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April 17, 1998

As Kenneth Starr Nixes Pepperdine Deanship:

MRC Analysis Reveals Media's Savaging of Richard Scaife is Unprecedented

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. --- Double standard. Guilt by association. Rush to judgment. The national media assault on Richard Mellon Scaife has been relentless and unprecedented according to a just released analysis conducted by the Media Research Center.

"The national media have become an extension of the White House spin machine when it comes to Richard Scaife, all along reeking with rank hypocrisy. All Scaife did is fund investigative journalism that reflected badly on President Clinton. Investigative journalism was considered by the media to be an essential civic duty during the Reagan and Bush administrations," said MRC Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham who conducted the analysis.

SCAIFE AND STARR: The connection between Scaife and Independent Counsel Ken Starr was always tenuous. The networks were quick to spread the White House spin that Scaife was the center of Hillary Clinton's "vast right-wing conspiracy" and that he was linked to Starr - ostensibly because of Scaife's funding of Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy and Starr's decision to work there. This was guilt by association. Scaife is on record stating that neither he nor anyone involved in his foundations has ever met or talked with Starr, nor did he or anyone of his staff have any role in Starr's Pepperdine appointment. Scaife has also pointed out that he is only one of several donors to give $1 million to the Pepperdine endowment.

"This was guilt by association, a rush to judgment and a double standard all rolled into one. There has never, ever been a link established between Scaife and Starr. It's all a media perpetuated version of Mrs. Clinton's conspiracy fantasies" Graham said.



Questions An Unbiased, Balanced, And Fair Media Would Have Asked By Now

  • How can this be a conspiracy? The Scaife foundations' donations are hardly secret, with their IRS forms posted on the Internet. In the many stories connecting Scaife to The American Spectator magazine, few noticed Scaife is no longer funding the magazine over policy differences. 

  • Who are the real powerhouses in public policy giving? Several large liberal foundations give hundreds of millions of dollars more to public policy groups than the Scaife foundations do, yet only Scaife's comparatively smaller donations seem newsworthy. 

  • Where was the vast left-wing media conspiracy during the Reagan years? While the networks focused on journalistic conspiracies against Clinton, liberal organizations who drove media coverage of terrible-sounding Reagan-Bush conspiracies were not lumped into a "vast left-wing conspiracy" by national media outlets. 

  • If foundation money and journalism are a toxic mix, how do media outlets then explain their own foundation receipts? Millions of liberal foundation dollars are currently being spent in the newsrooms of "objective" national media outlets for projects including support for Clinton policy initiatives and attacks against press coverage of Clinton. Where is the media coverage (expose?) of these practices?

"Our analysis shows the media have been out of control when it comes to coverage of Richard Scaife. Hillary Clinton understood all too well that Scaife would be an irresistible target for the media elite to aim at. He's rich, he's conservative, and he's funding the investigative journalism that they should be doing," Graham said.


Media Interviews
To schedule an interview with Mr. Graham, and to receive a copy of his analysis contact Keith Appell at (703)-683-5004.



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