In their coverage of the Foley scandal's political effects, numerous media figures have suggested that conservative Christians are most likely to react negatively to the Foley scandal. In doing so, they presume that so-called "values voters" are more concerned than others with protecting children.
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Pat Buchanan baselessly asserted that there is "a large element of hypocrisy" in comments by an aide to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that if "we had seen Mark Foley's inappropriate emails or instant messages to House pages, we would have immediately acted to protect the kids" because Pelosi "has marched in gay pride parades in which they've had floats of the North American Man-Boy Love Association, which wants to eliminate all age of consent laws." Buchanan also called Foley a "flamer" and baselessly connected Democratic criticism of the handling of the Foley scandal to opposition to the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay scoutmasters.
During his interview with Virginia Democratic Senate candidate James Webb, CNN's Wolf Blitzer repeatedly pressed Webb about his position on women serving in combat and a 1979 article, in which he wrote that a U.S. Naval Academy* residence hall is a "horny woman's dream." By contrast, during his interview with Webb's Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. George Allen, Blitzer did not press Allen on his "aspersions" or "macaca" comments.
In several reports on the dispute between the FBI and Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington over the agency's handling of the emails that led to the Foley scandal, CNN has failed to explore inconsistencies in the FBI's claims about its investigation of the emails or lack thereof.
CNN's Joe Johns and National Public Radio's Ken Rudin declared that portions of a political ad by Minnesota Democratic congressional candidate Patty Wetterling, claiming that "[c]ongressional leaders have admitted covering up the predatory behavior of a congressman who used the Internet to molest children," were false. But neither Rudin nor Johns noted that admitted actions by members of the House Republican leadership arguably had the result of a "cover-up."
Following House Speaker Dennis Hastert's press conference, numerous media outlets trumpeted the news that Hastert took "responsibility" for the Mark Foley scandal but ignored his later statement, during that same press conference, that "I haven't done anything wrong."
A CNN.com article falsely reported that former Rep. Mark Foley "resigned last week after Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a left-leaning watchdog group, posted some of the e-mails he exchanged with [a] former male page in 2005." In fact, as ABC News' Brian Ross, who broke the story, noted, Foley "resigned ... hours after ABC News questioned him about sexually explicit internet messages with current and former congressional pages under the age of 18."
CNN continued to uncritically report the assertion that Democratic operatives knew "all along" of Rep. Mark Foley's alleged communications with former congressional pages. As Media Matters for America has noted, that notion is contradicted by other media reports.
Media outlets that uncritically reported House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's (R-IL) recent claims -- that Democratic operatives knew "all along" of Rep. Mark Foley's (R-FL) alleged behavior toward underage congressional pages and have orchestrated the ongoing scandal -- ignored media reports that the source for Foley's emails was a Republican.
In a report on Rep. Tom Reynolds's recent press conference about the Mark Foley scandal, during which Reynolds refused a reporter's request to send children attending the press conference from the room, CNN's Mary Snow uncritically aired a clip from Roll Call columnist Mary Ann Akers alleging that Reynolds refused the request because he was attempting to send a message that he is "an advocate for children."
Seeking to minimize the extent to which the House Republican leadership can be blamed for the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley, several congressional Republicans, media figures, and conservatives have posited various conspiracy theories and placed blame on just about everyone and everything else -- including liberals, Democrats, the media, "politically correct culture," gays in Congress, and congressional pages.
For the second time in two days, CNN anchor John King equated "pro-family voters" with "conservatives" during interviews on The Situation Room.