Buchanan baselessly charged that Pelosi, Sen. Clinton marched with NAMBLA; no challenge from Blitzer

››› ››› ROB DIETZ & KURT DONALDSON

Pat Buchanan baselessly asserted that there is "a large element of hypocrisy" in comments by an aide to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that if "we had seen Mark Foley's inappropriate emails or instant messages to House pages, we would have immediately acted to protect the kids" because Pelosi "has marched in gay pride parades in which they've had floats of the North American Man-Boy Love Association, which wants to eliminate all age of consent laws." Buchanan also called Foley a "flamer" and baselessly connected Democratic criticism of the handling of the Foley scandal to opposition to the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay scoutmasters.

On the October 8 edition of CNN's Late Edition, MSNBC political analyst and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan baselessly asserted that there is "a large element of hypocrisy" in comments by Jennifer Crider, press secretary to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), that if "we had seen Mark Foley's inappropriate emails or instant messages to House pages, we would have immediately acted to protect the kids." Buchanan based his charge of "hypocrisy" on the claim that Pelosi "has marched in gay pride parades in which they've had floats of the North American Man-Boy Love Association [NAMBLA], which wants to eliminate all age of consent laws." Buchanan then added that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) "has marched in a parade with a similar float." Late Edition host Wolf Blitzer did not challenge Buchanan's smears.

Similarly, during a panel discussion on the October 5 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Buchanan linked Pelosi's attendance at gay pride parades to support for NAMBLA, stating "Pelosi has marched in gay pride parades with ... NAMBLA -- who are pedophiles who are trying to get the laws repealed for sex between men and boys!" Buchanan then asked of Pelosi: "If she's been marching with pedophiles, is she credible standing up there saying, 'I'm shocked, shocked that some Republican is after 17-year-old pages?'" Buchanan similarly stated that Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) "marched in gay pride parades in New York in which I believe that NAMBLA floats were moved right along." On that program, New Republic senior editor Michael Crowley asserted that "no serious elected official in America supports NAMBLA" and that although some politicians may have "wound up in the same place" as NAMBLA representatives, they would "[n]ot intentionally" support the group. In response, Buchanan stated: "look, if I march with the Klan... I'd have to answer," adding "[i]f they march with NAMBLA, they're going to have answer it!"

Buchanan also repeated the baseless association of Clinton and NAMBLA in his October 6 syndicated column:

Hillary Clinton has marched in the annual New York Gay Pride Parade. For years, that parade had a float carrying members of NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association, whose monomania is the elimination of the age of consent for sex between men and boys.

During his Scarborough Country appearance, Buchanan also twice called Foley a "flamer." After host Joe Scarborough asked if the alleged delay by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) to investigate Foley, and Hastert's decision "to assign blame to [liberal financier] George Soros ... hurts [Hastert's] cause within the Republican Party and with voters in a month," Buchanan stated, in part:

BUCHANAN: I mean, look, we are now hearing that this flamer, Mr. Foley, was going after kids as early as ... 1998. I mean, you knew Foley. Did you know he was this kind of flamer who was after pages?

Further, in his column, Buchanan baselessly connected Democratic criticism of the handling of the Foley scandal to opposition to the Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay scoutmasters as Wall Street Journal editorials on October 3 and October 5 have also done:

Would this be the same Democratic Party that supports giving condoms to junior-high students and booed the Boy Scout honor guard at its Los Angeles Convention in 2000, because the Scouts refuse to permit homosexuals to be scoutmasters and take kids camping?

As Media Matters for America documented, on the October 4 edition of MSNBC News Live, Buchanan claimed that the scandal surrounding Foley will "boomerang on the Democrats" because "the consensual age for sex in Washington, D.C., is 16 years old," and "[o]ne of the reasons the age of consent has been reduced is the gay rights movement, which is holy inside the Democratic Party." The previous day on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Buchanan characterized communications Foley allegedly sent to underage former congressional pages as "valentines over the email." Later, on the same day's edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Buchanan characterized Foley as "a sexual predator ... who's posturing as a conservative."

From the October 8 edition of CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer:

BLITZER: Here's what the press secretary for Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, the minority leader in the House, said the other day: "The Republicans still don't get it; every mom in America is asking how Republicans could choose partisan politics over protecting kids, and the Republicans are still asking who could have blown their cover-up. If we had seen Mark Foley's inappropriate emails or instant messages to House pages, we would have immediately acted to protect the kids." Does she have a -- make a fair point?

BUCHANAN: I think there's -- look, she says they would have acted. Perhaps they would. I'm not going to deny that. But there's a large element of hypocrisy here. Look, Washington, D.C., is the most Democratic precinct in America. They reduced the age for sexual consent or the age of consent for sexual relations to 16 years old. Therefore, if Foley had taken this page and gone off to a motel, he would be home free legally in the District of Columbia. That's because liberals are dominant in the District of Columbia. Now, Ms. Pelosi, it's my understanding, has marched in gay pride parades in which they've had floats of the North American Man-Boy Love Association, which wants to eliminate all age of consent laws. And it's an outrageous group, in my judgment, a criminal group almost in what it recommends. But I've not seen the Democrats come down and condemn them, and I believe Senator Clinton has marched in a parade with a similar float.

BLITZER: A lot of Republicans -- a lot of Republicans, Pat, in the House of Representatives knew that Mark Foley was a gay man, even though he was not formally out of the closet. They fully suspected it. They believed it. Is that a problem for Republicans, for the conservative base to simply -- given some of the attitudes toward homosexuality among some of your fellow conservatives, is that a problem?

