A Drudge Report headline, which linked to an Associated Press article by John Solomon and Kathleen Hennessey, misrepresented a business transaction involving Sen. Harry Reid as a "sweetheart land deal." Rush Limbaugh read the AP report on his radio program, praising Solomon as "an AP writer that I have trusted. John Solomon's stuff is good." However, as Media Matters for America has documented, Solomon has a history of misleading reporting on Senate Democrats.
The media have helped advance a number of excuses and explanations offered up by conservatives and the GOP for Republican House leaders' handling of information about alleged misconduct by then-Rep. Mark Foley that, even if true, would have no bearing on the underlying issues raised by the scandal.
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.
On his radio show, Matt Drudge stated that the former congressional page with whom former Rep. Mark Foley allegedly engaged in sexually explicit communications was "having fun with this" because the teenager used "[t]hese LOLs throughout the entire conversation, these 'laugh out louds.' "