Ooo, Ooo, That Mel (Reynolds)…

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ABC Ignored Teen-Sex Scandal of Democrat Mel Reynolds Until 1995 Conviction

That's the headline for a NewsBusters/Media Research Center item comparing coverage of the Mark Foley story to Mel Reynolds' debacle from an kinder, gentle America (coff, coff). Notes author Tim Graham:

Congressman Mel Reynolds, the Democrat convicted of 12 charges, including sex with 16-year-old Beverly Heard and asking her to take pornographic photographs of a 15-year old, was indicted on August 21, 1994. ABC, the current scourge of congressional teen-sex scandals, reported nothing—until Reynolds was convicted a year later, on August 23, 1995. In fact, on May 13, 1994, ABC featured Reynolds in a "Person of the Week" speaking out in favor of two Chicago ladies fighting child molesters.

In a story on Reynolds, ABC did quote then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, who had this to say: "He hasn't even been– he hasn't even been sentenced yet. So I think we have to wait and see." Which leads Graham to conclude:

Do you sense that the political atmosphere surrounding Reynolds (including the puzzling wait-and-see Gingrich) was a little different back then? ABC had no mention of Mel Reynolds when Bill Clinton pardoned him in 2001.

More here.

Well, what about Gingrich, who by all accounts is mulling a return to power if and when the GOP craps its pants in November? Most recently, he had this to say about Foley's Folly:

"What we don't have to do is allow our friends on the left to lecture us on morality," Gingrich said at a party fundraiser in Greenville, SC, Wednesday. "There's a certain stench of hypocrisy."

Surprisingly, the nastiest rejoinder to Gingrich's proclamation comes not from the left but from the right, specifically the site Capitol Hill Blue, which rose to some prominence during the Clinton years. The site has published a piece by former Gingrich associate Doug Thompson which reads in part:

Gingrich should know something about the stench of hypocrisy. He stinks to high heaven from it.

This hypocrite is the man who served his first wife with divorce papers while she lay in a hospital bed. He divorced his second wife after his screwing of a House staffer became public while he was Speaker of the House and leading the GOP charge against Clinton.

This is the same Newt Gingrich who used to take campaign volunteers back to his car and so they could give him blow jobs….

Gingrich is not the only tail chaser in the Republican Party. When he stepped down amid scandal, his first replacement, Rep. Bob Livingston of Louisiana, had to back out after admitting he cheated on his wife. Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana fathered a child out of wedlock and put his mistress on the House payroll. Even grandfatherly Henry J. Hyde, whom some suggest should replace current House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert if he is forced out because of the Mark Foley Congressional page scandal, admitted to a long affair in his younger days.

Democrats have their whore hounds as well and neither party can claim any moral high ground when it comes to sexual hijinks, but it is the Republican Party that claims to be holier-than-thou and preaches "family values." For Gingrich to now claim Republicans are somehow better than others when it comes to sex scandals is a bald-faced lie and the height of hypocrisy, even for Washington.

And somebody in Greenville probably gave him a blow job before he left town.

More, much more, here.

NEXT: One Nation Under Walkie Talkies

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  1. Hastert is apparently “taking the blame”, but refuses to resign as speaker, completely contradictory actions.

    He either is not taking the blame, or doesn’t think the matter serious enough to disqualify him from his position of leadership.

    Does this sound like a person taking the blame?

    “When the base finds out who’s feeding this monster, they’re not going to be happy,” Hastert told the Tribune. “The people who want to see this thing blow up are ABC News and a lot of Democratic operatives, people funded by [liberal activist] George Soros.”

    Apparently the democrats are doing something wrong by taking political advantage of this HUGE REPUBLICAN SCANDAL – while invoking Soros as the crazy liberal boogey man.

  2. Nick, a Skynyrd reference? Wow, that’s unexpected. I don’t believe that Lynyrd Skynyrd was a punk band.

  3. What’s this guy have against blow jobs, anyway? I’m tired of all this blow job bashing! Blow jobs may or not be “sexual relations” per se, but they’re still fun.

    Excerpted from: Political Speeches I’d Like to Hear, by Independent Worm ? 2006, independent worm productions.

  4. Before reading this, I didn’t like Newt Gingrich. After reading this, I’m replacing all of my Gene Simmons posters with Newt ’08 posters.

