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Ear to the Ground

‘Philandering’ Scaife Hoisted on His Own Petard

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Posted on Jan 3, 2008
Scaife
vanityfair.com

The beginning of the end:  Richard Mellon Scaife and his second wife, Margaret Ritchie Rhea Battle Scaife, posed for a holiday greeting in 2005, just before his infidelity was confirmed by a private investigator.

Over a decade after he bankrollled conservative sting operations into Bill Clinton’s personal life—adding serious oomph to what Hillary Clinton famously dubbed a “vast right-wing conspiracy”—Richard Mellon Scaife, scion of Pittsburgh’s famous Mellon banking and industry dynasty, has also been busted for cheating, and has recently broken bread with Bill in the former president’s New York office.


Vanity Fair:

Asked whether his infidelity is hypocritical, in light of his political commitments, [Scaife] refers not to a moral principle but to his own personal history. “My first marriage ended with an affair,” he says, amused. And monogamy is not, he continues, an essential part of a good marriage. “I don’t want people throwing rocks at me in the street. But I believe in open marriage.” Philandering, Scaife says with a laugh, “is something that Bill Clinton and I have in common.”

Those are surprising words indeed to hear from a man who spent so lavishly to uncover Bill Clinton’s sexual peccadilloes and to advance the movement fueled by family values. But it would be a mistake to read the saga of Richard Mellon Scaife’s divorce as simply a story of moral hypocrisy. His treatment of women, especially his first wife, suggests a high regard for his own gratification. His commitment to conservative politics has never been primarily about upholding traditional morality; it has been about promoting policies that help to preserve his own wealth and that of people like himself. On the subject of Clinton, his weather vane is now spinning wildly. Scaife speaks of a “very pleasant” two-hour-and-fifteen-minute private lunch with Bill Clinton at the former president’s New York office last summer. “I never met such a charismatic man in my whole life,” Scaife says, glowing with pleasure at the memory.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

All you nay-sayers out there, just think how bad things might be if we didn’t live at a time and in a country where so many moral, upright, powerful, rich people and politicians didn’t believe so strongly in Family Values.

I think I could believe in just about anything, maybe even God, if I had that much money, and have fun believing it.  Why, I’d even invite Bill and Dick for lunch—together.  We could sit around talking and laughing about spending money and about Family Values and maybe even God.  It’d be a great time, the three of us.  We’d drink root beer.  We’d maybe even figure out some more ways to immortalize our names so no one would forget us if we die.

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By Hemi*, January 4, 2008 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

Of course it would take a self-absorbed scumbag like this to sniff out another’s dirty laundry. Who else would know what dirty laundry smelled like?

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By since1492, January 4, 2008 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

Political and media whores.

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By brain, January 4, 2008 at 11:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We need Larry Flynt to expose this guy’s hypocrisy.  I think I will send an e-mail to him at his website http://larryflynt.com/ . If anyone has not checked it out the website does a great job of covering these guys lies and knocks them off their moral perch.

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By Scott, January 3, 2008 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

This new comment title format sucks by the way.

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By Scott, January 3, 2008 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

Vast right wing hypocrisy…that’s a good one.

I do have to say these tittilating tidbits crumbling off the GOP are getting a little stale. Things are getting so jaded I doubt if a young boy getting gang-raped by the Bush administration out in the rose garden would scarcely be enough to raise an eyebrow.

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