US congressman Foley: A modern day online Jekyll and Hyde?

US congressman Foley: A modern day online Jekyll and Hyde?

Summary: News.com's Declan McCullaugh has juxtaposed US Representative Mark Foley's record as one of Congress' leading opponents to online predation against the recent news that he himself was apparently an online predator (if the accounts currently being published turn out to be accurate).

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News.com's Declan McCullaugh has juxtaposed US Representative Mark Foley's record as one of Congress' leading opponents to online predation against the recent news that he himself was apparently an online predator (if the accounts currently being published turn out to be accurate). Wrote McCullagh:

Mark Foley, who abruptly resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives last week after disclosures of inappropriate conversations with a teenage page, had spent years positioning himself as Congress' leading defender of children on the Internet.

Foley, a Republican who represented the area near Palm Beach, Fla., had spearheaded a legislative crackdown on Internet sites that post provocative photographs of teenage and preteen youth. He had pushed to open FBI databases to track sex offenders. He tried to force sexually explicit Web sites to label themselves accordingly.

Those public stances, coupled with Foley's strident denunciations of adults who prey on America's youth, further fueled the political hurricane surrounding his resignation just five weeks before the November elections. They also pose the troubling question of how a self-proclaimed Internet decency defender--if the leaked e-mail and chat transcripts are accurate--could be the very sort of person he claimed to despise.

In my mind, the story raises the question of whether or not Foley used his position of advocacy on the issue as a cover to stay perversely close to the subject matter without setting off alarms. I don't know why, but I'm reminded of those cases where the perpetrators of certain crimes embed themselves in the ensuing investigations. Either way, this is an extremely cautionary tale for all you parents out there regarding online safety.

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7 comments
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  • I suspect a bad conscience

    It's quite possible that one of the preditors Foley was trying to protect young people from was himself.
    John L. Ries
    • Just another hypocrite in Congress....

      Add Foley to the long list of people in Congress who say one thing and do another (populist Democrats whose wives are worth $500 million, health-care advocates who make their living looting the health care industry in court - thus driving the price of health care sky-high - with bank-breaking lawsuits, Klansmen in the Senate (placed there courtesy of the Democratic Party) who prate on and on about their reverence for the Constitution).

      It's amazing how you can predict a Congressman's private foibles by their public bleatings.
      jlafitte
      • Beyond hypocritical

        These guys don't just "say one thing and do the other". They do the opposite of what they say. Like the "Clean Air Act" and "No Child Left Behind," etc. They've discovered that, by describing their projects and themselves with a noble or positive label, it gives the illusion that they are incapable of actually doing what it is they're really doing.

        And, conversely, by labeling their opponents with a negative connotation, it gives the illusion that they themselves wouldn't be the kind of guys they are criticizing.

        You gotta give Karl Rove credit, don't you? It's really an ingenious way of getting away with real-life Jekyll and Hyde behavior.
        baglady2000
  • What I don't understand is why the big fuss

    Foley quit, he should quit, and he doesn't belong there. He didn't actually "do" the intern. Clinton actually "did" his intern on tax payer time and furnature and went on a pardoning rampage where he pardoned a democratic congressman for "doing" an intern. No body made an issue out of that, and they shouldn't be making an issue out of this.
    georgeou
    • Are you insane?

      George, seriously, you can't be that stupid.

      Consensual sex between two consenting adults is perfectly legal,
      regardless of venue, or marital status of the two adults
      participating in it. May not be in the best taste if they are
      married, but what the heck.

      A 50+ year old man attempting to lure an underage (that's 18
      and below) child into sex, providing them alcohol, and asking
      them pointed questions about their masturbation techniques
      and asking them to measure their unit is illegal.

      And the delicious irony of all of this is that this is hypocrisy of
      this congressman, who is on America's Most Wanted calling child
      predators sickos, and sponsoring the group that fights against
      using the internet as a tool to get underage sex.

      Don't blame Clinton or use Clinton's behavior as an excuse for
      something truly sick and illegal. Or is that the latest right-wing
      spin on this mess?
      SkipNewarkDE
      • When did I defent Foley?

        I said Foley deserves the boot and he already resigned. All I pointed out was that he only solicited a 17 year old. Where was the outcry when a democratic congressman was pardoned by Clinton for actually DOING a 17 year old male page. The truth of the matter is, this does not belong in the news anywhere. This is not a right or left wing issue, it's a bias in the media issue. They need to behave consistently.
        georgeou
    • 2 For 2

      You are out of your element George...which might explain 2 spelling errors in two posts. I can not recall similar flubs from you George. What gives?
      wmlundine