. . .

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Scaife is a millionaire philanthropist and the publisher of the Tribune-Review and a string of suburban newspapers. He’s also the majority stockholder of KQV (1410).

Divorce proceedings are usually open to the public; the court’s unusual decision to seal this case could lead you to suspect that a certain favoritism is being exercised toward Scaife.

City Paper wants to see the court order that sealed the case, and has so far been rebuffed.

. . .

CP editor Chris Potter tells PBRTV: “We’re not asking for the juicy documents to be opened — we’re just asking for the explanation about why they were closed in the first place.”

It’s hard to argue that’s an invasion of privacy, or that the public doesn’t have a right to learn how judges made their rulings.

But that’s what the attorneys in this case — and now, KDKA “investigator” Marty Griffin — are saying.

(In the interest of full disclosure: I’m a member of the ACLU and a former Trib employee. And I was twice featured in recent City Paper stories.)

. . .

Strangely, Marty didn’t mention the fact that City Paper examined local media invasions of privacy back in February 2007.

The cover story by Melissa Meinzer focused on the events that led to the suicide of Brent Dugan, pastor of a church in Ben Avon. It seems a local reporter had obtained evidence that Rev. Dugan was buying pornography and confronted him in a story for the 6 p.m. news.

Before the story aired, Dugan took his own life.

. . .

The reporter on that story? Step forward, Marty Griffin! Or maybe not. He wouldn’t talk to City Paper at the time.

You don’t suppose that Marty is carrying some sort of grudge toward City Paper, do you?

Nah. Anyone who would carry that kind of a grudge would be (in Marty Griffin’s words) a “hater.”

Meanwhile, pass me the blender … I’m jonesing for a smoothie.

. . .

* — This story was updated after its original publication to include Potter’s comment and make other revisions.

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in commentaries are those of the authors, and do not reflect those of PBRTV, its other correspondents, or any organizations with which they may be affiliated.


(Editorial/Commentary*) Despite making a public vow a few years ago to stop listening to talk radio, I can’t help myself. I’m weak.

Which is why I wound up listening to Marty Griffin on KDKA (1020) this morning.

(Memo to Marty: Stop screaming! You’re on the radio! We can hear you!)

. . .

Usually, Griffin’s rants bounce off of me like a puck off the stick of a Capitals defenseman, but my ears perked up when I heard him start railing against Pittsburgh City Paper and the ACLU.

Along with the ACLU, the alt-weekly (co-owned with WRRK-FM and WLTJ-FM) is trying to force Allegheny County officials to release the court order that sealed the divorce proceedings of Richard Mellon Scaife and his estranged wife, Ritchie.

. . .

According to Griffin, City Paper and the ACLU are invading Mr. Scaife’s privacy. I don’t have an exact transcript, but his remarks went something like this:

City Paper ought to be ashamed of itself. That thing is full of ads for strippers and hookers anyway. And what about the ACLU? With all of the problems Americans are facing, this is the best they can do?” Etc.

. . .

You can’t make this up! Marty Griffin, who has made a career as an “investigative reporter” out of (arguably) invading people’s privacy, has suddenly become a privacy advocate!

Marty Griffin, who often stands in front of KDKA-TV’s cameras holding government documents that he’s “obtained,” now supports the right of court officers to seal government documents without a public hearing!

Oh, to quote South Park, if irony were made out of strawberries, we’d all be drinking a lot of smoothies.