  5. Today’s best (inadvertently) humorous headline on this, over at MSNBC news:

    “Hastert to ask Former FBI Director to probe Congressional Page”

  6. Newsbusters’ efforts to portray the Reynolds case and the Foley case as equivalent has a problem; Reynolds wasn’t messing around with teenagers who work in Congress. When two Congressmen got in trouble for messing around with pages in 1980, it was national news.

    Skanky behavior by politicians just isn’t national-news-worthy by itself – there has to be some connection to the government as an institution, or it’s just a local story. The Foley story has two such hooks – it involves Congressional pages, and the House leadership.

  7. To continue with joe’s point, the thing occupying everyones interest now is not even Foley himself. The pages – now mere cyphers – aren’t even attracting interest.

    The money-shot is what the Republican leadership did or didn’t know and what they did or didn’t do. The thing making it news is that none of them can seem to agree on just what those are.

  8. Joe’s right.

    Clinton getting BJs from Jennifer Flowers: No biggie.
    Clinton getting BJs from a White House intern: Biggie.

  9. The central mystery: why would anyone bang these guys? I wouldn’t go near Newt with a stolen dick.

    Eww x 100

  10. ed – Not according to joe. St. Bill was practically without sin… it’s amazing how being a Democrat makes it OK to treat people in a way that is in direct conflict with laws passed by those very politicians.

  11. ed – Not according to joe. St. Bill was practically without sin… it’s amazing how being a Democrat makes it OK to treat people in a way that is in direct conflict with laws passed by those very politicians.

  12. From the right? Doug Thompson may be to the right of David Brock, but I’d say they both share the mantle of disenchanted former conservatives, at least what I’ve read of him.

  13. I don’t see the relationship between behaving immorally and the inappropriateness of advocating morality. If marital infidelity is inappropriate, nothing about that is impugned by an adulterer preaching faithfulness. The Republicans are hypocrites, granted, but they might still be right about preaching family values. We may all be sinners, but it’s not only up to the holy to preach about virtue. We all probably wish to be better than we are. Some people even believe government is an answer to helping people commit to virtue.

  14. Newt ROCKS! He’s the blowjob king.

  15. It must suck to be so without arguments that you have to make stuff up, eh rob?

    Uh, yeah, St. Bill, that’s what I used to call him…

  16. John Phillips,

    “We may all be sinners, but it’s not only up to the holy to preach about virtue.”

    If the point of the preaching is reach peole’s minds and hearts, rather than enhancing the preacher’s own power and self-esteem, than those prone to sever scandal should keep their mouths shut about virtue. If the messenger is Foley or Gringrich, the message is lost.

  17. “All court cases are decided by a series of blow jobs.”

  18. joe – Actually I was responding to ed’s comment. I’m sorry that you think that responding to me alleviates the obligation to respond to someone calling you out on your perpetual partisan blinders.

    “If the point of the preaching is reach peole’s minds and hearts, rather than enhancing the preacher’s own power and self-esteem, than those prone to sever scandal should keep their mouths shut about virtue. If the messenger is Foley or Gringrich, the message is lost.” – joe

    Don’t you think that anyone who excuses Clinton is a poor messenger when it comes to sermonizing against such scandals?

  19. Newsbusters’ efforts to portray the Reynolds case and the Foley case as equivalent has a problem;

    I’ll say: Reynolds was convicted of actually having sex with minors and of child pornography.

    Foley hasn’t been convicted of anything, and no one is suggesting that either had sex with a minor or trying to set up his own little child porn operation.

    The two aren’t equivalent at all.

  20. rob,

    When have I ever excused Clinton for cheating on his wife? I’ll be waiting for you to show some evidence. (cricket, cricket) Failing to join your jihad against a Democratic president is not excusing him of his misdeeds. It’s too bad you people couldn’t keep it your pants, figuratively speaking – you caught Clinton in a despicable act, one that should have allowed you to destroy him and his party at the polls, and your own delusional greed caused you to piss it away, so that he actually came out more popular. Ha-ha.

    RC,

    By “case,” I was referring to the media coverage.

  21. Let’s not bicker and argue about who is more despicable than who. What a pointless exercise! They’re so far beyond the pale of our standards of virtue as to make such discussions meaningless. It’s why campaigning on the corruption or moral emptiness of the other party rarely resonates with the voters–they just know that most of these guys have the ethics and morals of a, a, well, something really lacking in those qualities. Perhaps a syphilitic bunny?

