descendant of a pooch belonging to a king of England. Until March 2006, the animal was in Ritchie’s hands, living with her and the Pietragallos. Then one day, Beauregard was scooped out of the Pietragallos’ back yard and whisked around the corner, to Richard’s house on Westminster.
This brazen canine abduction was not covered up. Quite the opposite. It was celebrated with a banner on wooden stakes posted on Richard’s front lawn: “Welcome home, Beauregard,” it read.
It’s safe to assume that despite his lineage, Beauregard is unable to read. The point, it seems, was to needle Ritchie. And it did.
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On the afternoon of April 6, 2006, Ritchie stopped her car when she spotted a housekeeper of Richard’s walking Beauregard in the neighborhood. Game on. The cops later said that Ritchie punched 51-year-old Sue Patterson, then tried to grab the dog. A secretary of Richard’s, 77-year-old Genevieve Still, saw Ritchie and Patterson on the ground, with Ritchie on top, pulling Patterson’s hair. When she tried to intervene, Still wound up with “a swift kick to the lower back,” she told police. Then a security guard named Dennis Bradshaw got in on the action and took a slap to the head, which reportedly broke his glasses.
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Ritchie did not win this one-on-three suburban cage match, nor did she manage to grab Beauregard. She did, however, get arrested, again, this time for assault. All three of Richard Scaife’s employees went to the hospital, where they were treated for scratches and bruises, then released, the Post-Gazette reported. A judge eventually dismissed the assault case, though personal-injury lawsuits by the employees are still pending.
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Beauregard, by the way, still lives with Richard.
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The lawsuits did little, it seems, to sate Ritchie’s appetite for confrontation. In September of last year, she drove to Vasco’s home, located in nearby Port Vue, perhaps to get a better look at her husband’s paramour. Ritchie allegedly started shouting obscenities. Many obscenities, and she caused some kind of ruckus. Enough to provoke Vasco’s 20-ish daughter, Winnifred, to file a criminal harassment complaint with a local magistrate, accusing Ritchie of what might be described as carrying on.
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That charge was also eventually dismissed.
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A Media Magnate & Magnet
The fight for the dog is matched in intensity only by the fight for the money. The filings in this case have unveiled a scrumptious buffet of new information about Richard Scaife’s riches — where they’ve come from and where they’ve gone. Until a few weeks ago, these documents were under seal, by consent of both parties. Then the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discovered that someone in Allegheny County’s prothonotary’s office had mistakenly, and briefly, posted filings in the case on a part of its Web site that is publicly accessible.
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Now we know that Scaife is beneficiary of nine different trusts, including one called the “1935 Trust,” with an approximate value of $210 million, and another called “The Revocable Trust,” valued at $655 million. Altogether, these gushers are worth about $1.4 billion.
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We learned, too, that the Tribune-Review has been a gurgling sinkhole from Day One; Scaife’s lawyers say their client has pumped as much as $312 million into it over the years. And he’s going to have to keep on pumping. The Tribune-Review’s CEO has predicted an annual shortfall of $20 million for years to come.
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These figures matter in the divorce because Scaife is arguing that the funds he forwards to the Tribune-Review should be deducted from his aggregate income, putting his annual haul closer to $17 million a year, a long way from the $45 million a year cited by Ritchie’s lawyers. If true, that would of course reduce the monthly alimony check he could owe his wife once there’s a permanent settlement.
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Not surprisingly, Ritchie Scaife’s attorneys have a different view. They say that Richard Scaife operates the Tribune-Review with so little concern for profit and loss that it’s more a hobby than a business.
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Viable corporation or sugar daddy’s divertissement — either way, you can take a gander at the Pittsburgh office of the Tribune-Review. It’s on the third floor of the building that was once the factory where the Clark candy bar was made, near the fields where the Pirates and Steelers play. (Over the Fort Duquesne Bridge, to 503 Martindale St.)
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So, plenty to see, and truth be told, plenty of time to see it. A final settlement could easily be a year away, and the meanness, for all we know, has just begun. Which is why the Scaife Divorce Tour of Pittsburgh could be the ultimate family vacation. If it doesn’t bring your family together — in mutual horror, in a group hug that says “we don’t have it that bad” — nothing will. Drive safely!
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NOTE ON THE AUTHOR:
David Segal hails from Rhode Island, where he once foisted himself backstage at an X concert and demanded autographs from all four bandmembers. They happily obliged.
For a few years, he played guitar and sang in a deeply terrible cover band, the Bremers. The highlight of the group’s show was a stalker version of “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane,” which was retitled “You’re NOT Leavin’ on a Jet Plane.” He’s been at The Post for going on eight years, first as a Book World editor, then a Business section reporter and finally as pop music critic. He enjoys the work and would like to point out that he is writing his bio, even though it’s written in the third person, like someone else wrote it. Segal is doing that so he appears more important than he is, which is hilarious when you think about it!
Staff researcher Rena Kirsch contributed to this story.
4 comments on “ARCHIVE: The Scaife Divorce Mess
  1. This divorce story is certainly funny –up to a point–as it sheds quasi comical light on Richard Mellon Scaife, a secretive billionaire bastard that has been financing the Right Wing Big Lie machine for decades, outgunning even fellow scumbags like Joe Coors and the Koch brothers, recently the subject of much needed exposés… But this guy also has a sinister side, and that concerns the death (or murder) of Steve Kangas (Google it!). Here’s a down payment on that:

