Monday, October 9, 2006

Personal Asides: Sudden Thought…The Associated Press Reporter with Her Made-Up Mind…Guess What? Ex-Congressman Foley Spent Lots of Time in Hollywood.

Ray LaHood 2

Sudden Thought.

It just struck me that if Mark Foley were a Catholic priest, his bishop would transfer him to another parish.

AP Reporter

Congressman Ray LaHood who spoke at my Roosevelt University class Thursday night started off the afternoon with a luncheon speech at the City Club of Chicago where I’m the chairman. Of course the air was filled with reverberations of Mark Foley, the Florida Republican who resigned after tales of his supposedly sending dirty I-mails to congressional pages. When I arrived at the meeting hall and was preparing to introduce the Congressman, I was motioned by an Associated Press female reporter to get up from the table and give her an interview. She held a tiny tape recorder before my mouth. Here is the paraphrased colloquy as I remember it.

AP: Since you’re a longtime Republican, would you comment on the fallout of the Foley scandal for the GOP?

Me: Sure. I don’t think there’ll be any.

AP: Will you lose both House and Senate…or just the House or just the Senate?

Me: You didn’t hear me. I don’t think there’ll be any fallout.,

AP: Do you think you can lose Roskam in the 6th, McSweeney in the 8th, either one or both?

Me: Neither. The story will have no effect.

AP: Why not?

Me: Because this is only a several day blip. Do you remember what crisis gripped the nation before last Friday?

AP: No.

Me: It was the National Intelligence Estimate. Do you remember that? It started with the “New York Times” reporting a fragment of the NIE and saying that Bush tried to cover it up. Then the next day Bush released the other part of the Estimate. The “Times” said Bush had only released part of it. Bush said: yeah, you’ve released the other half. Do you remember that?

AP: I think so.

Me: Where is that story today? This story is about a Congressman who evidently wrote dirty things to a page. Compared to the NIE how long do you think it will last? Do you think it is of more importance than the National Intelligence Estimate which gripped the media before last Friday?

AP: Getting back to the first question I asked you, nationally do you think you will lose the House…lose the Senate…or lose both?

Me: Did you just hear me?

AP: I did. Do you think Hastert is in danger or Shimkus? Or both?

Me: Look, I know you want me to say we’ll lose the House or lose the Senate or lose both, lose Hastert and lose Shimkus. But I say we’ll lose neither because of the nature of the blip.

AP: Do you think you’ll lose the governor’s race because of it?

Me: I think we’ll lose the governor’s race but not because of it. As I said it will have no effect.

AP: How bad is it playing on your voters?

Me: Look, am I not getting through? Did you understand what I’ve been saying? It’s a blip like the NIE.

AP: Thank you.

When her story came out she had written that the Republicans are dismayed at the scandal. Not a word of what I told her appeared. But she got back at me for not playing her game. She ate the City Club’s free lunch very heartily, piled on two helpings of fish, one of chicken, called for a refill of her iced tea and listed the location of LaHood’s speech as an anonymous “civic group.” Reporters invariably withhold naming the host club when they’re miffed…even when they gorge on free food…an old trick. Tacky even for the AP which, apart from the inestimable Mike Robinson, is frequently worse. She wrote the story which said Republicans were distraught with no quotes. Classy. Increasingly I find that reporters go to events with their newspaper ledes and conclusions fixed—either by the desk or their own presuppositions.

Foley in Hollywood.

Pardon me for sounding paranoid…but the story has just come out that, strange for a Republican Congressman, Mark Foley has been spending a lot of time in Hollywood. Hmmm. Rahm Emanuel’s kid brother, Ari, is a leading Hollywood agent who is heavily involved in Democratic fund-raising and strategy. The Foley bean-ball story has all the earmarks of a typical Emanuel set-up. Now we hear from Drudge that at least one page, knowing that Foley was gay, set him up with provocative suggestions to which the old queen responded with alacrity. Nobody’s exonerating Foley or the GOP (read my column about Hastert yesterday) but again: it has all the earmarks of a Rahm Emanuel bean-ball.


  1. Tom: Good Holy Catholic that you profess to be, would you please post some evidence, any at all, about your hints that Raul Emanuel had something to do with ABC News reporting on Foley's Emails, and IMs to underage pages. Please also comment on the Republican Congressional leadership trying to persuade Brian Ross not to reveal the contents of the IMs, and how does that not constitute an attempt to maintain a cover-up. Nice picture of Henry Hyde whispering in your ear. Did he go into more details about his five years of "Youthful Indescretions" with a married woman?.

  2. John Thomas Mc GeeanOctober 9, 2006 at 7:57 AM

    Tom: Your "Sudden Thought" was an inspiration of the Devil himself. I do not think in this day in age that would happen. Catholic Priests are the only people in society who are automatically today GUILTY until proven innocent. Next it will be Catholic Columnists ( even those who write for the Wanderer) then it will be Catholic lay people who are faithful to the magisterium.

    Usually when a priest was found guilty of an indisgression, he was sent for help and sometimes they were returned to restricted ministy and some did well.

    Others were reported to be fit for ministry and they were sent back in to parishes. Some were okey and others caused disasterous affects.

    Unfortunately, if the bishops are to be criticised they should be for listenting too much to psychologists, some of whom do not think that these are abnormal situations.

  3. The Occasional GadflyOctober 9, 2006 at 12:50 PM

    The complete absence of curiousity about what Mr. Foley might be up to with his 'over-friendly' emails and IM's is eerily reminiscent of the Bishops' approach to pedophile priests.

    The leadership knew Foley was gay, knew he had made male pages uncomfortable (to the point where new arrivals were duly warned to keep their distance) but they steadfastly failed to investigate just exactly what he might be up to.

    Fortunately for the combined amusement and disgust of the American people, Mr. Emanuel did follow up on the "open secret" that even newspapers in Foley's own district acknowledged. Sorry, Seamus, but I doubt Emanuel's fingerprints will ever be found... but that hardly exonerates him.

    I don't know whether this story will be forgotten by Election Day or not: I think you may be proved wrong on this. Not that the "values voters" will turn to the Democrats as the more moral party -- but mightn't there be strong Democratic showings in traditionally Republican areas as a protest? And what about turnout? Will the "values votes" people be highly motivated to come out keep the Republicans in power? I think you're being overly optimistic.

    Maybe people will turn in blank ballots (oh, that's right, if they do, the whole room has to find out about it).

  4. Tom,
    How do you go about changing the unprofessional way reprting is done?
    One way would be for you to publicly name the reporter. Then there is an element of embarrassment and personal responsibility.

    By not naming names you become part of the problem instead of working towards improvement.


  5. "Who’s really preying on teenagers?" at .

    "According to the Associated Press, 'More than 100 young women who expressed interest in joining the military in the past year were preyed upon sexually by their recruiters. . . . One out of 200 frontline recruiters -- the ones who deal directly with young people -- was disciplined for sexual misconduct last year.' So if your child is really unlucky, she can run into a recruiter who is both a slick, misleading sales rep and a sexual predator."