  22. joe – I actually liked Clinton. Voted for him twice. That’s not much of a jihad, is it?

    It’s your failure to recognize that both sides are equally filled with creeps that amazes me.

    “It’s too bad you people couldn’t keep it your pants, figuratively speaking – you caught Clinton in a despicable act, one that should have allowed you to destroy him and his party at the polls, and your own delusional greed caused you to piss it away, so that he actually came out more popular. Ha-ha.”

    You people? Was that a racist comment, joe? Or were you referring to me as a Republican again?

    Or is this like the time you were calling people “nancy”?

    It must be tough to be so delusional that you think anyone you run into is from the side you view as “the enemy” if they’re not drinking Kool-Aid like you.

  23. PL – My point exactly: both sides are despicable.

    It just irritates me for some reason when joe acts like it’s only on one side of the aisle while the other side of the aisle is getting up to the same nonsense. If he were a Republican who thought that Bush was the second coming of Christ I’d be equally irritated.

  24. PL – My point exactly: both sides are despicable.

    It just irritates me for some reason when joe acts like it’s only on one side of the aisle while the other side of the aisle is getting up to the same nonsense. If he were a Republican who thought that Bush was the second coming of Christ and that only Democrats were villainous I’d be equally irritated.

  25. Ed,

    I initially took your comment as sarcasm, but it occurs to me that you might have been serious. In fact, the example you call out proves my point.

    Even during the primary silly season – when every media outlet in the country is committed to printing multiple stories about the candidates every single day – the Gennifer Flowers story did not last as long, or become as important, as the Monica Lewinsky story. I suggest that this is so because the Lewinsky affair took place in the White House, and because of the involvement of Linda Tripp, another White House and Pentagon staffer, in recording the conversations.

  26. rob,

    “It’s your failure to recognize that both sides are equally filled with creeps that amazes me”

    Where did I ever say such a thing? The thread was about the media coverage of two cases, and I commented on the one of the stories having greater interest among the media than the other. You can spare us you wails of partisan bias – you know, the ones you only ever hurl at Democrats?

    “Was that a racist comment, joe? Or were you referring to me as a Republican again?” Oh, not you, rob. Clumsy, inappropriate attempts at playing a race card aren’t ever trotted out by Republicans.

    “if they’re not drinking Kool-Aid like you.” Ah, yes, a Kool-Aid drinker. Clearly, I’m so blinded by partisan bias that, as you try to discredit my comment about the media coverage, you couldn’t come up with any arguments why it was wrong. So, Plan B: argue that you’d have to be a deluded partisan not to agree with the Media Research Center’s accusation of liberal media bias.

    “If he were a Republican who thought that Bush was the second coming of Christ I’d be equally irritated.” Yes, you’re quite well known for calling out people who are overly-credulous of Republic talking points. Cough. Cough.

  27. joe–and this is a snarkless question, honestly–did you (and do you) think that Clinton should have resigned?

    I did, because I hold the belief that even a slight moral or ethical failing is justification for these jokers leaving office. Yeah, I know they’re all doing it, but when they get caught. . .buh, bye. So, Clinton shoulda taken a little walk, as should have the Keating 5, and the other fifty names we could all roll off our tongues with minimal consideration. I like my politicians like Caesar’s wife–above suspicion.

    At least Foley is out. If he was allowed to do anything threatening to the pages or others and was allowed to do so with full knowledge, then those who knew should be out, too. I’ve said before that I doubt the full scope of his activities was known or appreciated, but I only believe that because of the cowardliness of the GOP leadership, not because I think they wouldn’t do it. Of course they’d do it. Everyone up there does it. It’s good to be the king.

  28. Pro Lib,

    Resigned? Over a consensual affair with an adult, which she initiated?

    I’d like to see the ethical bar raised higher than it currently is in Washington, but I’d have to have an actual victim, or at least an actual crime, before driving someone from the office they were elected to. Clinton’s transgressions with Lewinsky seem to warrent bad press and dipping polls more than resignation.

  29. Incidentally, as much as the Foley story is getting on my nerves, it is newsworthy. People in power doing nasty or even merely questionable things always are newsworthy and always should be. I’m not in love with the partisan spinning of the story, but what else is new? It’s similar to the Clinton situation, though minors may have been involved this time and Clinton was, after all, a sitting president.

