On CNN's Reliable Sources, National Review contributor editor David Frum baselessly suggested that Democrats, unlike Republicans, "have the impulse to protect and shield their own when their own are guilty," comparing the Democrats' response to allegations that Rep. William Jefferson accepted bribes with the Republican leadership's handling of the Foley matter to make his point.
A Washington Post article uncritically quoted former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie assailing Democratic leaders' handling of the 1983 sex scandal surrounding then-Rep. Gerry Studds, which Gillespie contrasted with the Republican leadership's handling of Foley.
In a press release alleging possible "criminal obstruction of justice" in the Mark Foley scandal, David Horowitz's FrontPageMag.com claimed that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said it has held "incriminating e-mails revealing Foley's sexual misconduct since at least July 2006." In fact, CREW has explicitly stated that it both received the emails and sent them to the FBI on the same day in July.
Newspaper editorial boards have responded with a variety of opinions to the Mark Foley scandal, from calling for -- or opposing -- House Speaker Dennis Hastert's resignation to noting the "rank hypocrisy" of Republican leaders to referring to the Republicans' attempt to use a "gay scapegoat."
Newscasts on NBC and CBS uncritically aired a clip of Rep. Adam Putnam claiming that Republicans "acted proactively" and "aggressively" in demanding Rep. Mark Foley's resignation. In fact, Foley reportedly resigned after being told by ABC News that it was going to make public sexually explicit instant messages linked to him, and House Speaker Dennis Hastert's own statements regarding the events leading up to Foley's resignation have been contradictory.
The media have helped advance a number of excuses and explanations offered up by conservatives and the GOP for Republican House leaders' handling of information about alleged misconduct by then-Rep. Mark Foley that, even if true, would have no bearing on the underlying issues raised by the scandal.
Fox News Watch host Eric Burns stated that "the St. Petersburg Times and The Miami Herald in Florida," as well as ABC News, all had "known about" leaked copies of email messages allegedly sent by former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) to a 16-year-old male former congressional page, but he ignored a report that Fox News was also a recipient of the leaked emails.
In their coverage of the Foley scandal's political effects, numerous media figures have suggested that conservative Christians are most likely to react negatively to the Foley scandal. In doing so, they presume that so-called "values voters" are more concerned than others with protecting children.
U.S. News & World Report senior writer Michael Barone claimed that the St. Petersburg Times concluded that emails then-Rep. Mark Foley allegedly sent to a former page in 2005 "were so innocuous as to be unworthy of publication." Contrary to Barone's claim, the Times stated that it assigned two reporters to the story and decided not to publish the emails not because they were "innocuous" but because the family of the former page did not want the matter explored further.
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.
Tim Russert and George Stephanopoulos advanced the baseless claim that Democrats are behind the scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), asking their Democratic guests to respond to the accusations despite ample evidence that they are false.