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J.R. Block's hatred

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

How reprehensible it is that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in deep financial crisis and blinded by its own hatred of anything with the Scaife name attached to it, would attempt to cast aspersions on a positive and praiseworthy example of private philanthropy — especially in these recessionary times.

Then again, it's the kind of behavior we've come to expect from out-of-towners who never met a tax increase or socialist cause they didn't embrace.

The Group of 20 economics summit is coming to Pittsburgh in late September. Although many of the costs associated with this event will be covered by the federal government — much of the necessarily large security apparatus topping the list — a city in state receivership requires private-sector aid to help it put on its best face.

Many private organizations, freely fulfilling what they feel is their civic duty, have stepped up to the plate. Among them is the Colcom Foundation, founded by Cordelia Scaife May, the late sister of this newspaper's owner.

Yet, hell-bent on letting no good deed go unpunished (if not to shamelessly smear the name of a dead woman), the Post-Gazette has published a screed in which it went out of its way to try to discredit Colcom's support of the community's G-20 preparations.

The apparent motivation for this smear is Colcom's past philanthropy to causes with which P-G co-publisher and editor-in-chief John Robinson Block personally disagrees.

Most notably that would be the Colcom Foundation's support of efforts to bring some kind of sanity to this nation's badly broken immigration system. Colcom also has made generous donations to various humanitarian, environmental, economic development and sustainable population efforts.

In truth, the real motivation for Block and his Toledo, Ohio-based newspaper can only be blind hatred. And as the 17th-century French writer Francois La Rochefoucauld reminded, "When our hatred is too keen it places us beneath those we hate."

As is the predictable result for the smear-minded Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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