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ABC News Has Problems... Big Problems

I called Kevin with this but he must have gotten busy.

ABC is in deep doo doo. Drudge has the scoop.



Wed Oct 04 2006 20:32:06 ET

A posting on ABCNEWS.COM of an unredacted instant message sessions between Rep. Mark Foley and a former congressional page has exposed the identity of the now 21 year-old accuser.

The website PASSIONATE AMERICA detailed the startling exposure late Wednesday.

ABCNEWS said in a statement: "We go to great lengths to prevent the names of alleged sex crime victims from being revealed. On Friday there was a very brief technical glitch on our site which was overridden immediately. It is possible that during that very brief interval a screen name could have been captured. Reviews of the site since then show no unredacted screen names."


On Tuesday ABC news released a high-impact instant message exchange between Foley and, as ABC explained, a young man "under the age of 18."

ABC headlined the story: "New Foley Instant Messages; Had Internet Sex While Awaiting House Vote"

But upon reviewing the records, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, the young man was in fact over the age of 18 at the time of the exchange.

A network source explains, messages with the young man and disgraced former Congressman Foley took place before and after the 18th birthday.


THIS as they say, changes everything.

UPDATE: INCREDIBLE blogosphere sleuthing over at Passionate America

Update 2: Drudge is wrong. After thinking about it, I remember one of the transcripts where the kid said he would not be 18 for a few months... So it's been obvious the kid was 17 the whole time.

Disclaimer: I have not been following this and apparently all the other Wizbangers are asleep. I'll do my best to catch up.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference ABC News Has Problems... Big Problems:

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Video: Russert discusses Foley sex scandal

» RightLinx linked with ABC News Obsession with Sex Chat

Comments (21)

wait for it.....Th... (Below threshold)

wait for it.....

This was all a plot by Karl Rove!

I haven't really been follo... (Below threshold)

I haven't really been following this story all that closely, so forgive my ignorance, but was this 18-year-old still a page at the time of the IMs? If so, then this doesn't change everything.

I'm playing catch up myself... (Below threshold)

I'm playing catch up myself but apparently he left the page program in 2002 and the emails (IMs) were from 2003. AND the guy was 18 at the time.

We learned during the Clinton era all about consenting adults and sex lies.

The bombshell is that ABC -apparently- lied about the kid's age. That's big if true.

JSchuler:The signifigance i... (Below threshold)

JSchuler:The signifigance is that you can't commit pedophilia with an adult.This story exploded because it was said that GOP leaders covered up knowledge of Foleys pedophilia.It looks to me though the GOP leadership didn't cover up anything,and now it appears that there wasn't even anything to cover up.It may turn out that this was another Rathergate style hit piece that-because of the apparantly accidental release of the pages identity and true age-is beginning to unravel.Developing...

See my last update... The k... (Below threshold)

See my last update... The kid was 17... still above age of concent in DC.

Off topic slightly, but if ... (Below threshold)

Off topic slightly, but if anyone cares, the leak came from a GOP staffer - see this article in The Hill. There goes that 'democratic conspiracy' idea everyone was hanging on for!

True, Xennady, but if the y... (Below threshold)

True, Xennady, but if the young man was still a page, then such messages would be an abuse of power similar in spirit to Clinton and Lewinski if not in magnitude. Such behavior should have merited a censure.

I'm also interested in how the jurisdiction will play out here. Sure, DC's age of consent is 16, but what is it in Florida where the page received these emails and who has grounds to prosecute in the event of wrong-doing?

Paul could very well be right and this may just be a case of Foley being guilty of being a creep and nothing more, but I'm staying agnostic for now.

Oh, one more thing: seeing ... (Below threshold)

Oh, one more thing: seeing as how there are very legitimate questions about whether Foley did anything illegal in this matter and yet he quickly resigned once this became a public scandle, do you think the media will praise the GOP for being able to quickly clean its own house in contrast to the Democrats?


