WATCH: Glenn’s tribute to friend Richard Mellon Scaife

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Below is a transcript of this tribute

Yesterday was a sad but joyful day for me. On Friday, a dear friend of mine took my call. We don’t speak all that often, maybe every month or so, but I called him up just to see how he was doing and to see how life was in Pittsburgh. And as I’m about to hang up the phone with him, he told me that he had just gotten a bad diagnosis and prognosis from the doctor. And so yesterday, I went up to Pittsburgh and spent some time with him.

He’s truly a man that I wish you knew, and I wish you could know him the way I do. He’s a man who has absolutely changed the course of this country several times. I think he is the man who is responsible for Reagan in 1976 and 1980. He knew this guy would be good, in his words, not as good as he turned out, but he knew he would be good in the 1960s.

His father helped bring down the Nazis and then made him promise at a very young age that he would help bring down the communists here in America. His great uncle was probably the most hated man by FDR and one of the most maligned and hated men of the entire progressive movement, mainly because he was the architect of the roaring 20s.

This young man from this amazing family grew up to do great things himself, all of which have, I believe, given us a chance to be free for just a few more years, and then we’re on our own. Among these things, he helped launch the Heritage Foundation, now headed by Senator Jim DeMint. But I believe what will be a bigger legacy than any bank or university bearing his name is the newspaper that he has guided, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, one of the very few major newspapers that actually still searches for the truth and uses the truth as a keel because it has Dick as the guiding hand and his hand-picked team at the helm.

I got to know my friend, Richard Mellon Scaife, a few years ago when I was at FOX, and my office received a phone call. They said that Mr. Scaife wanted to meet me and get to know me, that he had watched my show every day, and that he had a few questions for me. Well, I told him that I would love to meet with him, but at the time I was so overbooked that I just couldn’t make the trip to Pittsburgh at the time.

I knew the meeting was one I shouldn’t miss when his team said if you could just get to the airport there in New York, Glenn, he would fly in, and we could spend some time on his plane chatting. I did, and that was one of the most movielike moments in my increasingly movielike life. There I sat with truly one of America’s great titans on his DC-9 on the tarmac of the Westchester Airport just outside of New York City.

Side note: It made me very happy. He let the engines run just to piss off Al Gore the whole time. But we spent some time getting to know each other, and then he got right to business. He spoke to me in depth of the communist movement here in America that he had watched since he was a kid. He quizzed me on my knowledge of the progressive movement, and then he gave me a personal play-by-play of the history that he had witnessed.

I spent much of the time honestly confused because it took me a while to realize that when he said names like Jack or Ron, he was talking about JFK and President Reagan. I had never met anyone who had personal relationships like this.

Yesterday, we were talking, and he talked to me about, you know, a couple of meetings that he had with J Edgar Hoover back in the 60s and the people that he had met. When I mentioned Patton, he said, “Oh yeah, he was a neighbor of mine.” He has met every president, good and bad, since FDR. In the end, he told me that he just wanted to see if I was really the man I appeared to be on television. He wanted to know if I really believed in what I was saying or if it was nothing more than an act.

He told me then about the dinner that he had with his father toward the end of World War II where his father made him promise that he would fight the communists in America and around the world. When he saw these same people whom he thought he had defeated come back online in American politics, I think, I don’t know, but I think Dick may have felt a little bit that in some way he might have dropped the ball. He hadn’t. He helped give us Ronald Reagan and the Reagan revolution. Because of that, the wall came down.

Over the years, I’ve met with him a handful of times. We’ve spoken about politics and the players, some of which we agree on, some of which we don’t. I have spoken to him about the tough things, the evil nature of Margaret Sanger. When I first brought up Margaret Sanger, he said, “Oh, come on, I remember her. She used to come over to my house, and she would have tea with my mother.” I mean, I can’t imagine what this man’s life has been like, but I do know this, he is a man that has truly lived.

I have read his book. I have read his press clippings. I have seen the best and the worst. I’ve seen the joy and the pain of his life from afar. Mistakes and all, he has left his mark on our world, and he continues to do so today. And most people on our side don’t even know about him. Long after he is gone, his legacy will still impact how we live. I have met those he has groomed to take over for him at the Tribune. He will leave it in good, decent, and honest hands, hopefully a long time down the road.

I didn’t know Dick in his prime, which is my alcoholic code for his drinking days. I know Richard Mellon Scaife today. As life has made him movie rich, life has also humbled him, and it is in the quiet times that a man becomes truly wealthy. They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps, not those who pop in for a check or an endorsement or whatever but those who are there around him.

