Scarborough rants about NY Times coverage of Romney’s California villa

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Appearing in Thursday’s New York Times Home section is a 1,800-word spread penned by Michael Barbaro about presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s La Jolla, Calif., home and his neighbors’ disapproval.

The article makes a point of calling attention to Romney’s wealth — one part of the strategy President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign all-too-conveniently also plans to use, said MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.

On his Thursday program, Scarborough asked why there was not similar coverage of 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry’s wealth, which at $240 million is on par with Romney’s estimated $250 million net worth.

“I was actually going up — I was going to live in Vermont a couple of years ago and the turnip truck hit a bump, and I fell off the turnip truck,” Scarborough said. “So, this is the first election I have covered. So I don’t remember. Mark [Halperin], maybe you can help me. Did The New York Times ever dispatch reporters to John Kerry’s homes, because John Kerry is worth a lot more money, obviously, than Mitt Romney? Like his Georgetown home, was there ever a story on the Georgetown home that you can recall?”

Scarborough continued his screed about other luxuries enjoyed by Kerry that he didn’t recall reading about in The New York Times.

“Was there ever his massive, massive farm outside of Pittsburgh, was there ever a story on that multimillion dollar estate?” Scarborough asked. “OK, let me ask you — the Beacon Hill residence, which we have both seen and it’s beautiful. Oh my gosh, do you know how much that costs? It cost more than this La Jolla fixer-upper. I’m just curious, because the turnip truck didn’t have newspapers on it. Do you remember a story — can we put that back up while I’m interrogating Mr. Halperin in 2004, let’s say the Beacon Hill residence? What about the ski chalet in Idaho? We saw wind surfing. I’ve seen the house in Nantucket and I like John Kerry a lot. I’m not picking on John Kerry … But the ski chalet then, maybe in Sun Valley. Did they ever do a story on John Kerry’s ski chalet?”

Scarborough called on Times public editor Arthur Brisbane, who is set to leave in September, to address these stories and their timing.

“Is there still a public editor over at The New York Times?” Scarborough said. “I’m just curious, like has he taken up bowling over the past couple of months? Because we have this with the [Joe] Ricketts story that we all know is just phony journalism. It was put on the front page. We know that was phony journalism. And this is just — it’s embarrassing for the Times. The Times acts as if we don’t have something called the Internet or Lexis-Nexus — that we can’t search this stuff and show side-by-side that they do something on Ann Romney’s horses — it was huge.”

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