  30. Well, the sexual relationship is one thing, though the line between a boss fooling around with an intern or with an employee is a legalistic one, and not one I’d want my ethics to hinge upon. Furthermore, there was perjury and some attempt to misuse executive power to cover up the situation. I definitely think that the underlying acts that Clinton did were, in themselves, less “bad” than what Foley has probably done, but, after all, the standard for the occupant of the White House should be higher, not lower, than that for a member of Congress.

  31. PL – My point exactly: both sides are despicable.

    Both parties have done some shitty stuff, but only one keeps talking about moral values, family values, what two consenting adults do in their bedrooms, etc. etc. And it sure isn’t the democrats. That is what you and ed fail to understand.

    For me, I have no interest in what Foley’s fantasies are. I think, the only relevant questions are: did he do it on my dime? did he do it with a minor (crime)? and did affect his ability to do his job? Other than that, he can go fuck a goat for all I care.

  32. The perjury was bad, definitely worse, from a legal perspective, than the affair itself. It warranted some punishment, and I thought the deal he agreed to – loss of his law license, admission of guilt – was about right, give or take.

    But overturning elections, either through impeachment or forced resignation, shouldn’t be too common or too easy. I’m glad the Republicans paid a price for trying to impeach Clinton over something like this, because we certainly don’t want impeachment hearings to become a standard part of the partisan toolkit.

  33. “Both parties have done some shitty stuff, but only one keeps talking about moral values, family values, what two consenting adults do in their bedrooms, etc. etc. And it sure isn’t the democrats.”

    More important than this is the involvement of the House leadership in covering it up. It’s the same as with the Jefferson scandal vs. the Abramoff/K Street/Delay scandal.

    A single Congressman taking a bribe is bad, but it is unlikely to do serious damage to the Republic. Turning one of the houses of Congress into a pay-to-play machine is another.

    If the men running the House of Representatives had really just heard about this problem a few days ago, it would be a scandal about a single Congressman and would have died out by now. But they didn’t – they’ve been sitting on this for years, and even encouraged the guy to run again, when they knew he was scamming pages.

    It’s the involvement of the institution that makes it important.

  34. joe – I think the press on Foley is warranted. No argument from me there. I hope Hastert goes down and as many Republicans (or Democrats) as possible.

    I’ve got no beef with your characterization of the media frenzy surrounding Foley and the “who knew what, and when” – and I think the claim of ABC’s “lapse” has more to do with Congressmen covering for each other (even Newt was giving the guy a break) than “media bias.”

    My complaint is that you give Clinton a pass despite the fact that he was definitely guilty of sexual harassment with both Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky. Did I mention that Clinton was the guy who supported the sexual harassment legislation he was later caught violating? Sounds a lot like Foley’s “for the children” routine, doesn’t it?

    Frankly, I think both of them were crooked – but that’s like saying “they were both politicans.” The difference is that Clinton was a likeable guy, and I wouldn’t mind partying with him. Foley is creepy, and his idea of partying is not something I would be comfortable with.

    Frankly, as long as it was consensual it doesn’t seem to me to be anyone else’s business – unless you’ve passed a law making it someone else’s business. (See Foley’s “save the children” legislation and Clinton’s “save the women” legislation — Apparently the thought it meant “save them for ME.”)

    Just as Clinton made sure that his behavior was legally other people’s business and then got caught for it with Jones and Lewinsky, Foley supported laws that he’s now found violating.

    Eerie similarity, frankly. But in “joe World” you should defend the guy you think is on your team while excoriating the guy you think is on the other team.

    This is hilarious:

    “When have I ever excused Clinton for cheating on his wife? I’ll be waiting for you to show some evidence.” joe at 4:02 p.m.

    “Resigned? Over a consensual affair with an adult, which she initiated? I’d like to see the ethical bar raised higher than it currently is in Washington, but I’d have to have an actual victim, or at least an actual crime, before driving someone from the office they were elected to. Clinton’s transgressions with Lewinsky seem to warrent bad press and dipping polls more than resignation.” – joe at 04:40 PM

    Thanks for saving me the effort of doing a search through past comments by putting your excuses on the same thread.

    The sad thing is that I agree with you in theory. Consensual sex between adults is not the business of gov’t. But Clinton thought differently, and got caught doing the thing he made illegal. That’s like you claiming that you won’t defend a guy, and then doing so in a subsequent post.

