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On the November 2 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, Moral Majority Coalition founder and chairman Rev. Jerry Falwell declared that the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) is "not going to discourage any evangelicals I know from voting" because "[w]e lived through Bill Clinton, and this situation with Foley is minuscule in comparison." Co-host Paula Zahn did not follow up on Falwell's assertion or note a major difference between the two cases, as Media Matters for America has noted: Foley allegedly sent sexually explicit Internet communications to underage former House pages, while former President Bill Clinton had an affair with an adult.
As Media Matters also noted, in an October 9 article, Philadelphia Inquirer senior writer Larry Eichel characterized an admitted affair between Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA) and a "woman in her 20s" as "Clintonian," even though the affair was reportedly exposed as a result of allegations that Sherwood had "repeatedly chok[ed]" and "attempt[ed] to strangle" his former mistress.
From the November 2 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
ZAHN: One final question for you about this administration: A number of evangelicals have also told me they are very angry about how government spending has increased during this administration -- the highest rate since an administration going back to the '60s. Are you troubled by that?
FALWELL: Well, I have to admit that I am not -- I am more of a fiscal conservative than some there -- but I want to say that I -- that is not where my heart is. My heart is in the sanctity of life and marriage and values and defense against terrorism. I support what the president's doing in Iraq, and if they're spending too much money, then I'll let someone else yell about that. But this president -- it's like this Mark Foley thing -- that's not going to discourage any evangelicals I know from voting. We lived through Bill Clinton, and this situation with Foley is minuscule in comparison. So, I really think it's making a mountain out of a molehill.
ZAHN: All right.
FALWELL: My people are all voting pro-life, pro-family. They'll do it next Tuesday.
ZAHN: And very quickly, although you say you're not going to yell about this increased government spending, am I to interpret that you're not too crazy about it either. You wish that weren't the case?
FALWELL: Well, I'm not going to -- I'm not going to say that at all, because I'm not knowledgeable enough. That's not my field, and most of the people who are yelling, it isn't their field either.