Blogger Outing Of Foley Victim
Judd Legum chastises Roger Simon, Glenn Reynolds, and Pajamas Media for linking to an obscure blogger who “outed one of Mark Foley’s victim,” calling their actions “wrong” and the linked post “despicable.” Some of Legum’s commenters suggest that this might even rise to the level of criminality.
While, like Michelle Malkin, I declined to link to the post or otherwise call attention to it even though I learned about it yesterday afternoon, I’m not sure “Wild Bill,” let alone any of those who linked to him, did anything unethical–let alone engaged in “a blatant effort to intimidate a witness in what’s soon to be a Federal case.”
The point of the original post was that one of the “victims” of Foley’s instant messages was a then-18 and now-21-year-old and that ABC falsely lumped them in with messages sent to 16-year-olds. That’s certainly newsworthy and relevant. Further, while my interest in this matter is in the conduct of a middle aged Congressman rather than the degree of consent given by the targets of his affection, there are some legal and moral distinctions between coming on to a grown-up versus an adolescent.
Furthermore, let’s look at the links in question.
Roger L. Simon‘s discussion of the post on his personal site, in its entirety: “Meanwhile, does anyone think it is ironic that so-called progressives who excoriated eavesdropping on terrorists are feasting on the publication of supposedly confidential email and IMs? You can forget about privacy. It no longer exists, if it ever did.”
Simon merely notes that discussions held via email and IM are subject to technical snooping.
Then, a Pajamas Media roundup had this: “Foley’s IM Page Identified? Newsbusters says ABC’s claim that two Foley IM’s datestamped April 2003 to ‘two different boys under the age of 18′ must be false if Passionate America’s detective work is correct.”
Here, PJM notes that a blog that focuses on media criticism is questioning whether ABC, the chief media outlet getting the scoops on the Foley matter, is intentionally misleading the public to hype the story and that this question is based on news that one of the “victims” was of majority. The Newsbusters story itself contained a link the Passionate America post.
Finally, Glenn Reynolds links to the PJM roundup and several others with breaking news and novel observations about the Story of the Week. It’s notable that his post also contains this: “And a look at the blog that started it all. Dirty tricks are dirty, sure — but does this really help the Republicans given that the charges seem to be true?” That link–not to the “Wild Bill” post–is to what we now know to be a blog opened for the sole purpose of laundering leaks about Foley and which has raised questions about the motivation of both the leaker and ABC News. But Reynolds, far from trying to lash out at Foley’s victims, has been quite consistent in saying that Foley is in the wrong.