    Pretty funny, really.

  35. You know, the who-is-more-hypocritical discussion doesn’t fly here, either. Foley is gone. It’s not like people are fighting to keep him in office. More importantly, who is more hypocritical than whom depends on what phase of the moon it is. I remember environmentalists picketing a Chicago appearance of then-VP Gore for not doing all the pro-environmental things he said he’d do (this actually happened across the street from my law school–how cool is that?). So when in office, the environment is too much of a hot potato to do anything about. When out of office or trying to get into office, it’s all important. And no, I’m not picking on the Democrats. They all do it, obviously. Otherwise, abortion would be banned, evolution would be illegal (not just teaching it, but doing it), blah, blah, blah. They are playing us like a fiddle. Wake up, America!

    My point is and has been that the corruption, lack of ethics and morals, and total disdain for any principles is a common quality in Homo politico. On certain issues, one party may be worse than the other, but the individuals are, by and large, equally despicable. To say otherwise is to be taking partisanship too far. I will grant that the GOP deserves extra scrutiny as the party in power, and I wouldn’t blame the press or others for beating them up in a disproportionate manner. Still, if we were to purge the GOP and make the Democrats king tomorrow and in 2008, it would result in a net improvement in the ethical and moral front of ZERO. If the GOP is in power for another ten years, you might get a bit of a bump in a changeover based on a reformist campaign. Like the GOP experienced in the 90s. How long did that last?

  36. “My point is and has been that the corruption, lack of ethics and morals, and total disdain for any principles is a common quality in Homo politico. On certain issues, one party may be worse than the other, but the individuals are, by and large, equally despicable. To say otherwise is to be taking partisanship too far.

    I will grant that the GOP deserves extra scrutiny as the party in power, and I wouldn’t blame the press or others for beating them up in a disproportionate manner. Still, if we were to purge the GOP and make the Democrats king tomorrow and in 2008, it would result in a net improvement in the ethical and moral front of ZERO.” – PL

    I’m keeping a copy of this. It’s freaking brilliant.

    joe will be along to call PL a Republican Bushbot stooge in 3… 2…

  37. rob,

    When you hear the term “sexual harrassment,” you think of a male boss having an affair with a female subordinate that she initiated? That’s not exactly how the term is commonly used, and it’s not how the term was used in the sexual harrassment legislation Clinton signed. The doctrine of consent that you discuss is what is in the law, regardless of how determined you are to ignore that fact.

    “Thanks for saving me the effort of doing a search through past comments by putting your excuses on the same thread.” Wouldn’t an actual libertarian recognize the difference between disapproving of something, and wanting to use force to remedy it? I’ve explained the difference between objecting to Clinton’s behavior and supporting the war waged against him to you before, and I don’t intend to do so again. I don’t for a second believe you don’t understand this point.

    If you want to play dumb, fine, but it’s your own credibility you’re flushing. You can keep throwing out the hypocrisy charged; it’s been asked and answered, and you haven’t been able to come up with any better retort than to pretend not to have heard. Sad, really.

  38. Pro Libertate,

    I agree that corruption is endemic across the political spectrum, but I just don’t see any evidence that the institutional level of corruption of this Congress – corruption not just by individual Congressmen, but corruption established as the way the House of Representatives does business under the current leadership – has any counterpart among Congressional Democrats.

  39. They’re reaching pretty deep, in my opinion. 1995 was 1995. They might as well bitch that no one ever mentioned Kennedy’s affairs while HE was in office. Is it their argument that Foley should not have been called out? Should ABC have left him where he was, following studly pages around the Capitol?

    Reynolds was under indictment. Newsworthy, to be sure, but not exactly an investigative scoop. No one had reported on Foley yet, ABC had the goods, of course they were going to run it. They’re not stupid. Once the House leadership began to melt down, well, that’s an even better story. Hell, no one cares about Foley anymore. The wingnuts are bitching about last Friday’s story even as today’s headlines are working like acid on the Republican majority.

    To wit: the House leadership didn’t hear about Reynolds’ affection for high school girls and whisper to him that he should keep a lower profile. There was no official cover-up. In Foley’s case, there was, apparently. That’s the story. Refute it, if you can, but Foley’s follies wouldn’t matter if Hastert, Shimkus, and Boehner weren’t pointing fingers at each other. Claiming a “Democratic conspiracy” is laughable. Attacking the press is suicide. This time they got enough ammunition to strike back.

