Today the New York Post’s Keith Kelly reports that Newsweek — struggling to survive — essentially “scrubbed” a piece about MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough so the mag’s editor Jon Meacham could continue to make appearances on his show.

Newsweek and Meacham denied it. The piece was by the mag’s esteemed Johnnie Roberts. Scarborough, it seems, once defended an abortion doc killer back when he was a lawyer and not just a blowhard TV commentator.

Kelly writes today that the Roberts piece was recut to de-emphasize Scarborough’s past. Here’s how the question and answer are presented in the piece:

When you were a young lawyer in Pensacola, Fla., in 1993, you helped defend one of the first murders of an abortion doctor. In the wake of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, the abortion doctor shot dead in his church on May 31, do you have any regrets about your role in the Florida case?

I’m an attorney. I represented clients. I did it as a favor to the family. The goal was to stop this young man from trying to defend himself. I had a family [that was] heartbroken. I was called in to help keep the media away from his family, from his wife and young children. Why would I regret that? Why would anyone regret that? I did the judicial system of the state of Florida a favor.

That’s Scarborough’s story and he’s sticking with it — read it here.

But I was only able to find it by searching out Roberts and Scarborough and abortion doctor. The Q&A is cached on the Internet. Otherwise, it’s been completely removed from the Newsweek website. Of course, the site has no search engine. But check it out. What the Newsweek website does have is a link to — drum-roll please — its corporate partner, MSNBC.

I can sympathize with Roberts. The line between corporate ownership of one entity and actual journalism has vanished recently. If the corporate owner doesn’t like it, or there’s a conflict, then the journalism is history.

Ironically, Kelly is merely repeating news of the scandal from the online blog, which reported the story yesterday. (I’m sure Kelly’s original filing had the Gawker credit. Somewhow, it was omitted.) On Gawker, you can see the original Roberts story and how it was changed. Read it here.

But now the entire Roberts piece is missing, unless you Google it. Why is anyone surprised? Scarborough has always been a Fox in sheep — or cheap — clothing, an O’Reilly wannabe who adapted to MSNBC’s attempt to find a niche. Viewer beware.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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