O'Reilly on Foley's homosexuality: "It wasn't an issue at all until now"

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

Discussing the resignation of former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) on the September 29 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly linked Foley's alleged misconduct to his being gay, declaring that "there have been rumors about Foley's homosexuality for years," but "[i]t wasn't an issue at all until now." Fox News correspondent Major Garrett responded by claiming the scandal "raises suspicions that never had before surfaced publicly about whether or not Mark Foley's sexual orientation in any way impacts his job. To date, there's been no evidence that it has. This is the first time those two things have been joined together."

Foley resigned from Congress on September 29 amid allegations that he engaged in sexually inappropriate e-mail and instant message conversations with underage male pages.

As Media Matters for America previously noted, Fox News political analyst and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) stated on the October 1 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday that House Republicans would have "been accused of gay bashing" if they had "overly aggressively reacted" to Foley's allegedly inappropriate electronic communications with a 16-year-old male congressional page when House Republicans reportedly first learned of Foley's actions in late 2005. Gingrich continued, explaining that "gay bashing," would have occurred had Republican leaders investigated the matter "[b]ecause it was a male-male relationship."

From the September 29 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: OK. Now, there have been rumors about Foley's homosexuality for years. You've heard them, we've all heard them. It wasn't an issue at all until now.

GARRETT: Not an issue directly in this case, except the male -- the page is a male. He's a young boy. It raises suspicions that never had before surfaced publicly about whether or not Mark Foley's sexual orientation in any way impacts his job. To date, there's been no evidence that it has. This is the first time those two things have been joined together.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBT
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly, Major Garrett
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
Stories/Interests
Mark Foley Scandal
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