  40. joe,

    I tend to agree, for the most part. The GOP is likely–as the party in firm control–to be engaging in more shenanigans than the Democrats. That’s just logical, once you accept that either party is capable of corrupt behavior when it has the ability to do so. There’s also the simple fact that the disunity in the Democratic Party makes any systemic goings on less likely.

    Of course, the exact reverse was true for the bulk of the 20th century, when the Democrats controlled Congress and much of the local and state governments. That doesn’t mean anything except that we should always be wary of leaving any party in power anywhere for too long. I’d love to build in more controls–like national term limits–to help rein in these fools, but they don’t like such things.

    I’m reminded of the changeover that happened in Texas a few years ago, where the Republicans got control of the legislature for the first time ever or something like that. They decided to undo all of the gerrymandering that the Democrats had engaged in to keep the GOP out of power for so long, and the Democrats howled (partially because, of course, the GOP decided to redistrict in its favor). Of course, once they get back in, they’ll do the same thing, and the GOP will howl. Oh, for an honest man!

  41. Let’s see here:

    “you caught Clinton in a despicable act, one that should have allowed you to destroy him and his party at the polls”

    “Clinton’s transgressions with Lewinsky seem to warrent bad press and dipping polls”

    “The perjury was bad, definitely worse, from a legal perspective, than the affair itself. It warranted some punishment, and I thought the deal he agreed to – loss of his law license, admission of guilt – was about right, give or take.”

    rob, THIS is what you consider to be “excusing” Bill Clinton? Declaring his actions despicable, supporting his punishment, and saying that broad public disapproval of him is deserved?

    There are partisan blinders on here, but they’re not mine.

  42. For the record, I hope this turns into a gigantic scandal and every nasty, corrupt politician in D.C. goes down and does time. Regardless of race, creed, color, religion, or political party. Just who, exactly, was diddling the underage help, anyway? Yeah, I mean the girls, too [sounds of screaming Congressmen in background].

    If I owned a paper, I’d friggin’ strike now, while the iron is hot. In fact, I’d compete with other media outlets to see who could bring down the most politicians. Darned shame that Bush seems like his page-screwing days are behind him. Darned shame.

    What about SCOTUS clerks? Hmmm? Interns? Children of donors?

  43. Pro Libertate,

    I still maintain that the current crop of Republicans is notable for their corruption.

    The Gingrich leadership didn’t behave like this Congress. Nor did the Republican Senate leadership in 1983-85, or the Democratic leadership in the 80s and early 90. You’ve got to go back decades to find equivalent levels of misbehavior.

    The George HW Bush White House didn’t behave like this White House, or the Carter White House, or the Ford White House, or the Clinton White House. Not even the Reagan administration, which holds the record to the highest number of indictments, approached what we’ve seen over the past few years. Remember the 1986 budget act? When Reagan ordered his staff to start working on it, he ordered to look for “weak claims,” not merely “weak recipients.” Can you even imagine similar guidance from Tom Delay, or Bill Frist, or Karl Rove? The only reasonable comparison is the Nixon White House.

    Corruption is all too common, but it doesn’t do us any good to ignore differences in its severity.

  44. “For the record, I hope this turns into a gigantic scandal and every nasty, corrupt politician in D.C. goes down and does time.”

    But how would we survive without our Dear Leaders? {or is that Great Leaders?)

  45. ABC Ignored Teen-Sex Scandal of Democrat Mel Reynolds Until 1995 Conviction…

    Welcome to the Two-Wrongs-Make-A-Right school of political spinnery…

  46. Foley
    Studds
    Crane
    Reynolds
    Frank

    Republicans rail on and on about moral issues. When caught with their hands in the cookie jar, they resign or get forced out by their party. Fine with me.

    The situation with Democrats is a bit like affirmative action. That’s OK too.

  47. Reynolds was huge news here in Chicago, but I think the story played out a lot differently. It wasn’t broken by the media. Nobody tried to play it like the Dems might be covering something up or that the Repubs were launching an assault on the Dems. As I remember it: feds announced indictment, produced lurid evidence, we all said “eewww, yuck!”, he went to jail. What makes the biggest difference between the two incidents? Maybe that the media broke the Foley story, maybe the implication of a political party covering up for a member, maybe it’s the blogosphere. Any other ideas?

