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Thursday, October 5, 2006
Drudge and The Prank Theory
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:59 pm

Drudge reports: “CLAIM: FILTHY FOLEY ONLINE MESSAGES WERE PAGE PRANK GONE AWRY”

According to one Oklahoma source who knows the former page very well, Edmund, a conservative Republican, goaded an unwitting Foley to type embarrassing comments that were then shared with a small group of young Hill politicos. The prank went awry when the saved IM sessions got into the hands of political operatives favorable to Democrats.

Consider me skeptical about this one. Howe does one “goad” and “unwitting” Congressman into such internet behavior? And even if the the person with whom Foley was IM’ing knew it was a prank, one would think that Foley (especially an “unwitting Foley”) thought the whole thing was real. As such, the disculpatory power of such a “prank” is questionable.

And, again, even if this particular session was a prank, what would have made Emond think that he could “goad” Folely into such a conversation? There had to be some reason to suspect that he would respond. It isn’t as if all human beings will automatically start typing dirty thoughts just because someone IM’s them. It dosen’t track.

Given the Drudge’s was trying to blame the pages the other day, I have a hard time taking his reporting seriously. His statements (there’s audio at the link) are pretty astounding (transcriptions here).

Update: David Weigel at Hit and Run has an excellent post on this topic as well. Robert points to this point by John Tabin at the American Spectator’s blog (hardly a pro-Democrat site) which also find Drugde’s story to be wanting in terms of exculpation of Foley. Tabin also notes that the whole “but the kid was 18″ story from Drudge yesterday is a bit more complicated than was originally presented. Why is Matt Drudge so eager to dismiss theis story. I don’t get it.

The Hit and Run pieces draws an excellent parallel to the Dateline NBC stings of adult males seeking sex via the internet with young girls. When the dudes show up at the house, they are still arrested for seeking sex with a minor, even if the whole thing was a sting. Anyone who thinks that the Drudge story ends this is dead wrong. Further, there still appears to be ample other evidence out there beyond the Edmonds IMs. And again, as I noted above: even if one set were a prank, where did these pages get the idea to target Foley?

Speaking of not getting it, some pro-GOP partisans continue not to. (other examples here, here and here).

7 Comments »

  1. Thanks Dr. Taylor. It’s nice to see a Republican with a conscience as well as a brain.

    It is no longer about the original events - it is about the dereliction of duty by leadership that stemmed from those events.

    The uber-right are linking this Drudge sleaze like mad. As they are linking to anything - anything at all - that can muddy the water and provide plausible deniability about the GOP leadership’s failure to exercise responsibly their duty of care.

    And as I expected, that muddy water gives the leadership a sliver of a reason to give excuses but refuse to resign. That’s all they needed.

    It seems loyalty has trumphed morality for the “values” party.

    How do you feel about your party of choice now?

    Regards, Cernig

    Comment by Cernig — Thursday, October 5, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

  2. Well this should make you mad too Cernig. A man that virtually raped a child and then was able to say in Congress makes me think that anyone pointing fingers has memory loss. And I fell just fine about my party. At least we make our members leave that are found to do these horrible things. Oh, when the house censured Studds he had the audacity to turn his back as the censure was read on the floor of the house. The sick thing was that Nancy Polici wanted to put him in leadership positions even after the rape. What do you think of your party now?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Studds

    Comment by c.v. — Thursday, October 5, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

  3. I think he should go (and am glad he went) because what he did is sexual harassment with the whole unequal positions thing, but the “teenager” in question is 18 years old. Assuming there aren’t underage minors who were solicited for or had sexual congress with the former Representative, the only laws I see him breaking are Florida laws maybe (18 is their “repressive” age of consent) and the law Foley himself shepherded through the House.
    1. Would people care if he didn’t swing the wrong way?
    2. Isn’t one of the advantages of hypocrisy that hypocrites like Foley can be judged by a standard they hold themselves to, in contrast to Studds and Frank (I always thought he had to know about the prostitution ring, featuring very underage boys, run out of his apartment, using his phone and charging expenses to his credit card). Foley, at least, won’t be an eminence grise in his party. 1/3 is still lousy odds though.

    Comment by Honza Prchal — Thursday, October 5, 2006 @ 4:17 pm

  4. CV, what makes you think I’m a Dem? (Actually, last time I voted it was Scottish national Party)

    I wholeheartedly condemn any and all who through inaction or coverup enable predators of this kind.

    Regards, C

    Comment by Cernig — Thursday, October 5, 2006 @ 9:58 pm

  5. Did Drudge ever have ay credibility to begin with? I don’t find this suprising.

    Comment by Tal East — Friday, October 6, 2006 @ 11:16 am

  6. […] Exhibit A of what I termed earlier in the day one of the “deadly sins of partisanship” (#1, in fact): an audio clip of James Dobson buying the prank hypothesis regarding Foley. […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » He Blinded Me with Partisanship — Saturday, October 7, 2006 @ 10:08 pm

  7. I for one am now independant.

    Comment by Edugree — Monday, October 9, 2006 @ 4:09 pm

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