In the January ?99 issue of George magazine, its editor and president, John F. Kennedy, Jr., went toe to toe with the left?s favorite demon, philanthropist and publisher Richard Scaife. In all fairness, Kennedy never landed a punch and in the process Scaife showed himself to be candid, accessible, enigmatic ? even surprising. He shattered a few myths along the way and probably gained many new admirers.
George is a glitzy and often interesting New York-based magazine that utilizes its famous editor, blending Hollywood profiles and national politics while trading in the currency of celebrity. One monthly feature is, “If I were President.” This month it?s James Carville. Another time it was Madonna. You get the picture.
If Kennedy?s goal was to picture Scaife as the head of Hillary Clinton?s Vast-Right-Wing-Conspiracy, he failed miserably. Scaife assured Kennedy he doesn?t hate Clinton, and even had met him at a White House reception on the same day the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke in the news. Clinton was very friendly toward him. But he still feels that Clinton is an embarrassment. Scaife gave his opinion on a number of subjects.
For example, Scaife on the Starr Report: (quote) “I think the Democrats are right about it. Four years and $40 million dollars later, we haven?t gotten anything.” He jokingly added, “Maybe Ken Starr is a mole working for the Democrats.” What about his relationship with Starr and Pepperdine University, Kennedy asked. Scaife responded that he had never met Starr, nor corresponded with him. He had contributed to Pepperdine going back to 1962, and was one of 12 donors who contributed a million dollars to fund a chair at the school of public policy. Starr was invited to head that and the law school, and Scaife says he found out about it in the newspaper. He added that he was happy to see Starr go because his replacement would have to be more effective.
Scaife defended his pride and support for his investigative reporter at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Chris Ruddy, and his work on the strange death of Vince Foster. He said he knows Foster didn?t die the way the official investigations said and that this is the Rosetta Stone to the Clinton administration. He said, “Once you solve that one mystery, you?ll know everything that?s going on or went on. He also believes there is a connection between the Clinton administration and the death of Ron Brown, and refers to the list of 60 or more people, including eight of Clinton?s former bodyguards, who have died mysteriously.
How does he explain Clinton?s high approval rating? “He?s just putting one over on everybody,” Scaife argues. Finally, Scaife denied any role in or knowledge of a vast right wing conspiracy. What he wants are the facts about such scandals as Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, and the Foster death. He?s proud of his support for Judicial Watch, and has been contributing to organizations he believes in for many years now, including Accuracy in Media. Many wealthy people give money to get buildings named after them. Dick Scaife believes in giving money to help those who deal in ideas and information.