by John Hawkins | October 5, 2006 3:39 pm
According to the Drudge Report…
“According to two people close to former congressional page Jordan Edmund, the now famous lurid AOL Instant Message exchanges that led to the resignation of Mark Foley were part of an online prank that by mistake got into the hands of enemy political operatives, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.
According to one Oklahoma source who knows the former page very well, Edmund, a conservative Republican, goaded Foley to type embarrassing comments that were then shared with a small group of young Hill politicos. The prank went awry when the saved IM sessions got into the hands of political operatives favorable to Democrats. This source, an ally of Edmund, also adamantly proclaims that the former page is not a homosexual. The prank scenario was confirmed by a second associate of Edmund.”
Guess what? Somebody actually called this. In the Conservatives With Attitude Podcast Roundtable  that I participated in Tuesday night, high school teacher Betsy Newmark said that she thought it was a prank.
I “respectfully disagreed” with her because I didn’t want to give the impression that we were blaming the victim and because, honestly, I didn’t think that the average heterosexual high school kid would actually go so far as to have cybersex with a gay man as part of a prank. But, Betsy apparently figured out what was going on. It must be because she spends all day teaching kids that are around that age.
Here are Betsy’s comments:
“Foley is a complete sleaze, he has got a real problem, but let me say, this kid is not an innocent kid. You read those things, he’s leading him on. He’s like a little Lolita. And what I picture, I picture this kid, he’s in his dorm room, or wherever he is, and he has got 3 or 4 friends on and they’re just giggling themselves silly. “Look what I got this Congressman to say.” That’s why he saved these IM messages, so he could send it around to all his friends and they could laugh at this poor, middle-aged Congressman who is so pitiful and has got some real sick problems. It just seems to be the type of thing that teenaged boys would have thought was so funny. This isn’t some kid who is innocently appalled at what he’s getting. He’s leading that guy on.”
What can I say other than, “Here’s to Betsy; she nailed it right on the nose.”
PS: Do keep in mind that Foley did send other disgusting messages to pages — and those were still his words, even if he was getting pranked (So, he still should have resigned), but this definitely puts this thing in a different light. Were Foley’s messages still disgusting? Yes. But, it appears, at least with this page, that he wasn’t victimizing an innocent kid, he was being led on as part of a prank.
Update #1: Here’s an update from Betsy Newmark.
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