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My Back Pages: Ex-page had sex with Foley

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In a breaking story, the L.A. times is reporting that:

A former House page says he had sex with then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) after receiving explicit e-mails in which the congressman described assessing the sexual orientation and physical attributes of underage pages but waiting until later to make direct advances.

The former page, who agreed to discuss his relationship with Foley with the Los Angeles Times on the condition that he not be identified, said his electronic correspondence with Foley began after he finished the respected Capitol Hill page program for high school juniors. His sexual encounter was in the fall of 2000, he said. At the time, he was 21 and a graduate of a rural Northeastern college.

Clearly the young fellow was legal in all 50 states, so Foley's off that legal hook. But I think this puts to rest, once and for all, the crazed notion that the pages were aggressors, as spread by Drudge and Dobson:

Commenting on the congressional page scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) on the October 6 broadcast of Focus on the Family, James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, declared that the Foley affair has "turned out to be what some people are now saying was a -- sort of a joke by the boy and some of the other pages" who had reportedly come forward with sexually explicit instant messages that Foley allegedly sent. Similarly, in his October 6 column, Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Daniel Henninger wrote that "a rumor emerged that in fact Mark Foley had been pranked by the House pages" and then added: "It is the first plausible thing I've heard in seven days." Media Matters for America recently noted that in defense of Foley's alleged actions, Internet gossip Matt Drudge and nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage also attempted to shift the blame to the former pages who communicated with the former congressman. On his website, Drudge has elaborated on his suggestion that at least one of the former pages was complicit.

For the Republicans, it's always spin. Process trumps fact. Look over there, shiny objects!

Here are the facts:

Mark Foley is a Republican (not necessarily a bad thing).

Mark foley is gay (not a bad thing).

Mark Foley has a 'thing' for young sexual partners (a bad thing).

Republican Congressional leaders knew, and hid this 'thing' (for purely political reasons).

Drudge, Dobson, and other Homophobes (wait: Isn't Matt Drudge gay?) blame the pages (a stupid thing).

Here are more allegations:

According to one blogger, Wayne Madsen:

Ashcroft and Gonzales blocked Justice Department investigations into Foley's activities.

Jeb Bush knew about all this.

Denny Hastert is a closeted gay, and will likely be implicated in this scandal.

So we'll see what shoe drops next. But at the CorrenteWire party here in L.A. tonight, there was a lot of speculation that Jeff Gannon might somehow figure into all of this, in ways almost too icky to consider.

Steve regularly blogs at

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