Siren Song

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siren.gif

Hypothetical question: What if some investigators were casting a net for local pedophiles, or even had a specific trenchcoated creep they wanted to sting? Instead of waiting for a young boy (or girl) to contact the perp, and then swoop in on the tryst, they create a fake identity and have SeriouslyImAHotYoungStud89 do the flirting. The pervert was fooled into describing "what I'd like to do to you" to a snickering PI.

Obviously, I just described what happens in NBC's million-part To Catch a Predator exposes. It also sounds a lot like what the Drudge Report is plugging right now, complete with a flashing siren on the home page.

According to two people close to former congressional page Jordan Edmund, the now famous lurid AOL Instant Message exchanges that led to the resignation of Mark Foley were part of an online prank that by mistake got into the hands of enemy political operatives, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

According to one Oklahoma source who knows the former page very well, Edmund, a conservative Republican, goaded Foley to type embarrassing comments that were then shared with a small group of young Hill politicos. The prank went awry when the saved IM sessions got into the hands of political operatives favorable to Democrats. This source, an ally of Edmund, also adamantly proclaims that the former page is not a homosexual. The prank scenario was confirmed by a second associate of Edmund.

There are two ways to read that. One is the way I just heard it on Rush Limbaugh's and Sean Hannity's shows, that this is a shocking twist that turns the spotlight on Democrat perfidy. The other is that Mark Foley was a closeted predator who was known to lust after pages, so much so that the pages could Ashton Kutcher him over IM.

Do GOP defenders actually think this spin (and it's from Drudge, who's been wrong once today) does anything but heat up the scandal? This scandal cuts like the previous year's scandals didn't because parents are primed (by NBC, by Nancy Grace, by grandstanding politicians like Mark Foley) to fear older men hunting for sex with young kids. If Drudge is right, Foley was conducting one-handed IM conversations for years and people on the Hill knew it.

When the majority party can't even spin a sex scandal without making it worse, they're probably due for two years in the cheap seats.

UPDATE: John Tabin agrees, in the much more GOP-friendly climes of the American Spectator.

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  1. Question: did Reason put out a memo within the last few weeks that went a little something like this…

    Attn: All Hit & Run Editors & Contributors

    More pictures! Gifs, jpegs, just pile ’em on! Our blog readership is dwindling, so we’ve gotta keep ’em interested by attaching creepy floating Clooney heads and animated gifs of police flashers to our posts. That will be all.

    -The Management

  2. “There are two ways to read that.”

    May I suggest a third? The story about this whole thing being a big joke, a misunderstanding really, is put forward several hours after the young social conservative with an interest in national politics, who is known to have been involved in long distance gay sex, is identified by name in the national media.

    Ever see “Brain Candy?” No, no, I was just helping him up…

  3. What Joe said. (I had my own way of phrasing it, but the squirrels seem to have eaten my thoughts.)

  4. …fear older men hunting for sex with young kids.

    I’m really tired of seeing teenagers referred to as “young kids”. (This incorrect and inflamatory language is all over the media.) Teenagers are old kids; pre-teens are young kids. Are journalists really this ignorant or are they willfully misleading the public?

  5. it’s always a joke! (afterwards)

    it’s just that if your thing is twinks, why spend political capital for legislation aimed at your thing? (as it were)

  6. its sad this petty scandal might bring down the republicans rather than the true crimes they perpetrate daily…

  7. When the majority party can’t even spin a sex scandal without making it worse, they’re probably due for two years in the cheap seats.

    And Randy and Jason will be there to make fun of them.

  8. I have to ask if trenchcoated creep is in reference to Drudge. I know he wears a stupid fedora, so I can imagine him hanging around alleys.

    As for the flashing light, I just hit Esc.

  9. mick: Yes, but it’s sweetly ironic that the party most in favor of spying on everybody’s private communications, and which otherwise cares the most about what goes on behind closed doors, is brought down when their private activity is disclosed.

  10. because parents are primed (by NBC, by Nancy Grace, by grandstanding politicians like Mark Foley) to fear older men hunting for sex with young kids.

    You seem to have forgotten the number one primer of parents, Bill O’Reilly. He has pounded the Internet predator, child molester thing harder than anybody, and given some of the horrific crimes comitted against children that’s probably a good thing.

    I don’t watch him that much but did happen to see him discussing the Foley situation when it first broke. He looked like a guy who had lost his best friend and had his dog die on the same day. He was so crushed that this would happen to his side in the war where he battles valiantly as a self-proclaimed “Culture Warrior” every day.

  11. The police report says you were holding him around the waist, and pulling him back into you.

    Well, I was trying to keep him from falling over. The man’s pants were around his ankles for God’s sake!

  12. Yeah, the prank angle gets him nowhere. A better defense would’ve been to have said that he had been framed, because he had proof positive that Bush was behind 9/11. Now that would’ve caused a ruckus! Yowsa!

  13. Question: did Reason put out a memo within the last few weeks that went a little something like this…

    I doubt it. This is the web. Most likely one of the contributors added a graphic, all the others IMed him for the code, and voila. It’s no more difficult than adding bold or italics once you think of it.

  14. Good one, joe.

    You know, I don’t want to bring Clinton into this thing, but Monica was only 19 when that happened. Sean Hannity said so. Actually she was 22, but STILL! Sean Hannity said so!

  15. When has Sean Hannity ever steered you wrong?

  16. Joe, didya happen to see TDS last night talking about Hannity’s idiotic statements? Not only did he get the age wrong, but even if he didn’t, and she WAS 19, then the difference is, that was LEGAL, whereas this is not. But, as Jon explained, why should “the law” matter to, um, the LAWMAKERS…?

  17. That’s what the Intelligence agencies to when interest in the war on terror lags. Bait some teenagers from Muslim families with some kooky, impractical ideas for a terrorist attack, then swoop in, arrest them and release it to the press.

  18. How is this illegal? Is there a law now that says that anything that makes a puritan say “ick” should be illegal?

  19. Mark Foley was a closeted predator who was known to lust after pages

    Predator?

    Me and Jimmah Carter have each known lust in our hearts but that doesn’t make either of us a predator.

    Besides, how can you be a closeted predator? That’s like saying he’d be a predator except he’s really not a predator.

  20. Foleygate blunders on while legislation allowing the government to throw american citizens in prison without a trial is passed and about to be signed into law.

  21. Evan!,

    Ready for my Sean Hannity immitation:

    Dhimmitude!

    Hugo Chavez!

    Uh…Mexicans!

  22. Bait some teenagers from Muslim families with some kooky, impractical ideas for a terrorist attack

    The page was Muslim?

  23. Bait some teenagers from Muslim families with some kooky, impractical ideas for a terrorist attack

    The page was Muslim?

  24. I’m really tired of seeing teenagers referred to as “young kids”. … Are journalists really this ignorant or are they willfully misleading the public?

    Journalists are generally pretty damned ignorant, but in this case the mis-labelling is willful, and not new: they did the same thing with the homosexual priests a while back. They do it so the perps (right word?) can be labelled as ‘pedophiles’ rather than ‘homosexuals.’

  25. For those keeping score:

    Thinking integreted colleges are better than all-white colleges: racism.

    Thinking being gay means wanting to have sex with people who aren’t old enough to drive: totally not homophobia.

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