Missouri Times publisher Scott Faughn was working on a book about the 2016 Missouri Governors’ race–yawn!–and thought what better way to juice it up than to expose the winner of that race, newly minted Republican Eric Greitens, for his role in a seamy sex scandal.
It is hard to say how this will fall out in the long run, but short term losers include publisher Faughn, the Missouri Times, and KMOX of St. Louis, the radio powerhouse that gave Faughn a platform on which to play journalist.
A quick Twitter review suggests how this news is being received:
Kansas City Star: “NEW: Al Watkins testified in a deposition that he received $50,000 from Missouri Times publisher Scott Faughn. Faughn has been concerned with a group that has had tax credits taken away,’ an Eric Greitens attorney said.”
Jason Hancock: “The Missouri House committee that has been investigating various allegations of wrongdoing against @EricGreitens plans subpoena @scottfaughn to question him about the $50,000 payment.”
Riverfront Times: “If you thought the intrigue surrounding Governor Eric Greitens was straight out of House of Cards, just wait ’til you catch today’s episode.”
Tony Messenger: “The revelation about the $50,000 paid to Al Watkins by @scottfaughn is a much bigger deal (and an unfortunate one) for the reporters working for him @MissouriTimes than it is a game-changer in #GreitensIndictment cases.”
Mark Reardon, KMOX: “WOW…didn’t see this one coming. Especially since @scottfaughn has been on my show on a regular basis answering questions about the cash drop and never mentioned his involvement???”
Sticks n stones: “Scott Faughn should be Fired from @kmoxnews This was absolutely a scam and misleading to viewers, he used this platform to inject his bias.”
Six Days: “Hey @scottfaughn: do you think it’s ethical to secretly fund a scandal, sensationalize it, and then play journalist- as if you had nothing to do with it?”
Avenger of Blood: “Just to put this whole #Greitens affair in perspective: Scott Faughn, owner of Missouri Times gave at least $50,000 to attorney Al Watkins to go after Greitens. That means the media is directly involved in this political hit job.”
Nancy Arnold: “Anybody curious about this guy, Scott Faughn, check out Missouri Case Net. Still want to know if he and Watkins followed cash reporting requirements. Its a felony if they didn’t.”
Kansas City Star: “Faughn has long been a critic of Greitens, dating back to the 2016 campaign. But his criticism escalated after the governor made cutting low-income housing tax credits one of his top priorities.”
Scott Faughn: “I ain’t one to chide the fine folks at the @KCStar but those who follow this account know that my criticism of @EricGreitens began in 2015 over his unsubstantiated accusations of corruption in the legislature & have continued through tonight at supper.”
Faughn could argue that publisher William Randolph Hearst helped launch the Spanish American War so he could report on it. What’s a little sex scandal by comparison?