Media Mash: The media battle over predator protection

There's a mad scramble by Republicans to prevent a total meltdown political disaster from the Foley revelations and the ongoing predator cover-up. The heat on Dennis Hastert to resign as Speaker increases by the hour. But these guys have no shame. The race to scapegoat and avoid responsibility is escalating.

Rush Limbaugh had Hastert on his show, with Hastert claiming that the Foley Scandal Is A Liberal Conspiracy To 'Get To Me' And 'Affect Our Election.' He promised Limbaugh "we are going on offense." The "offense" is an effort to portray the scandal as a conspiracy specifically timed by liberals.

Limbaugh, of course is in tune: "Well, it's clear to me that what the Democrats are doing here in some sort of cooperation with some in the media is to suppress conservative turnout by making it look like you guys knew this all along but because you're so interested in holding the House rather than protecting children that you covered it up."

Some Democrats are quickly going full bore to take advantage of the Republican mess: check out this ad for Patty Wetterling, Congressional candidate in the 6th District in Minnesota. Many are urging other Dem. candidates to get on the air quickly with similar attacks.

Fundamentally, this is primarily battle for the hearts and minds of the religious voters who have given the Republicans their edge since 2000, but who are shaking their heads right now. The latest shocking revelation are Instant Messages in the hands of ABC's Brian Ross, where Foley is, in essence, having internet sex with an 18-year-old while waiting for a vote on the House floor. Ross, who broke this story, continues to ladle out mind boggling new developments every day. What else is waiting in the wings? ABC News now has obtained 52 separate instant message exchanges, which former pages say were sent by Foley, using the screen name Maf54, to two different boys under the age of 18.

A second front on the scapeboating effort is the link right-wingers are attempting to make between homosexuals and pedophiles, insisting that "Pro-Homosexual Political Correctness Sowed Seeds for Foley Scandal," according to Family Research Council President Tony Perkins:

"This is the end result of a society that rejects sexual restraints in the name of diversity. If our children aren't safe in the halls of Congress, where are they safe? Maybe it's time to question: when is tolerance just an excuse for permissiveness?"
It seems a big leap to think that the permissive society of diversity and liberals are responsible for Tom Foley's fiasco, and the Republicans long-term collusion to cover it up -- because they had to be so politically correct. How about they wanted to win elections, pure and simple? Wouldn't it be swell if there was RICO statute that covers conspiracy to protect Congressional pedophiles? Then we'd see a long line of Republican leaders on their way to the slammer.

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