I have seen those who are with him and at his side every single day. I see the love and loyalty they have for him and the love and loyalty he has for them. I don’t know what the world will, and especially with the left, what they will say about him, but I will say this, Richard Mellon Scaife is my friend. It’s an honor to know him, to learn from him.

In the end, I thought of this on the plane on the way up to Pittsburgh, I don’t think I’ve learned enough. This man is a living history book. I have never met anyone like him. I told my wife when I got home, “Honey, we will never have the chance to meet another man like that ever again.” They don’t make them like that ever again. And if I perhaps had a better sense of priorities, I would have spent more time grilling him for the knowledge that he alone has witnessed firsthand as it has impacted history.

In time, I hope that there are those who are at his side every day today that will tell his story that he has taught them, and I hope to empower them. In the meantime, I went to Pittsburgh yesterday to learn something new yet again from my friend, to have a laugh, to share a few stories of great American heroes, and to learn more about them. We’ll continue to have our phone chats from time to time, and if I’m lucky enough, I will be able to spend a few more hours with him in the weeks and months ahead, but they will mean more to me now.

It’s strange and I think unfortunate how we have to learn things. Friday, that call with my friend when he told me about his diagnosis, unfortunately it said something else to me – hopefully this time I’ll learn it – stop all the things in your life that seem to make you busy. Instead, find the people and the things that have real meaning in your life and invest your time there. Once again, my friend, Richard Mellon Scaife, has made my life better because he lives.

  • Anonymous

    Prayers from our family to your friend Richard Mellon Scaife. He sounds like an incredible man Mr. Beck. He must truly be a remarkable man for you to speak in such a way about another person whom you deem to carry so much integrity and merit. Your praise of him actually gave me great pause in my own life today and made me realize that perhaps I dont take enough time to appreciate the giants and people I love in my own life because I have been to busy trying to make my own dent in the universe. Thank you for sharing this special story and friend with us today. It was a beautiful reminder that sometimes in life we get to meet those remarkable people that have such insite and impact on the world around us and that we never truly have enough time to share with them. Again our prayers are with Mr. Scaife and again thank you for sharing something so personal.

  • ThorsteinVeblen2012

    Glenn how much has Richard Mellon Scaife paid you over the years?

    Scaife was a kid born with a silver spoon who never had to grow up. He played at politics and people’s lives like a child plays with toys.

    He never knew a days work in his life. He spent his time and his inherited money making the world a better place for people like himself. Rich kids.

    When you complain about how things have gotten worse for most Americans while billionaires like Richard Mellon Scaife are doing just fine you needn’t look far to see who is responsible.

    • Connor Kenway

      So how much did George Soros pay you to say this or is your tin foil hat on to tight again?

      • Todd A Scheller

        It is funny how they think Soros and those that donate to progressive causes are the end all, be all. But if someone has money and happens to be conservative, God forbid they donate money to conservative causes.
        Their Hypocrisy is amusing.

        • ThorsteinVeblen2012

          I think Soros is a scoundrel who gives to progressive causes to cleanse his soul for the trouble he causes with his business dealings.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve known a few very rich men in my 78 years and they worked hard every day of their life and shared their wealth in ways that really helped people. They introduced me to movers and shakers who being human made mistakes but learned from them and i joyfully learned from them. As one taught me, wisdom requires knowledge, depth of thought and the acceptance that you can only control a few precious seconds so use them with wisdom.
      And I knew Glenn when he was a hung over disc jockey. His transformation into a man of wisdom is what I wish for you,

      • ThorsteinVeblen2012

        I’ve known a number of people who have made substantial amounts
        and came from meager starts and made it without being cheats.

        I’ve known some very rich, some rich and some not so rich that inherited money. Many of them dither away their fortunes and their health in self indulgence.

        Several I grew up with are dead from the drugs and the lifestyle they led. Being born to wealth never impressed me.

    • Todd A Scheller

      It is funny how some one that has never had to run a conglomerate like Mellon thinks that it does not take work to do so.

      You think it was not work taking the Tribune-Review from a small town newspaper to what it is today? You think it is not work finding the people to help you do so?

      You have no idea what it is to be in business apparently, and that is why you are in the 53%, rather than the 1% that you so love to denigrate.

      • ThorsteinVeblen2012

        I have had my current business for over twenty years. I started my first business while I was in college.

        You have no idea.

        But prattle on never let the facts get in the way of your assumptions.

        • Todd A Scheller

          So then why did you ignorantly write:

          “Scaife was a kid born with a silver spoon who never had to grow up. He played at politics and people’s lives like a child plays with toys.

