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.
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Numerous news outlets have continued to uncritically report House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's description of the emails Rep. Mark Foley allegedly sent to a 16-year-old former congressional page as "over friendly" and, in some cases, have themselves adopted his characterization.
In commenting on the scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley, several conservative media figures and outlets have taken special notice of Foley's reported homosexuality and even linked Foley's sexual orientation to pedophilia.
In their coverage of the scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley, only a few major media outlets have noted that Foley is the third Republican congressman to leave office in scandal within the past year. A fourth Republican congressman, Rep. Bob Ney, has pleaded guilty to corruption charges but not resigned his seat.