Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.)


Claims to fame: Former Florida rep; host of right-wing Fox talk show “Scarborough Country”; “conservative family values” proponent; divorcé

Why he’s here: Divorced wife in 1999. But that’s the least interesting thing about Joe Scarborough. We’re not accusing him of anything — just using a very strange and familiar-sounding story to illustrate the very real right-wing media bias that shields Scarborough and his friends from the type of scrutiny visited upon every Democrat from Bill Clinton on down.

Now, let’s play a game…

Fill in the blank #1: Gary Condit and _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _?

You probably said “Chandra Levy.” If you didn’t: Levy was an intern to California Rep. Gary Condit. One day, she disappeared. The media went crazy covering rumors of a romantic dalliance with Condit, and hinted wildly that Condit had killed her. He didn’t. But his career was destroyed. Condit, of course, is a Democrat.

Fill in the blank #2: Joe Scarborough and _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _?

Did you say “Lori Klausutis”? Probably not.

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.

Final questions: Was Lori Klausutis among Scarborough’s rumored dalliances? (Scarborough, noted the Pensacola News Journal in 2001, “was pursued by rumors over the cause of the divorce [and] a growing body of criticism that Scarborough’s personal life didn’t match the moralistic conservative stance he campaigned on”).

What does Joe know, if anything, about her death?

Conclusion: We’ll never find out.

Suggested Bible reading for Mr. Scarborough:

Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.

— Isaiah 42:18