    Steve Kangas (born Steven Robert Esh on 11 May 1961, died 8.February 1999) was a journalist, political activist and chess teacher known for his website Liberalism Resurgent [1] and highly political usenet postings[2]. Until 1986 he worked for military intelligence. His stay in Berlin turned him from a conservative into a progressive liberal socialist.[3]. His writings were sharply critical of business propaganda of the overclass[4] and CIA[5].

    Death

    He died of a gunshot wound under unclear circumstances[6][7]. He was found on the 39th floor in the restroom of the offices of Richard Mellon Scaife[8] inside One Oxford Center, Pittsburgh. It was ruled a suicide by local police.

    Interesting, isn’t it? And how quickly the local cops and authorities walked away from the inquiry. Haven’t we seen this before? It used to be the staple of 1940s film noirs, where by the last roll they manage to unmask the Big Shot…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Kangas

    L.B., Orlando, Fla.

  2. Your Comments On…
    Low Road to Splitsville
    PITTSBURGH Looking for a perfect little weekend vacation this fall? Here’s a travel tip you don’t hear very often: Head to Pittsburgh. Right away. Seriously, get in the car and read this story later, because when you’re done reading, you’ll wish you’d left 10 minutes ago. There are towns with be…
     – By David Segal

     
    Comments
    maryann12 wrote:
    What more can we expect from the Mother of all “Fricks”. At least only the dog was left confused and used.
    3/8/2008 10:54:48 AM

    restons wrote:
    Like all the best stories, it’s deliciously true. And for this native of Pittsburgh, a wonderfully savory dish. Let’s see Ritchie take Vasco in a cage match. Vasco is younger but Ritchie has a lot of anger.
    10/30/2007 4:40:46 PM

    impeachbush wrote:
    Another right wing hypocrite!

    I hope she gets it all!

    10/25/2007 9:46:21 AM

    olo_2003 wrote:
    If ever I have seen a reason for increasing rather than eliminating the inheritance tax, this group is it.
    10/24/2007 4:43:42 PM

    tjaunk wrote:
    This guy is a poster boy for increasing the estate tax. I’m sure he got a Bush tax cut to go along with his other hypocritical actions. Too bad Bush was not under that keg!
    10/24/2007 2:44:09 PM

    mjmoriah wrote:
    What sweet justice! As with all those malicious, self-righteous, right-wing hypocrites, it’s just a matter of time before the skeletons start tumbling out of their closets! For some, the chilling part is how shockingly scandalous and tawdry they are!
    10/24/2007 9:47:27 AM

    kathybakkila wrote:
    Thanks for a great article. Pittsburgh is suffering with the Tribune-Review,it is given away to hospital patients,schools and its Sunday edition is included free with any local neighborhood weekly that he owns(which is most of them). You can not even cancel it! Our Post-Gazette can not afford to compete with it. Scaife-another values voter!
    10/24/2007 8:11:57 AM

