Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos has been blacklisted at MSNBC for calling out Joe Scarborough on his hypocrisy. It revolves around the little known “dead intern” problem that Joe Scarborough swept under the rug successfully back in July of 2001. Markos simply sent a tweet referring to the dead intern, which was really pretty random, but good for Markos for doing it. I first heard about this story from a commenter at White Noise Insanity, the very insightful Grant in Texas. I looked into it because of my dislike of the smarmy Joe Scarborough who I think is the worst kind of propagandist on television. He gets away with more bullshit on his morning show than anyone on TV. Now for the twitter exchange that Joe has blown up into a big story, and has forced me to post this long detailed post about. Thanks Joe, I’ve wanted to expose this fishy dead intern story since I found out about it. From Markos….
In case you were wondering why you haven’t seen me on MSNBC recently, it seems that Joe Scarborough, he of the lowest rated morning show in cableland, has blackballed me. And Phil Griffin, the alleged president of MSNBC, is going along with it. It all began May 29, with Joe Scarborough taking to Twitter to whine about the media coverage of the supposed Sestak scandal (remember that one?):
JoeNBC: The Sestak story is as unbelievable a cover story as Nixon throwing little Checkers under the bus. A farce on it’s face. Luckily for the White House, the media has been negligent on this story since Day 1. The press will let this laughable story slide.
That was too much horseshit for me. If there was someone who had ZERO ground to stand on whining about media bias, it was Scarborough. So I shot back:
markos: Like story of a certain dead intern. RT @JoeNBC: Luckily for the White House, the media has been negligent on this story since Day 1. Markos: But if you want to talk about bullshit “scandals”, @JoeNBC, there’s this one about Joe Sestak and the White House you might’ve heard of.
It degenerated from there.
JoeNBC: @markos Unbelievable. You have a long history of spreading lies suggesting I am a murderer. This is the 3rd or 4th time by my count. Markos: @JoeNBC, I’ve never suggested you’re a murderer. I’ve noted media hypocrisy in going after Gary Condit. But he was Dem. You aren’t. JoeNBC: Anyone in media who interviews @markos, know that you’re extending your credibility to someone who regularly suggests that I’m a murderer. Markos: A bit touchy, @JoeNBC? Links for where I accuse you of being a murderer please.
So Joe Scarborough went crying to the president of MSNBC who put out the word to his “teams” not to book Markos for a while, kind of like a journalistic “time-out” or something. But since Joe wants us all to know about this dead intern who mysteriously died in his district office in Florida, let’s have at it. I’ll start by saying if it was someone else that it happened to and there was a “D” behind that congressman’s name, can you imagine how Joe would react? He has gone off on people with much less evidence and for much less serious offenses. Some background on the story from Conservative Babylon.
Just the facts: Scarborough got a divorce. Then he suddenly resigned from Congress, just six months after re-election. (Invoked old fallback excuse of wanting to “spend more time” with children.) Then he suddenly resigned as publisher of the Independent Florida Sun. Then, just as suddenly, Lori Klausutis, 28-year-old staffer to Scarborough, was found dead in Scarborough’s district office in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Date was July 20, 2001. Cause of death: Blow to the head. Conclusion: Heart condition caused her to collapse, fall, hit head on a desk, and die. Story barely a blip on the radar. Lots of people left with lots of questions.
Click on the blue “Read More” for the rest of the post. So apparently within a few hours of the discovery, Joe’s press secretary went on local television and claimed she had many health problems that could have contributed to her death. From American Politics Journal…
There was a great deal of ambiguity over whether Lori had suffered past medical problems. Scarborough’s press secretary, Miguel Serrano, made mention of health problems in Lori’s past, but could not be more specific. In response, Fort Walton Beach Police Chief Steve Hogue is quoted as saying “That’s part of our investigation, checking into her medical history.” Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Berkland said “She had a past medical history that was significant, but it remains to be seen whether that played a role in her death”. Soon after a member of the immediate family rejected out of hand that Lori had any significant medical problems. She was, in fact, quite an athlete, having recently run an 8K with a very respectable time and she belonged to the Northwest Florida Track Club.
