That silence you hear is Hillary Clinton not telling the right-wing crackpot Richard Mellon Scaife where he can put the endorsement from his money-losing fringe publication, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Tribune-Review endorsed Clinton on April 20. That was no great surprise, given Scaife’s favorable March 30 column (“Hillary, Reassessed“) published a few days after Clinton met with the Tribune-Review’s editorial board. (See “Hillary’s Rev. Wright” and “Hillary’s Rev. Wright, Part 2.”)
Scaife, as I’ve noted before, is a slinger of hate speech much more toxic than anything ever uttered by Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. During the 1990s, Scaife used the Tribune-Review to try to prove that Hillary Clinton killed White House Deputy Counsel Vince Foster, who committed suicide in 1993. Scaife has never retracted this allegation nor any of the other poisonous rumors he helped spread with a $2.3 million grant to the American Spectator. (The closest Sunday’s endorsement came to acknowledging this shameful behavior was when it praised Clinton’s courage in meeting with the editorial board “given our longstanding criticism of her.”) Scaife is also a raging misogynist. In 1981 he called a reporter for the Columbia Journalism Review a “fucking Communist cunt”; more recently, he had his wife arrested and jailed for trespassing when she sought to confront him over his extramarital affair with a woman twice arrested for prostitution. After they separated, he posted on his front lawn a sign that said WIFE AND DOG MISSING—REWARD FOR DOG. How Clinton, who portrays her candidacy as an advance for the cause of feminism, can stomach this creep’s support is a mystery.
Perhaps you think that it isn’t a candidate’s responsibility to reject endorsements no matter how much that candidate recoils from the endorser. A case can be made for this position, but not by Clinton. In the Feb. 26 presidential debate in Cleveland, she chided Obama for “denouncing” but not “rejecting” an endorsement from Louis Farrakhan, prompting Obama to concede the point and say, “I would reject and denounce” it. This time, though, Hillary is neither rejecting nor denouncing her endorsement from Scaife’s Tribune-Review. Instead, she put out a press release quoting the most flattering parts.