          He never knew a days work in his life. He spent his time and his inherited money making the world a better place for people like himself. Rich kids.”

          If you know what it takes to run a business, then you KNOW that he had to work to get to where he is, even though he inherited much of his wealth.

          Never let facts that you are aware of get in the way of your assumptions.

          • ThorsteinVeblen2012

            There was a rich kid here in San Diego that inherited the newspaper, David Copley. He rode it in the ground.

            Drunk, stupid and massively overweight from drinking, eating and apparently partying with young boys. He must have weighed 400 lbs.

            But always a die hard Republican.

            He never made any real decisions about the paper. His staff did.

            Scaife had much more money to squander and any one who has owned a newspaper lately has squandered money. Just ask the owners of the New York Times, The Washington Times and any other newspaper you can name.

          • Todd A Scheller

            Scaife, did not inherit the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, he bought it and turned it into a thriving paper. Scaife and Copley made the Forbes 400 in 2005, both at 283 with $1.2 Billion. So how again is it that Scaife has more money that Copley to squander? They neither ever made the list again. There are those pesky facts again getting in the way of your assumptions.
            Copley, sold the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2009.
            You seem to forget that The Washington Post was run into the ground by Liberals and sold to Jeff Bezo, by the Washington Post Companies. WaPo is not even owned anymore by the WaPo Company.

          • ThorsteinVeblen2012

            There are no thriving newspapers. They’ve all lost readership and revenue.

            If Scaife were a smart businessman he would have sold his newspaper twenty years ago.

            Scaife not only had his personal fortune but also directed the family trust.

            If you think the Washington Post is a liberal newspaper before Bezo bought it is because you haven’t read it and don’t know the meaning of liberal. The Post cheered the war in Iraq and supported the neocon agenda, as did Hillary Clinton the former Goldwater Girl.

          • Todd A Scheller

            You really are an ignorant cuss. Why is it that you get so many facts wrong?

            Trib shows most readership gains in U.S.
            I.E. The Tribune Review was the NEWSPAPER with the most readership gains from 2007-2012 (last data available). Five other papers showed increased readership (translatedfrom sales of the papers).

            Why in the world would Scaife sell a newspaper that is making him money with increased readers? If you think that makes business sense, how you are still in business is beyond me.

            Let me guess Chris Matthews is your source for WaPo not being a liberal newspaper? LMAO.

          • ThorsteinVeblen2012

            You have no idea whether the newspaper is making money. Scaife has the money and inclination to dump millions on his pet just to boost the numbers.

            Increasing circulation could be caused by a multitude of things like artificially low subscription costs, hiring away the sports writers from the competition or manipulating the circulation data. It could be all the above.

            Who’s your source? The Tribune Review of course.

            Now run along. You’ve wasted enough of my time.

          • Todd A Scheller

            Prove then that the paper is not making money. It is your assertion not mine to prove.

            The link is to the Tribune review, and they used data from International Demographics Inc. Maybe if you could read, you might understand that.

            Let me know when you are actually in a position to issue orders to even a dog with you lack of intellect.

          • Leopold B. Scotch

            Although I’m a fan of Scaife, RIP, the Trib Review lost hundreds of $ millions while he was alive. It was never expected to be profitable. It was purely a means to provide an outlet for conservative-libertarian viewpoints in a sea of left-leaning consolidation of print media. The catalyst event for Scaife to get into the business were events around the Pittsburgh newspaper business in 1992, where the Pittsburgh Press collapsed under the weight of a union strike and stressed profitability, whereby the wealthy Block Family owners of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette absorbed the Press and shut it down. This turned the city into a “one paper town” with only the more liberal / progressive PG surviving under control of the generally liberal Block family, whose wealth goes back to Hearst affiliations. Scaife did not want only lefty ideas promulgated through his hometown and figured it was as good a time as any to fill the void with a paper he’d conceived.

            But the paper was never profitable.

  • Connor Kenway

    I am sorry to hear about you friend. Never heard of him but I hope he makes it through.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Although technological advance consists of learning and applying knowledge we didn’t know before, we won’t always enjoy its results.

  • Anonymous

    Dick Scaife has been a close friend of mine for many years. Beyond anyone I’ve ever met, he is an honest man who tries his best to do what he considers to be right. Whether or not a person agrees or disagrees with him, he has attempted to make a difference and continues to do so. As a benevolent person, he has donated millions of dollars to various causes and has helped small and large museums acquire paintings that he believes the public will enjoy. He is a special human being, whom i am proud to know and call “friend.” Patricia Jobe Pierce

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