  48. I think you can be a Democrat in a Republican Congress and still be a complete and utter scumbag.

  49. There’s a conspiracy here somewhere. These things don’t just happen by themselves. I’m thinking Mossad, but I haven’t connected the dots yet. Maybe a drug was slipped into Foley’s drink. Maybe a controlled press waited for the drung to take effect. Who controls the press? Who benefits?

  50. I agree with the former Representative from Youngstown.

  51. After going through several articles and time ling, seems to me that too many people want to dump on Hastert and call this a coverup.

    It’s clear to me there is 2 sets of emails (or I should say several emails and IMs). The first set of emails got leaked out and that was the set everyone got. Most people didn’t think much of them and it could be left up to interpration.

    It wasn’t until the IM came out that really got Foley in trouble.

    Now if Hastert knew about the IMs, then there was a cover up. But seems like Hastert only got the emails and with Hastert telling Foley to stop it and the FBI stating that those emails did not raise to the level of a federal offense, there is just not enough evidence there for Hastert to step down do to a cover up.

  52. Reynolds was totally ignored by the national media. He was under investigation and then indicted, which received little coverage (like two stories in major papers) outside the national media. He won an election while indicted. After being convicted, he remained a congressman for almost two months.

    But the underage employee that Reynold’s banged worked for him in Chicago. The of-age employees that Foley didn’t bang worked for him in DC. Yeah, totally justifies the differing treatment in the stories.

  53. I have to admit I wasn’t too familiar with Mel Reynolds until this thread. Wikipedia sex:

    Reynolds was sentenced to five years in prison and expected to be released in 1998. However, in April 1997, he was convicted on 15 unrelated counts of bank fraud and lying to SEC investigators. These charges resulted in an additional sentence of 78 months in federal prison. Reynolds served all of his first sentence and served forty-two months in prison for the later charges. At that point, U.S. President Bill Clinton commuted the sentence for bank fraud. As a result, Reynolds was released from prison and served the remaining time in a half way house.

    Oh, and he currently works for Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. Somehow I doubt Foley will get off so easily, although his transparent “alcoholism” defense is a good first step in that direction.

  54. Reynolds was totally ignored by the national media. He was under investigation and then indicted, which received little coverage (like two stories in major papers) outside the national media. He won an election while indicted. After being convicted, he remained a congressman for almost two months.

    Again, in Chicago, the story got huge play. Another difference, Reynolds did deny the charges. He fought the whole time, claiming that it was a racist thing. Foley folded immediately and admitted everything. If I hadn’t just noticed that my library card has expired, I would go into the Trib & Sun-Times archives (Did you know that your library card might give you access to all sorts of online archives and searches that normally are pay-services? Pretty cool, huh?) and post some quotes to give a feel for how the media treated Reynolds at the time.

  55. It makes sense that Reynold got huge play in Chicago. The reason being… Reynolds is from the Chicago area.

    But say out here in California, Reynolds was more of just a blip on the radar screen.

  56. But say out here in California, Reynolds was more of just a blip on the radar screen.

    …which makes sense. Why should the entire nation care about the story until the guy either admitted guilt or was convicted of a crime?

  57. bigbigslacker,

    “Foley
    Studds
    Crane
    Reynolds
    Frank”

    Barney Frank doesn’t belong in that list. The other four were diddling minors. Barney Frank was guilty of, in order of severity, fixing parking tickets, getting stabbed in the back by his boyfriend, and being gay.

  58. Ammonium,

    “Yeah, totally justifies the differing treatment in the stories.”

    1. It isn’t just that they worked in DC, but that they worked for Congress, which makes is much more our business.

    2. It wasn’t my intent to justify the different levels of coverage, but to explain them in a more plausible manner than imagined liberal media conspiracies.

  59. Mmmmm, blowjobs…

  60. Joe, not quite. From wiki:

    “In 1990, the House voted to reprimand Frank when it was revealed that a male prostitute, Steve Gobie, that Rep. Frank had befriended after hiring him through a personal advertisement, had conducted a prostitution ring from Frank’s apartment when he was not at home. Frank had dismissed Gobie earlier that year after learning of Gobie’s activities.”

    He hired a prostitute. I can’t fault him for that. But he fixed parking tickets for the customers of pimp/prostitute he was housing. He booted the guy out of his house, apparently a sign he didn’t approve of the illegal activity in his home. But that doesn’t jive with using clout to erase the parking tickets. I would say he had a minor role in abeting his freinds activites.