Why are you all laughing?

GOP staffer being blackmail... (Below threshold)

GOP staffer being blackmailed? (This man may have had unlimited access to Foley's screenname and computer.)for being a closet gay? Seems people upset how Foley voted on gay issues.

Bothered by the new accounts of predatory behavior by some former pages on cable news especially when they go into a "right winged" rant. Makes me wonder if they are a victim or just playing a political game.

Anyway Mike rogers asking for $$ via pay pal for his "defense" He seems to like outing gay republicans ??? And he admited on his site playing a part in bringing Foley down.

That said good riddance to Foley. But I wonder if the man who once was a Democrat wishes he were still a democrat.

The young man was 17 and a... (Below threshold)

The young man was 17 and a former page at the time of ONE of the IM exchanges - the one where he says, "I won't be 18 until Feb 23" . . . There is no evidence that any others were before his 18th birthday - ABC claims the most damning and explicit ones were from April 2003, when he was already 18.

Let's take a minute and reflect upon the act of SAVING IM conversations. Many people didn't know it was possible. Most wonder WHY the heck you would - I'm told some people save their most exciting virtual-sex sessions, which seems plausible if somewhat creepy, and borderline insane if it's a work or shared computer.

But if that is one reason to save an IM exchange, what would be the others?

Think about it.

Why are you praising Passio... (Below threshold)

Why are you praising Passionate America for outing this kid? First they slam ABC for "screwing up" by letting slip the screen name, then they jump through hoops to identify him and publish his real name? A bit hypocritical, wouldn't you say?

Think about it.If ... (Below threshold)

Think about it.

If I save it... its insurance ? blackmail? Career advancement? ... my simple mind doesn't go further than that.

If someone else gains access ... blackmail? Payback?

Brian ~ What about the "pub... (Below threshold)

Brian ~ What about the "public's right to know" about WHO is raising claims about elected officials?

This man is an adult, over 21 at the time he submitted material to ABC of his own free will. Everything Passionate America found was publicly available. So what is your problem with that, again?

I didn't say I had a proble... (Below threshold)

I didn't say I had a problem with it. I said it's hypocritical to slam ABC for releasing his screen name, then follow up by releasing his real name.

Though I could argue that the "public's right to know" extends only to the actions of public figures, not to average citizens. And even then, there are limits in an ongoing investigation. Do you have the right to know who every rape victim is? The subject of an accusation has a right to know who the accuser is in a court of law, not the newspaper, or a blog.

Let me amend that, due to a... (Below threshold)

Let me amend that, due to actions in the last few days. The subject of an accusation except that of being a terrorist has a right to know who the accuser is.

It is quite possible that t... (Below threshold)

It is quite possible that the IM user doesn't KNOW that the messages are archived. My son didn't (and STILL doesn't) know.

Heh heh.

Vigilance is key.

Who the Hell cares about th... (Below threshold)

Who the Hell cares about the age or sex of the page/intern. This is a case of a person in high power abusing their power to sexually harrass a low level worker.

That's enough information to discredit and require that peron's departure from public office. Sadly, both sides of the aisle would have many empty seats if this standard were unconditionally applied.

While Foley can rot, accura... (Below threshold)
Jack Moss:

While Foley can rot, accuracy in the story is key. Whether the young man was 17 or 18, doesn't matter, 16 is the age of consent under the laws of DC.

16 is the age of consent... (Below threshold)

16 is the age of consent under the laws of DC.

But federal law is 18.

The age of consent in DC is... (Below threshold)
Tom in Texas:

The age of consent in DC is irrelevant here. Foley broke federal, not state law. The issue is that, under the laws Foley championed, it is illegal to have sexually explicit conversations with someone under the age of 18. Foley did this multiple times with multiple pages, breaking his own laws.

Let these Republicans defen... (Below threshold)

Let these Republicans defend Foley's actions, Tom -- they are just digging themselves further into a hole.






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