Fábregas: Scaife's values will live on
When Hillary Clinton stepped into the Trib's offices in March 2008, Dick Scaife shook her hand firmly and smiled. I watched in awe because I intuitively recognized the significance of the moment. He was a conservative fireball, she a bastion of liberalism.
I sat in the back of the conference room and marveled at history being made. Sitting across from each other, Scaife and Clinton conversed like old friends. There was passion and warmth in their exchange, but, above all, I witnessed a smart, honest discussion between two people who love our country.
I had the opportunity to ask Clinton a question about an investigative series that had just been published in our newspaper about liver transplants. She answered politely and later shook my hand as she toured the newsroom and I tried to make small talk, asking her about her fondness for “Dancing With the Stars,” something I'd read in a magazine.
Clinton's visit broke barriers in the same way that Dick Scaife broke barriers most of his life. When I heard about his death early Friday, it struck me that the newspaper you hold in your hands and the stories my colleagues write every day are a central part of his legacy.
In May, Scaife wrote a poignant and memorable column that, in addition to disclosing his battle with cancer, recounted his love of newspapers. It reminded me of my own love of newspapers. I still like to read the print version with my morning coffee. Like him, I like to read groundbreaking investigations that reveal secrets and make government and businesses accountable. And I am a sucker for a well-written narrative with strong verbs, colorful characters and powerful pictures.
Scaife was a fearless champion of journalism. He gave us the resources and tools to produce, to create, to inform, to question. Although he came from a family of power and money, he shared the same worries and dreams that all of us have: to challenge ourselves to overcome barriers; to speak up for those who lack a voice; and to build a better world where it doesn't matter whether we're conservative or liberal.
Several years ago, I wrote a series about a little girl with terminal brain cancer. She'd been given six months to die but today is still alive. When the story won a national award, I received a congratulatory note from Scaife. I still have the note, dated June 28, 2001. I found it on Friday in a bin filled with old newspapers, a reminder that even simple words carry deep, long-lasting meaning: “I look forward to many years together,” he wrote.
This column began about three years ago at his request. Health and medical issues were always important to him. I've written about topics that resonate with all of us as individuals, as parents, as sons and daughters. I've been able to do so because Dick Scaife had vision, courage and a lot of heart. His love of journalism and good story-telling is evident in many of the stories and investigations that I've been part of during my 17 years working for this company.
There's one thing you need to know about our newsroom, on the off chance that you can't tell by reading our stories. We're a determined bunch. We will continue to do our jobs with pride, integrity and commitment to journalism. That's the way our leader would have wanted.
Luis Fábregas is Trib Total Media's medical editor.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Donora-Webster Bridge plunges into Mon River after 106 years
- Martin, Comeau depart Penguins via free agency
- Judge revokes bail for Plum High School teacher
- Pirates grind out extra-inning win against testy Tigers
- Shopping season starts up for Penguins amid onset of free agency
- Duquesne extends women’s basketball coach’s contract, adds bowling as varsity sport
- In historic vote, Legislature approves bill selling state liquor stores
- Penguins notebook: Sheary hoping to return to organization
- Union to work while ATI talks continue
- Rival Westmoreland vape shops develop own specialties
- 1 killed, 4 hurt as police chase ends in Oakland crash