Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Clearing Up the Foley Mess

Let first start off by saying that I am object to Justin Phillips opening line in his post on the subject on GOP3.com on the basis that the whole priest/pedophilia scandal was blown entirely out of proportion. I do not stand by the priests who did molest those children but the simple fact was that the media immediately jumped on priest who was accused of pedophilia with no evidence to back up the accuser’s claim. A lot of innocent priests had their reputations and their lives damaged because certain accusers wanted a piece of the limelight. That’s all I am saying on that issue.

Secondly, I am not one to give Mark Foley a free pass simply because he is a Republican. I also like to believe that any sensible Republican in this country would feel the exact same way. The fact that the Republican Party of Florida the moment they discovered this was going on forced Foley to resign a mere three weeks before the election puts them on a higher pedestal in terms of moral ethics then the Democratic Party. Remember the Clinton scandal – it’s just sex so he shouldn’t be forced to resign.

The question the media is focusing on is whether Speaker Dennis Hester should resign as well on the basis that he did not act quickly enough to force Mark Foley to resign. But who is more responsible, the media or Speaker Dennis Hester? So far there is no evidence to suggest the Republican Party of Florida was aware of the instant messages between Foley and the page. They were only aware of the e-mails which requested a photo. While that is a bit unusual, it certainly doesn’t suggest anything sexual in nature. And what about ABC News and their decision to sit on the story which they have had since summer 2004 until a mere three weeks before the election? If we (the media and American society in general) are criticizing Hester for not acting quickly enough if it was so apparent to begin with then why did ABC News chose to sit on the story for nearly two years?

However, what I see as the more important question we should be asking, something of which was the topic of discussion in my Media and Politics class this afternoon, is whether democracy is being served in the state of Florida where by law it is too late for the GOP to change the name of their candidate on the ballot? Yes, in spite of the fact that Foley has resigned and a new candidate has been selected less then three weeks before the election the name on the ballot for the GOP will still read Mark Foley.