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More On Scaife

Slate's Tim Noah supplies some helpful background on new Clinton BFF Richard Mellon Scaife here and here:

During the 1990s, Scaife professed to believe that Hillary had actually killed Foster, and he used the Tribune-Review to spread that ugly rumor. Scaife's unwillingness to retract such seamy accusations ("[Bill Clinton] can order people done away with at his will. He's got the entire federal government behind him") a full decade after the fact doesn't strike me as repentant, even by the redempt-o-matic standards of today's 24-hour news cycle. If, as Hillary said about Wright to Scaife and his employees, "Hate speech [is] unacceptable in any setting," what are we to make of Scaife's regular outbursts of blatant misogyny? In 1981 he called a female journalist profiling him for the Columbia Journalism Review a "fucking Communist cunt," adding for good measure that her mother was "ugly." Scaife's marriage broke up after a detective hired in 2005 by his wife, Margaret "Ritchie" Scaife, caught Scaife in flagrante with a woman who'd been twice arrested for prostitution. When Ritchie sought to confront the couple, Scaife had her arrested for trespassing. She spent the night in jail. Later, after Ritchie and Richard commenced marital separation, he posted on his front lawn the sign "WIFE AND DOG MISSING—REWARD FOR DOG."

Scaife isn't some longtime friend of the Clintons whom they accept despite his ugly politics and personal derangement. Rather he is someone whom Hillary Clinton had never met before last week but whose political endorsement she actively--and publicly--sought. And although she has not (yet) received his literal endorsement, she proudly advertises the quasi-endorsement he's bestowed upon her on her website, under the heading "If You Read One Thing Today."

And, again, this comes on the heels of Clinton staffers allegedly peddling photos of Obama in foreign garb to Matt Drudge; of Bill Clinton appearing on the Rush Limbaugh show the day of the Texas and Ohio primaries; of campaign staff circulating an American Spectator hit piece on an Obama adviser; and of a top Clinton surrogate praising FOX for being "the most objective of all the cable networks." Remind me again which party's nomination she's running for?

--Christopher Orr