    NoOneYouKnow wrote:
    For more on Mr. Scaife’s evil, google “Steve Kangas”. No joke.
    10/23/2007 2:38:18 PM

    markwilliams1 wrote:
    Poor Dickie, thinking with the wrong head; a trust baby affliction if there ever was one. There are a number of good book ideas in this story. How to Make a Small Fortune Out of a Big Fortune; Investing While Inebriated; Prenuptials While Going Postal; Christian Political Financing – How To Get Morals When You Got None; When The Mattress Tears I Will See Her in the Spring; so many good themes are coming from this story.
    10/23/2007 2:35:38 PM

    bird52 wrote:
    It says something about the MSM that Scaife is so unknown to many wingnuts, yet Soros is a household name to them. The Limbaugh Liberal Media Lie takes in these suckers every time.
    10/23/2007 12:26:54 PM

    timbo60 wrote:
    Hilarious. However, one has to quibble with the notion that Scaife’s support of the Spectator was unsuccessful since that was, as I recall (am I wrong?) the first outlet to pass along the tale of a woman named Paula, no last name given, who turned out to be Paula Jones. Who eventually had a little bit of an impact.
    10/23/2007 12:14:40 PM

    school_is_in_session wrote:
    This is news? After Mark Foley, David Vitter and Lavender Larry – poster boys for “family values”?

    Estate Tax: Coming soon to a republican near you.

    10/22/2007 11:19:29 PM

    JPRS wrote:
    Between Helmsley and Scaife this one is yet another fine argument in favor of the Estate Tax.

    At least Helmsley can claim that she earned her wealth through a little bit of hustle and hard-work. Scaife’s wealth appears to have been due entirely to an accident of birth. Even the Feds could put a portion of that wealth to more productive use for working families than this guy has done.

    What a simultaneously hilarious and pathetic story. Very well written.
    10/22/2007 10:15:17 PM

    rmkraus wrote:
    This article about Scaife, his life, and his marital problems is a sorry example of how the Washington Post panders to the most degrading instincts and desires of readers. And, of course, the readers’ comments and the publishing thereof adds to the sleaziness of the subject matter. It seems that the Post has a pencchant for tabloid journalism. The First Amendment was certainly not meant to protect the Post’s right to publish this crap.
    10/22/2007 10:07:49 PM

    DC12 wrote:
    Gossip, trash, garbage etc. BUT don’t we all love to wallow in it? Come on, you didn’t have to click on that article; nobody held a gun to your head !

    Now, of course, the “discourse” has just degenerated into good old fashioned ranting. Ah, but good gossip to talk about for weeks…..now that’s something !

    Happy “bread and circus” time everyone !!
    10/22/2007 10:03:34 PM

    orr22 wrote:
    The new conservatives are just bad at everything. War, divorce, occupation preparation, (no pre-nup, no plan B) they’re even bad at being bad.
    10/22/2007 9:54:35 PM

    mimi424 wrote:
    Couldn’t happen to a more well deserving creep.
    10/22/2007 8:54:11 PM

    WestCoast1 wrote:
    As rich as he is and he couldn’t buy Good Karma? Must not have been shopping in the right place.

    Brilliant, imaginative piece, Mr. Segal.
    10/22/2007 8:52:58 PM

    lwps wrote:
    Vast right wing conspiracy, my eye! Just a busy body with a few trust funds.
    10/22/2007 8:42:26 PM

    g-lo wrote:
    Bush set a fine example of hypocrisy on a grand scale, and now we can see where that has led his followers.
    10/22/2007 7:46:10 PM

    GoetheHelenWaite wrote:
    It is hard to say what had me laughing harder, the subject matter or the deliciously wicked and witty way in which the article was written.

    The only characters I have sympathy for in this little menage au fools are the dog and the housekeeper who was walking him. I am sure the dog will be fine. I hope the housekeeper gets a tidy settlement.

    Perhaps the most shocking thing is that the aggrieved trophy wife is only 15 years younger than her wandering spouse and not 25 years, as is the norm. Oh, wait, the mistress is 32 years yuunger. My faith in dirty old men, greedy women and the wonders of Sildenafil remain firm.
    10/22/2007 7:32:03 PM

    badgervan wrote:
    Thank you WP and David Segal for this story exposing the hypocrisy of the moneyman behind the vast right wing conspiracy. This paranoid, spiteful, immature and just plain mean “family values” rethug, Mr. Scaife, has been flying under the radar for too many years. Good to see him exposed for the thug that he is, and always has been.

    How does it feel to have the shoe on the other foot, Scaife? You spent millions to dig up dirt on the Clintons, unsuccessfully, and you continue to fund the worst of the right wing smear machines.

