In reporting on the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley, a number of media outlets have reported simply that the House Republican leadership claims to have been aware only of "over friendly" emails Foley sent in 2005, without noting that House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert appeared to have made no effort to determine the actual content of the emails -- including one in which Foley wrote of an underage male page: "[H]es [sic] in really great shape."
Discussing the scandal involving Rep. Mark Foley on Fox News Live, political analyst Tammy Bruce stated: "All I want, frankly, is a gay person in office who is not a sexual compulsive. I mean, is that too much to ask for?"
Numerous print media outlets reported Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert's most recent explanation of when he learned that former Rep. Mark Foley had engaged in inappropriate email correspondences with former congressional pages. But these outlets ignored the shifts in Hastert's account since the story broke, as well as House Majority Leader John Boehner's conflicting statements regarding whether he discussed the problem with Hastert.
In a Washington Post article, Charles Babington and Jonathan Weisman claimed that former Rep. Mark Foley was told to "leave pages alone" after Rep. Rodney Alexander reportedly revealed to House leadership that a former page on Alexander's staff had received "over-friendly" emails from Foley. In fact, the same reporters had reported the previous day that Foley had been told only to leave the page who complained alone and "to treat all pages respectfully," suggesting that House leaders expected Foley would have further contact with pages.
While some media outlets have reported individual calls from congressional Republicans for an investigation of the House GOP leadership's handling of the allegations against former Rep. Mark Foley, the media have failed to report that as many as five congressional Republicans have done so in total.
Despite reports on a New York Daily News weblog and in the Los Angeles Times, no other media outlets have reported that the National Republican Congressional Committee accepted a $100,000 donation from Rep. Mark Foley last summer after NRCC chairman Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds reportedly learned of Foley's inappropriate conduct. The media have further ignored the NRCC's continued solicitation of funds from Foley's campaign war chest, as reported in The New York Times.
The Note, ABC News' political newsletter, reported that Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert would meet with Rep. John Shimkus, chairman of the House Page Board, and his staff to "review ways to protect pages while they are serving in the nation's Capitol" in the wake of the revelations of former Rep. Mark Foley's allegedly inappropriate email communications with a congressional page, but it did not note the absence of Democrats in Hastert's plans.
After White House counselor Dan Bartlett asserted that the House Republican leadership "appear[s] to be very aggressive" in its investigation of the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley, George Stephanopoulos failed to note reports that GOP leaders in the House knew about the allegations against Foley for months and did little to investigate them.
On Fox News' The Big Story Primetime, Ann Coulter claimed that reports that the House Republican leadership was previously aware of communications former Rep. Mark Foley allegedly had with underage congressional pages are "somewhat incredible," asking: "Why wait until right before the election to let it break?" and dismissing such reports as gossip, saying: "It's something you hear."
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume asserted that there is a "difference" between the Democratic and Republican parties because former Republican Rep. Mark Foley is "out of office and in total disgrace in his party" after allegedly engaging in sexually explicit communications with underage congressional pages, while President Bill Clinton and Rep. Barney Frank were not similarly reprimanded for their "inappropriate behavior." However, neither the Clinton nor the Frank allegations involved minors.
A Time article on the resignation of former Rep. Mark Foley reported Republican concerns about losing Foley's seat in the November elections, but the article failed to address the ethical questions that surround the House Republican leadership's handling of Foley's alleged actions.