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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Right Wing Noise Machine Gets Squeaky Over Foley

There's a scene in National Lampoon's Animal House that seems to reflect the mood of the rightwing noise machine over the Foley scandal.

D-Day: War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
Bluto: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Otter: Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.
Bluto: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough...
[thinks hard]
Bluto: the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go! Aaaahhh!
[runs out, alone; then returns]
Bluto: What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer...
Otter: Dead! Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.
Bluto: We're just the guys to do it.
D-Day: Let's do it.
Bluto: LET'S DO IT!


The 'futile and stupid gesture' seems to be to run to the defense of Foley and blame everything on Democrats. Matt Drudge started it early, calling the Foley scandal 'the big one' and 'the October surprise'.

Media Matters:

DRUDGE: Good evening, John. How are you? Did you -- have you heard The New York Times has put four Foley stories on their front page tomorrow?

JOHN FUND (Wall Street Journal columnist): They have created their own fast news day out of thin air.

DRUDGE: Wow. Well, this is it. This is the big one. This is the October surprise.


That's right. Democrats either set this up three years in advance or they've invented a time machine. Drudge doesn't really say which. But he doesn't waste any time blaming the victims. In fact, he says they're 'beasts' and Foley was merely an innocent man seduced by youthful -- I don't know -- congressman mongers or something.

DRUDGE: And if anything, these kids are less innocent, these 16- and 17-year-old beasts. And I've seen what they're doing on YouTube, and I've seen what they're doing all over the Internet. Oh yeah. And you just have to tune into any part of their pop culture. You're not going to tell me these are innocent babies. Have you read the transcripts that ABC posted going into the weekend of these instant messages, back and forth? The kids are egging the congressman on! The kids are trying to get this out of him. We haven't got the whole story on this.

[...]

DRUDGE: You could say, "Well, Drudge, it's abuse of power. This is a congressman abusing these impressionable, young 17-year-old beasts. Talking about their sex lives with a grown man, on the Internet." Because you have to remember, those of us who have seen some of the transcripts of these nasty instant messages. This was two ways, ladies and gentlemen. These kids were playing Foley for everything he was worth. Oh yeah. Oh, I haven't -- you know, they were talking about how many times they've masturbated, and oh, they didn't do it with their girlfriends this weekend. All this -- all these things and these innocent children. And this poor congressman sitting there typing about, "Oh, am I going to get any?" You know?


Says a lot about Drudge that this strikes him as a legit defense -- does he go home at night and curse those little teenage whores in their schoolgirl uniforms for giving him a woody? You kind of have to wonder... I don't want to know what it is he's been watching on YouTube, anyway.

Rush Limbaugh also puts dems in the wayback machine with Sherman and Mr. Peabody, heading back in time to screw up Foley.

LIMBAUGH: I'm just thinking out loud here. What if somebody got to the page and said, you know, we want you to set Foley up. We need to do a little titillating thing here. Keep it and save it and so forth. How would you get a kid to do that? Yeah, who knows? You threaten him or pay him. There's any number of ways given the kind of people that we're dealing with and talking about here.


"Now, folks, I don't want to be misunderstood here," he told his audience, "I'm not trying to mount any kind of a defense. That's a bad word." I assume the bad word he's referring to is 'mount'.

But if you want to see the noise machine at its worst -- at its absolute insane worst -- you have to go online.

New Orleans Times-Picayune:

The FBI is investigating a possible threat against the north Louisiana teenager who was on the receiving end of suggestive e-mails from disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley, a Louisiana congressman said Tuesday.

Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, said Tuesday that the young man's life wasn't threatened, "but close to it."

"There are people out there who feel like he is the one who (accused) Foley," Alexander said. "There are some bloggers out there who sent him some ugly stuff."

[...]

Alexander, who sponsored the teenager to be a House page, said the FBI recently launched an investigation after someone sent a particularly strong e-mail to the young man.

"It is something the family is concerned about," Alexander said.


Others resort to out and out lies.

Raw Story:

The blogger who claimed that one of the pages in the Foley scandal was not under the age of eighteen has pulled the post, RAW STORY has learned.

The blog Passionate America revealed the identify and published a photograph of one of Foley's alleged victims today, hours ahead of its announced 4 pm CST unveiling. The post was pulled shortly afterwards.

RAW STORY did not link to the claim, for ethical reasons. In it, Passionate America asserted that the young man is currently 21 years old.

RAW STORY can verify that the young man in question is not the Congressional page from the emails that originally surfaced. The recipient of those is currently 17 (and was 16 at the time of the correspondence).


Other bloggers, completely out of ammo, quickly turn the conversation away from the scandal with long strings of straw men -- while managing to blame Democrats for the whole thing anyway.

Right Wing Nut House:

But why let common sense or common decency for that matter spoil a good smear campaign? The muddy hoofprints left by Democrats over the last few years as they have dirtied the reputations of several Republicans who have later turned out to be innocent (Karl Rove in Plamegate for one) reveals a party so totally bereft of ideas that their only hope to take advantage of the monumentally stupid and disastrous Republican leadership is to pray for more Americans to die in Iraq and Afghanistan, hope that gas prices go higher, and wish for an economic downturn. Even with Republicans as weak and vulnerable as they have been in a generation or more, the Democrats still could lose thanks to a party so intellectually bankrupt and morally ambivalent that they can’t bring themselves to tell the American people the truth about their cut and run strategy in Iraq or that they fully intend to initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States at the earliest possible moment after they achieve power in the House.


Not so much of a defense as it is "Quick, look over there!" The Cliffs Notes version of that paragraph would be, "Foley? DEMOCRATS ARE EVIL!! BOOGA!!"

This passes as an argument in some circles, I guess.

RWNH also points us to a post at American Thinker, in which not a lot of thought is displayed.

Reportedly the St Pete Times had the same information in August 2005 and wrote nothing about it either, apparently because the emails do not constitute illegal conduct, they are just creepy, and the boy’s parents did not wish to pursue this.

The far more damaging IM messages were released by CREW , the same “public interest” group which is representing the Wilson/Plames in their laughable suit against Cheney, et al.

When did they get the IM’s? Why did they wait until now to release them? Is there any indication the Republicans who looked into THIS MATTER had any knowledge of their(the IM’s) existence.

Pardon an old lady’s suspicions. I’ve seen this dance too many times before.


Damn that Democrat Time Machine! They set Foley up! This last one comes just short of saying the IM logs are fake. But, if that's the case, why did Foley resign?

If all this is the Democratic Party's fault, why did Foley admit it? But that's not the big question.

The big question is why the dems would need an 'October Surprise' when every poll showed Republicans getting their asses kicked in November. Not surprisingly, I haven't come across any rightwing response to that one.

--Wisco


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