Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The source of Mark Foley emails

Jonathan Weisman of WaPo reports the Democrats did not orchestrate an October Surprise to affect the midterm elections despite what Faux News and the yammering con-apparatchiki say (with emphasis):

Two of the news media's sources of Mark Foley's sexually explicit instant messages to former House pages said this week that they came forward to expose the Florida congressman's actions, not to help the Democrats in the midterm elections.
Those 2004 e-mails -- dubbed "over-friendly" by House Republican leaders -- originally leaked out of the office of Rep. Rodney Alexander (La.), a Republican. But, Republicans say, they still may have come from a Democrat on his staff. Alexander changed parties in 2004.
The timing of the e-mails' release appears to be more of a coincidence than an "October surprise," designed to affect the outcome of the elections. It took more than a year for the e-mails to be published because one publication after another decided not to print them.
The one media outlet that did, ABC News, took them public in late September only because the lead reporter, Brian Ross, had put the story on hold for more than a month as he pursued stories commemorating the anniversaries of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and Hurricane Katrina.
"There was never a plan to undermine the GOP or to destroy Hastert personally, as the speaker has vaingloriously suggested," Ken Silverstein, Washington editor for Harper's, said on the magazine's Web site yesterday. "I know this with absolute certainty because Harper's was offered the story almost five months ago."
Silverstein said his source was a "Democratic operative," the same source that had provided the e-mail exchanges to the St. Petersburg Times in November 2005. Both the magazine and the paper declined to publish a story. But the source "was not working in concert with the national Democratic Party," Silverstein added. "This person was genuinely disgusted by Foley's behavior, amazed that other publications had declined to publish stories about the emails, and concerned that Foley might still be seeking contact with pages."
A second source emerged, however, just last month, peddling the e-mails to several other publications, including The Post. And Ross of ABC News has stressed that his initial source was a Republican.
"I decided that it was in the best interests of kids in general, pages and my friends specifically that Foley be dealt with quickly and swiftly so that he couldn't hurt anyone else," the Republican student wrote in his e-mail. "We've seen how long the Justice department and every other government bureaucracy can take to deal with criminal issues and abuse. I knew the media would be the fastest way to get Foley the justice he deserved."
As for The Post's source, Foley's initial response to the disclosure of the e-mails finally persuaded him to share his information, he said.
"When the first e-mails came out, Foley's campaign came out saying it was all a well-timed Democratic smear. Those rumors were unfounded, and I knew that to be untrue," the Democratic former page said. Before the ABC News report, "we were reluctant to take on Congress as young politicos ourselves, but when first blows were made, there was no harm in coming forward," he added.
So enough with the conspiracy theories. The matter is just a plain ol' coverup emanating from a state of denial in the GOP-run Congress. Hastert needs to go.