    Man, I love it when hypocrites are exposed – and there isn’t a bigger hypocrite in the rethug party than Scaife. I hope the wife wipes you out, you miserable excuse for a human being.

    All the millions in the world can’t buy class, or basic human decency. Could not happen to a better example of who and what is behind today’s republcan party.
    Enjoy your newfound celebrity, Mr. Scaife – those who live to smear others had best live more ethically than you have.
    10/22/2007 7:27:04 PM

    HillMan wrote:
    IT1:

    I don’t work on Capitol Hill, and I had heard of Scaife. In large part because he has paid millions to make my daily life more difficult because he doesn’t like gay people.

    Just because he’s not a household name (outside of Pittsburg and certain hate group circles) doesn’t mean his tale of hypocrisy isn’t worth reporting on.
    10/22/2007 7:04:06 PM

    LeRiverend wrote:
    Can we increase the estate tax immediately?
    Everything over $10 million is taken away and given to social programs for the poor and disease prevention. The $10 million number is what I think W. Buffett is planning to leave his heirs. sizable, but not repugnant.
    10/22/2007 6:33:51 PM

    HillMan wrote:
    Scaife and his paid minions have been demonizing my personal life for decades now. Yet my loving same sex relationship is going strong, even after 20 years of having people like Scaife do all in their power to break us up.

    So for those of you saying he deserves privacy and respect and dignity in his marital matters, I ask you to consider all the crap he’s done to gay people and our private relationships over the decades.
    10/22/2007 6:15:40 PM

    HillMan wrote:
    So let’s see. This guy cheated on his first wife with his second wife. Then he cheated on her.

    Yet the real threat to his marriage was gay marriage and gay’s ordained to priesthood?

    The hypocrisy here is almost unbelievable. But, then, sadly, it’s all too believable.
    10/22/2007 6:11:20 PM

    jbleenyc wrote:
    David Segal’s entertaining take on this divorce almosts masks the unsavory details of this couple’s shenanigans. In the spirit of retribution – he deserves what he gets for his mean-spiritedness and damaging mischief-making. He should be shorn of his billions if he continues to spend it in such shabby ways.
    10/22/2007 5:11:57 PM

    dlbarber1954 wrote:
    Either Monty Python or George Bernard Shaw should turn this into a play, or perhaps Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte could turn it into opera, directed by Andre Previn.

    And to all the whiners about “yellow journalism”: Mr. Mellon-Scaife spent unearned millions digging into Mr. Clinton’s misadventures. Enquiring readers deserve to know a bit about the personal drama behind such an influential fellow.

    I must add that the author, David Segal, doesn’t show proper respect to Pittsburgh’s vistas – but the Steelers can handle that, next time they face the Skins.
    10/22/2007 4:51:59 PM

    Diogenes wrote:
    No doubt the Heritage Foundation will come up with an excuse for Scaife which will convince their readers that the Clinton’s, through some devious plot, set him up in retaliation for his attempts to ruin their reputations. Yep, marriage is sacred to these conservatives.
    10/22/2007 4:51:58 PM

    orray wrote:
    Typical Republican family values hypocrisy–we have Giuliani, Thompson, Vetter, Gingrich, Craig, etc. Maybe it’s good that they take their social deviance out in their personal lives, or else they might be contributing more to the torture-lust of the Bush-Cheney crew.
    10/22/2007 4:42:25 PM

    rgathman wrote:
    “Ritchie” needs to really cap her revenge by granting sizable money to Moveon.org. Please! Do it for the woman scorned in your heart, Ritchie! Don’t take that old mule fooling around on you! For other charity choices, check with George Soros. This might be the start of a beautiful relationship.
    10/22/2007 4:28:13 PM

    markinirvine wrote:
    This couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy. I can’t wait to hear what the GOP’s current family-values mouthpiece has to say about this hypocrite … oh? there won’t be a statement? what a surprise. Sic transit stercus.
    10/22/2007 4:20:31 PM

    HeavyJ wrote:
    Kudos to Segal for fitfully snarking this hypocritical scumbag.
    10/22/2007 3:45:39 PM

    enkidu1 wrote:
    LOL. From the Caesars to the Hiltons and now the Scaifes, this is the same story playing out. It only takes a few generations for a once great family to turn into a hot mess. And of course the tone of the article is gleeful. Here’s a guy who’s greatest achievement was inhabiting the right womb. He’s produced no wealth of his own and spends his inheritance losing money on his hobbies and purchasing cheap prostitutes.