    I see that kind of activity as bing on par with sending dirty emails to 16 or 17 year old pages. Enough to warrant embarrasment, but that’s about it.

    And as with Foley, we are only discussing the things we know about.

  61. “THIS is what you consider to be ‘excusing’ Bill Clinton?” – joe

    Take a poll, joe. See who thinks you’re excusing him. I understand that you don’t think you are, but there’s always that “but…” in everything you write. As in “but the other guys are worse.” Which is a line you oft ridicule when it is applied to Gore/Kerry.

    You really believe that the current crop of guys is the worst and that if only they were Democrats everything would be hunky-dory. I think you need a serious reality check, but then I don’t feel a need to defend either side. Both sides blow, so to speak.

    The party in power deserves to be raked over the coals more meticulously, sure, but only the people on this forum who share your bent political persuasion thinks that you’re willing to admit that the side you support is just as bad as the side you revile.

    Whether you’re defending Barney Frank or Bill Clinton, your real motivation is partisanship. if either of those guys were Republicans you’d be screeeching about how evil they are.

    About the only thing you’ve said here that makes sense: “It wasn’t my intent to justify the different levels of coverage, but to explain them in a more plausible manner than imagined liberal media conspiracies.” – joe

    Me? I hope as many politicians (from both sides of the aisle) get swept up in this. I hope it ends up rotating nearly the entire current cast out of Congress. But you? It’s only a good time if the bloodletting doesn’t spatter the corrupt guys on the Donkey Team.

  62. False equivalencies are just as much a sign of bias as inflating the guilt of one side, rob.

    Clinton had an affair with a 22 year old that she instigated.

    Foley, apparently, was making a habit of trolling for nookie among high-schools students.

    The bias here is in pretending the two are equal.

    “Whether you’re defending Barney Frank or Bill Clinton, your real motivation is partisanship.” You seem to be a lot better at saying that than in refuting the substance of any of my statements.

  63. “False equivalencies are just as much a sign of bias as inflating the guilt of one side, rob.” – joe

    I’d agree, if i were making a FALSE equivalency statement. For it to be false, you’d need to be able to show how it is false. So tell me where the false is in this equivalent statement: One guy broke the laws he signed into law and another guy broke the laws he sponsored. How is that not an equivocal situation?

    Apparently you think writing dirty messages is worse than sexual harassment? I just want to make sure I’ve got your points correct.

    BTW, I’m not the guy saying which was worse, I think both are despicable. I think, personally, that Foley’s actions were creepier and Clinton’s were understandable (having seen his wife). But the hypocrisy is equivocal, even you should be able to see that.

    Oh wait, you can’t. You’ve got those trusty blinders on keeping the inconvenient truth safely out of your line of sight.

  64. OK, I’ll say it again.

    The sexual harrassment bill that Clinton signed did not define his behavior as sexual harrassment. Had he engaged in any of the prohibited actions – unwanted advances, remarks, or touching; demanding sexual favors under threat of professional consquences; creating a hostile atmosphere in Ms. Lewisnsky’s workplace – then your accusation of hypocrisy would be appropriate.

    But the behaviors he indulged in – responding to her advances, conducting a consensual affair, breaking it off with no repercussions – are not defined as sexual harrassment under that bill, or any sexual harrassment legislation I’ve ever seen.

  65. joe – Paula Jones. Does the name ring any bells for you? The behaviors Clinton “indulged in” certainly violated the behaviors you are describing.

    So what were you saying again?

    Doesn’t excuse Foley in the slightest – but as far as anyone currently knows, all Foley did was send some dirty notes to a page. Considerably different from actually boinking someone (Lewinsky), or trying to force someone to boink you (Clinton).

  66. joe – Paula Jones. Does the name ring any bells for you? The behaviors Clinton “indulged in” certainly violated the behaviors you are describing.

    So what were you saying again?

    Doesn’t excuse Foley in the slightest – but as far as anyone currently knows, all Foley did was send some dirty notes to a page. Considerably different from actually boinking someone (Lewinsky), or trying to force someone to boink you (Clinton).

  67. Should have read: “or trying to force someone to boink you (Jones).”

  68. rob,

    Following your change of subject from Lewinsky to Paula Jones, if the episode with Paula Jones occured as she described it, that would certainly be sexual harrassment.

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