From the October 5 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, which also featured Huffington Post media editor Rachel Sklar and New Republic senior editor Michael Crowley:

SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, in the end, the fact that all of these Republicans have come forward saying that they warned Denny Hastert three years ago, one year ago, nine months ago, and he says he can't remember any of it, and said -- decides to assign blame to George Soros, certainly hurts his cause within the Republican Party and with voters in a month, doesn't it?

BUCHANAN: Well, there's no doubt about, he's been hurt, but so have these leaders. I mean, Mr. [House Majority Whip Roy] Blunt [R-MO] didn't help himself by saying, I would have handled it differently, and [House Majority Speaker John] Boehner [R-OH] dropped the dime on him. None of them look like loyalists.

Let me say this, Joe. I mean, look, we are now hearing that this flamer, Mr. Foley, was going after kids as early as 19 -- I mean, 2 -- I mean, 1998. I mean, you knew Foley. Did you know he was this kind of flamer who was after pages? I mean, certainly, you knew him better than Hastert did. And apparently, this was not known by the, by the, by the folks in the Republican Caucus --

SCARBOROUGH: No, well -- well, I certainly --

BUCHANAN: I mean --

SCARBOROUGH: -- didn't know anything about it. But --

BUCHANAN: Right.

SCARBOROUGH: -- this flamer, as you call him, this flamer's chief of staff went to Mr. Hastert in 2003 and started warning them as early as 2003 that Mr. Foley had serious problems --

BUCHANAN: All right.

SCARBOROUGH: -- and they didn't act on it.

BUCHANAN: All right, but look, [inaudible] Hastert's got a play here --

SCARBOROUGH: I will tell you this, Pat. If a chief of staff came to me --

BUCHANAN: All right.

SCARBOROUGH: -- if Mark Foley's chief of staff came to me in 1998 and told me that this was going on, I'll tell you --

BUCHANAN: Right.

SCARBOROUGH: -- I and most decent people, you -- would have gone to the speaker.

BUCHANAN: All right, now --

SCARBOROUGH: If he didn't do anything, you would have held a press conference!

BUCHANAN: All right, that's my point. Apparently, ABC knew this a year ago. If the reporters knew this a year ago and they didn't report it, they don't care about those kids. They're waiting to drop it in the fall election! In this case, Hastert's got a point. If people give a hoot about the kids and they know about it, and they wait for a year to dump it, do they really care about these kids? I don't think so!

SCARBOROUGH: Rach --

BUCHANAN: Let me make one more point. Ms. Pelosi has marched in gay pride parades with the North America Man-Boy Love Association, NAMBLA, which -- who are pedophiles who are trying to get the laws repealed for sex between men and boys! If she's been marching with pedophiles, is she credible standing up there saying, "I`m shocked, shocked that some Republican is after 17-year-old pages?"

SCARBOROUGH: Rachel Sklar, in the end, will a blame-ABC News-George Soros-Democratic Party strategy work?

SKLAR: No, it definitely will not. We have to go back to the original principle, which is the fact that a predator -- and I don't think his sexuality is germane here. Whether or not he's, quote, unquote, a "flamer" -- I'm not too down with that language -- he's a predator. That's the issue here. He's a predator who was preying on kids who were working on Capitol Hill --

[...]

SCARBOROUGH: If I'm on the campaign stump, I'd would much rather defend the Iraq war than defend the fact that --

BUCHANAN: Sure.

SCARBOROUGH: -- the Speaker is being seen as somebody who's covering up for a pedophile. And look at this [Rep.] Harold Ford [D-TN] quote. He was being attacked. Somebody said that he hung out with Playboy bunnies. And Harold Ford said this. "I'm not going to take a lecture on morality from a party that took hush money from a child predator."

BUCHANAN: All right, let me tell you something --

SCARBOROUGH: Pat Buchanan, that is gold.

BUCHANAN: Let me tell you something --

SCARBOROUGH: That's a quote that will work in Tennessee and it will work around the country!

BUCHANAN: Yeah, it will. Let me tell you something. Two national figures, Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Rodham Clinton marched in gay pride parades in New York in which I believe that NAMBLA floats were moved right along, and these are child predators who are arguing for getting rid of --

SCARBOROUGH: All right, but Pat --

BUCHANAN: -- laws between men and boys --

SCARBOROUGH: -- that will not --

BUCHANAN: They're marching with that go into --

[crosstalk]

SCARBOROUGH: -- will not have resonance this fall in the election, will it?

BUCHANAN: Not this fall, 2008. It's going to be very, very big because of this, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH: And Rachel Sklar, final prediction. Where do we go from here in this media scandal?

SKLAR: Well, I think we just sit back and watch it unfold. You know, you try and find as much information as possible and figure out who knew what when, and what their motives were in presenting the information or in deliberately holding it back.

SCARBOROUGH: All right. And --

BUCHANAN: Including the press --

[crosstalk]

CROWLEY: Joe, and no serious elected official --

BUCHANAN: -- including the press.

CROWLEY: -- in America supports NAMBLA! I mean, maybe they wound up in the same place --

BUCHANAN: If they march with them -- look, if I march with the Klan --

CROWLEY: Not intentionally, there's no way!

BUCHANAN: -- I'd have to answer --

[crosstalk]

CROWLEY: Pat, come on!

BUCHANAN: -- If they march with NAMBLA, they're going to have answer it!

SCARBOROUGH: They may have to answer that in 2008, but I'll tell ya, in 2006, a month from now, the Republican Party is going to have to answer for the events of the past three years, where Mr. Foley's former chief of staff said he told the speaker's office that Mark Foley was praying on young children, as early as 1998.

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