Though Most News Outlets Didn't Pursue Foley Story Initially, GOP Smells Dem Conspiracy in Expose

While House Speaker Hastert is -- no joke -- telling the Chicago Tribune that "operatives aligned with former President Bill Clinton ... were perhaps behind the disclosures" in the ever-unraveling Foley story, Repub Rep. Patrick McHenry squarely blames House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) for orchestrating a "dirty trick," reports The Hill.

Is the American public to believe that neither of you nor your staffs nor anyone associated with your staffs had prior knowledge or involvement with the release of Foley's e-mails and/or explicit instant messages? Is the American public to believe that ABC News stumbled haphazardly on this story without Democratic assistance?

[emphasis added]

Isn't that a ringing endorsement of our watchdogs in the fourth estate?

[In the FWIW Dept: Rep. McHenry also asked, "Who would turn over the instant messages to ABC News rather than the police?" Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington did indeed do just that, and is now asking why the FBI didn't do anything about it.]

McHenry wants the Democratic leaders to swear under oath that they had nothing to do with unleashing this story -- as though that mattered. According to the timeline assembled by the Associated Press, the Republican leadership knew before 2004 that there were, at the very least, questions to be asked about then-Rep. Foley's overtures to Congressional pages. Even taking the great leap in logic (and faith) that the Democrats were capable of orchestrating a hard-hitting smear, the Republicans had plenty of time to conduct their own discreet investigation and "suggest" that Mr. Foley not run again. Apparently, though, the GOP felt secure enough that the story wouldn't explode in a presidential election year.

In any case -- again according to The Hill -- it was a long-time GOP aide who tried to get the story out. In July. Even earlier (last November) The Miami Herald and The St. Petersburg Times had copies of the first-released emails, investigated them, but decided there wasn't enough to publish. Left-wing bias? No, the real bias in journalism tends to lean in the direction of officialdom. Herald editor Tom Fiedler admitted as much on the NewsHour With Jim Lehrer:

But I think what it comes down to is, in dealing with, again, what we thought was an ambiguous situation, we probably erred on the side of giving the benefit of the doubt to Congressman Foley, perhaps because our relationship with Congressman Foley, going back many years, had always been a very open one, probably, in fact, a fairly positive one.

Give ABC props for pursuing, rather than stumbling with the story, though with all due respect to Brian Ross and his team, the nudge to go past the pro-official bias came from a still-anonymous blogger, who is only occasionally mentioned in MSM coverage. And that's the way stopsexpredators wants it.

I'm not interested in media interviews. Thank you for your interest, but if you were doing your job to begin with, Mark Foley would have been exposed a long time ago. Instead of wanting to do a story about this blog, how about covering the fact that the media sat on this story for over a year. You're as bad as the Congressional Leadership that covered for Foley.