Discussing the weeks and months leading up to the midterm elections on the November 7 broadcast of NBC's Today, NBC special correspondent Tom Brokaw stated, "Both parties have been rocked by the unexpected," and then compared "[Sen.] John Kerry's [D-MA] clumsy joke about education and service in Iraq" to "Congressman [Mark] Foley [R-FL] and the congressional page scandal," as well as "the Ted Haggard story."
As Media Matters for America has noted, Kerry said he intended his remarks at an October 30 campaign event in California to be a criticism of President Bush, but they were misrepresented by the White House and other Republicans as a denigration of U.S. troops in Iraq. Foley, on the other hand, resigned from Congress in September after ABC News reportedly confronted him with sexually explicit instant messages he allegedly sent to underage congressional pages; in the wake of Foley's resignation, questions arose about conflicting statements by members of the House Republican leadership about when they learned about Foley's communications with the pages and what action was taken. Rev. Ted Haggard, founder and former senior pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, allegedly solicited a male prostitute for sex and drugs.
From the November 7 broadcast of NBC's Today Show:
BROKAW: Both parties have been rocked by the unexpected. The Republicans by Congressman Foley and the congressional page scandal; the Democrats by John Kerry's clumsy joke about education and service in Iraq. And the Ted Haggard story; who knows what effect that will have on the important evangelical vote. The bloggers and the cable news outlets had a field day, but by tomorrow the big question will be the same one that defines the war in Iraq: Do we stay the course or change direction?