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Karen Rothmyer

Karen RothmyerBorn: c. 1947

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Journalist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Editor of The Nation

Rothmyer briefly met up with Richard Scaife by ambushing him on the street in 1981:

Richard Scaife rarely speaks to the press. After several unsuccessful efforts to obtain an interview, this reporter decided to make one last attempt in Boston, where Scaife was scheduled to attend the annual meeting of the First Boston Corporation.

Scaife, a company director, did not show up while the meeting was in progress. Reached eventually by telephone as he dined with the other directors at the exclusive Union Club, he hung up the moment he heard the caller's name. A few minutes later he appeared at the top of the Club steps. At the bottom of the stairs, the following exchange occurred:

"Mr. Scaife, could you explain why you give so much money to the New Right?"

"You fucking Communist cunt, get out of here."

Well. The rest of the five-minute interview was conducted at a rapid trot down Park Street, during which Scaife tried to hail a taxi. Scaife volunteered two statements of opinion regarding his questioner's personal appearance - he said she was ugly and that her teeth were "terrible" - and also the comment that she was engaged in "hatchet journalism." His questioner thanked Scaife for his time. "Don't look behind you," Scaife offered by way of a goodbye.

Not quite sure what this remark meant, the reporter suggested that if someone were approaching it was probably her mother, whom she had arranged to meet nearby. "She's ugly, too," Scaife said, and strode off.

K.R.

    University: Columbia University (1969)
    Professor: Columbia University

    The Nation Managing Editor
    Columbia Journalism Review Contributing Editor
    Newsday
    The Wall Street Journal
    John Kerry for President


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