    Sinfonian wrote:
    The Right will never get it.

    First of all, any claim that the Post is “liberal” is ridiculous on its face. Any “news” organization that employs David Broder, Fred Hiatt, and David Brooks (among many others) is no more “liberal” than the jingoistic flagwavers complaining about the bias.

    Secondly, the Scaife divorce is news not so much because R.M. Scaife is conservative and generously funds conservative causes, but because he’s a world-class hypocrite. In short, don’t bankroll a bunch of “family values” causes and candidates and then hang out at the No-Tell Motel, unless you want your laundry hung out to dry for all to see.

    Scaife deserves the attention. And thus the Republican Party continues to disintegrate beneath the weight of its own monumental hypocrisy. Now THAT’S schadenfreude.
    10/22/2007 12:35:19 PM

    mrjaydc wrote:
    Oh BOO HOO for the Scaifes and their sad marital state being made public. Tsk tsk and for shame on the Wash Post for making public fodder of a marriage.

    BULL. Scaife made it his personal expensive hobby to target the Clintons for years. He’s also been a personal piggy bank to all the conservative clap trap about marriage and “family values.”

    As a gay man, happily “partnered” for nearly 20 years, I’m always responding to anti-gay marriage nonsense with this simple request: When do I get to debate YOUR marriage?

    Thank you, Wash Post, for providing such an opportunity.
    10/22/2007 12:12:05 PM

    wapo1 wrote:
    Several commenters express irritation over the allegedly sleazy journalism practiced here. Somehow, I rather doubt that these pecksniffs have ever in their lives lamented the low state of journalistic reportage in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review or the American Spectator.

    It’s only fitting that the unveiling of Scaife’s rank hypocrisy be criticized by hypocrites.
    10/22/2007 12:08:52 PM

    JC505 wrote:
    Sic Semper Republicanis!
    10/22/2007 11:31:01 AM

    strictures wrote:
    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa
    Go Ritchie go!
    Take as much of his money as possible & keep giving us much joy at his suffering.
    I love schadenfreude!
    10/22/2007 11:16:42 AM

    skylark1 wrote:
    Made a mistake in my previous post. She’s getting $24,000 a day in alimony, not a month. Wouldn’t want her to starve, after all.
    10/22/2007 10:47:43 AM

    coffee260 wrote:
    This obscene reveling in someone else’s misery shows readers more about what kind of a person the author is than what kind of people the Scaife’s are. After reading it I wasn’t so much amused by the Scaife’s irreconcilable differences and brutally messy divorce. I was saddened that someone who writes for one of the nations tops newspapers found joy in this couples misery and misfortunes.

    Sadly, the author represents something going seriously wrong in America and particularly in the media. When one of the nations top newspapers prints the gleeful sadistic musings of a reporter about a couple’s brutal divorce simply because that couple doesn’t share that reporters politics, something has gone terribly wrong in that reporter’s life and with his employer.

    It’s stories like this one that makes Americans hold in contempt most reporters and media organizations. Luckily, their influence on the citizens of this great country has dwindled and is dwindling fast. This is a good thing.
    10/22/2007 10:38:58 AM

    isthisajoke wrote:
    Let’s not forget the bathroom stop on this tour. One of Scaife’s fans shot himself in the bathroom down the hall from Scaife’s office. Oh, and if you want to read yellow journalism sometime people, pick up the Pittsburgh Tribune. It actually makes Fox News look “fair and balanced!” [This commenter’s assertion is dubious. See the first post by Loren Barsteller—Eds]
    10/22/2007 10:35:00 AM

    skylark1 wrote:
    Coupled with a story about diminishing paychecks for the working poor, we have interesting picture of the US in 2007. There are people who have never worked a day in their lives living on $24,000 a month, while the working class has to try and hold down 2 jobs just to begin to pay their bills. Doesn’t seem fair somehow.
    10/22/2007 10:33:20 AM

    szwheelock wrote:
    Ritchie Scaife is my heroine. The only other thing that comes anywhere near generating this big a belly laugh is the impotent mewling and puking of the lying redneck pit bull right. They can dish it out, but God forbid they should ever have to take it.
    10/22/2007 9:42:27 AM

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