They obviously shared that with the police who promptly started spreading the same lie. Her family denied it several times, including in a letter to the local paper. Why on earth would Joe and his press guy jump out in front of the media and lie about a previous medical condition? This was a healthy 28 year old woman who runs marathons, come on now, you generally don’t run marathons when you have a serious heart problem. Oh but there’s more…
As for Lori Klausutis, rumors began to swirl as time passed with no resolution to the case, rumors that included whispers of suicide, some emanating from inside the Beltway. Family members, angered at what they considered unfair and exploitive coverage wrote the editor of the Northwest Florida Daily News, Ralph Routon, saying “For those who knew Lori, the thought of suicide, as your published reports suggested, is absolutely unthinkable. Suicide was contrary to her faith and being. She did not suffer from seizures, nor did she have a history of medical problems.”
Now what seems even more odd to me is the fact that Scarborough and his people in Florida went to such extremes to wipe away the whole story, if it was simply a matter of someone fainting and hitting her head and dying, why go to such extremes to cover up any mention of the event or the girl who lost her life. It just gets more bizarre the further you look into it. Here are some questions that deserve to be answered by Joe Scarborough directly and honestly. From the American Politics Journal…
September 1, 2001 (APJP) — Over at The American Prospect’s message board thread concerning this very article, Phoenix Woman has asked a trolling Scarborough “defender” three pivotal questions. We’d love to know the answers ourselves: 1) If Lori’s death was just a simple accident, then why did Rep. Scarborough and his spokesman Miguel Serrano feel the need to go to two different local TV stations within three hours of her body’s being found and invent a nonexistent history of chronic medical conditions for her — in other words, why did they feel the need to lie about Lori’s health? 2) Would you trust without question the word of a Medical Examiner who lost his ME license in two separate states (Missouri and Florida) because he LIED about his autopsy work (for instance, saying he had autopsied some brains when he hadn’t)? 3) Why should whoever wrote Ms. Klausutis’s obituary feel it was appropriate to mention nearly everything about her life — EXCEPT where she’d been working since 1999? A recent check of the Young Republican’s web site found no mention of Lori or her contributions, nor any tribute to her memory nor comments about her passing. In fact, you will find no mention of her at all. If you go to The Pensacola News Journal’s online pages, one of the few papers that actually covered the story, and search the site for “Klausutis” you will come up empty, even though the same search will pull up numerous stories matching “Scarborough”. It seems as though someone wants to erase all traces of Lori Klausutis from the record and bury the story with her.
A little more background from the American Political Journal about Lori Klausutis…
According to her obituary in the Fort Walton Daily News, Lori had served as President and, later, Treasurer, for the Emerald Coast Young Republicans and as a aide to Congressman Scarborough, she was active during the Florida recounts.
If this was just a simple slip and hit head and die story, why would the Young Republicans and the local paper scrub any mention of her from their websites? You would think they would have a memorial for her. You would think they would honor her death but for some reason….nothing. Now there doesn’t seem to be any reason to think Joe Scarborough had anything to do with her death, at least from what I’ve seen. But like Joe likes to say himself, there are a lot of unanswered questions out there. There is a lot of weird things that surrounded Lori’s death. Why would a certain network of evil, vile people obsess about a Democrat who had a missing intern that turned up dead (Chandra Levy) but completely ignore a Republican’s dead intern in his office, after just getting divorced and resigning from congress and as publisher of the Independent Florida Sun under speculation of marital infidelity? Why could that possibly be, considering the fact that this network is so fair and balanced. Which brings us back to Markos from Daily Kos who simply tweeted “Like story of a certain dead intern. RT @JoeNBC: Luckily for the White House, the media has been negligent on this story since Day 1.” We should all be thanking Joe Scarborough for making this story fresh again, let’s see how many in the MSM pick it up.