Suicide Fuels Paper Feud

By Strupp, Joe | Editor & Publisher, March 27, 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Suicide Fuels Paper Feud

Strupp, Joe, Editor & Publisher

Dueling papers duke it out in mysterious suicide

The mysterious suicide of a left-wing conspiracy theorist outside the offices of a conservative Pittsburgh newspaper publisher -- and the resulting coverage by a rival paper -- has heightened an ongoing feud between the two dailies, culminating in two published attacks by the publisher against the rival's lead writer.

Editors at the 245,000-circulation Pittsburgh Post-Gazette say they covered the Feb. 8 suicide of 37-year-old Steven Kangas like any other news story. Kangas, a former Las Vegas computer consultant who had often criticized Greensburg Tribune-Review publisher Richard Scaife in free-lance Internet commentaries, was found shot to death in a room on the same floor as one of Scaife's offices.

Officials at the 82,000-circulation Tribune-Review have accused the Post-Gazette, owned by Blade Communications of Toledo, Ohio, of blowing the story out of proportion to harm Scaife.

During a stinging editorial published March 21, the Tribune-Review blasted Post-Gazette editors and staff writer Dennis Roddy, calling them "Scaife-haters" and their coverage "phony journalism." In addition, the editorial alleged that the Post-Gazette wrote its stories because "they are haters and it is in their nature."

Scaife's attorney says the editorial and a previous statement attacking the Post-Gazette coverage were proper responses. "The Post-Gazette has had a thing of going after Dick Scaife because of who he is," says H. Yale Gutnick, who represents Scaife.

Post-Gazette managing editor Madelyn Ross disagrees, saying that such an unusual death occurring near a prominent publisher's office is news.

"This is a news story" Ross says.

The dispute followed the death of Kangas, whose body was found in a men's room on the same floor as an office used by one of Scaife's foundations in a downtown Pittsburgh building. A building engineer reportedly discovered Kangas lying on the ground, apparently drunk, during a routine electrical circuit breaker check.

The engineer went for help and returned to find Kangas dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Suicide Fuels Paper Feud


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?