Bloggers on the Mark Foley scandal.

Bloggers on the Mark Foley scandal.

Bloggers on the Mark Foley scandal.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
Oct. 5 2006 4:29 PM

Speaker System

Bloggers dissect who knew what in the Mark Foley scandal. They also buzz about the publication of excerpts from former Hewlett-Packard head Carly Fiorina's forthcoming memoir and analyze last night's season premiere of Lost.

Speaker System: Mark Foley's former Chief of Staff Kirk Fordham resigned yesterday after alleging that he told House Speaker Dennis Hastert more than three years ago about his boss' proclivities for young male pages. Hastert denies that Fordham ever approached him about Foley. Conservative bloggers question whether what Foley did was actually illegal, while left-wing bloggers anticipate more high-profile resignations.

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Justin Gardner of the centrist Donklephant wonders, "Is Kirk Fordham telling the truth or just trying to cover his ass? That question could literally make or break Dennis Hastert's chances of holding onto his credibility and job."

On Daily Kos, commentator DemFromCT doesn't see the fallout ending anytime soon: "The other point that [Paul] Weyrich himself made on CNN this am is that it becomes a 'feeding frenzy' and where does it stop? Yep, Paul. That's the problem. The concern for their own selves and not the kids that needed protecting is what got you here, so keep on keeping on. My humble opinion is that the R's in DC are still underestimating its effect on Main Street, and that national Democrats are doing the right thing by letting the GOP continue to do each other in. I don't underestimate the GOP's ability to get nasty, but right now, the scandal's entirely one of their own making, and one beyond their ability to manage."

Conservative blogger GayPatriot mostly agrees with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's criticism of allegations that a "gay cabal" that includes Fordham conspired to keep the Foley allegations secret: "Now this blog has never been friendly to Foreman or the NGLTF, and I'm not surprised at their predictably liberal-take on the witchhunt. It is especially disappointing given the fact that they know 'The List' was compiled and has been used by Gay Liberals for years now. But at least they are asking their Democrat masters to help stop this witchhunt."

Nico at the left-leaning Think Progress blog writes, "Anyone who shirked responsiblity or withheld evidence or participated in a cover up should be held accountable. But it's grossly irresponsible for the right-wing to use the Foley scandal to launch an anti-gay witchhunt."

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Charles Johnson at the right-wing Little Green Footballs argues that the dalliance is getting blown out of proportion, and Andrew Sullivan concurs: "We have no evidence (yet) of any actual sex; if we did, and it had happened in D.C., it would not have been legally under-age, because the age of consent is 16. From what I can tell the only illegality rests on the online predation bill championed by Foley."

Read more about Kirk Fordham.

Fiorina's leaky board: Former Hewlett-Packard head Carly Fiorina's autobiography comes out on Tuesday, but the New York Times broke the embargo on the book and published excerpts of it today. One of the more shocking revelations is that Fiorina had ordered investigations of alleged leaks by board members in January 2005, one month before she was fired.

Joe Wiesenthal of Wall Street blog Dealbreaker thinks Fiorina lucked out by getting fired. If she hadn't, she probably would've been caught up in the current round of indictments: "By the time that Fiorina was fired, the investigation probably hadn't yet veered off into the Nixonian direction it eventually did. But if history had taken a similar course, and the early stages of the investigation weren't getting anywhere, and private detective agency decided to up the ante -- with the blessing of lawyer Larry Sonsini -- it seems likely that the same thing could've happened under Carly's watch, and then she could've been among the indicted."

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But Silicon Valley blog Valleywag is less sanguine. True, Fiorina's book may sell more copies than it would have without the scandal. "But it also means Carly's just given a book full of public testimony that will entangle her in this whole mess. Looks like someone could get roped into a few more hours on the witness stand."

Rachel Sklar of the Huffington Post's Eat the Press points out that the New York Times scored the scoop by simply walking into a bookstore and buying a copy of an embargoed book, just as the paper did with Bob Woodward's book. Sklar wonders: "Where is this bookstore and are they stocking the next Harry Potter?"

Read more about Carly Fiorina.

Lost night: Last night's premiere of the third season of Lost resolved a plot thread involving the fates of the characters Jack, Sawyer, and Kate that had been left hanging from Season 2. Bloggers seem satisfied that the notoriously mysterious show is beginning to answer some nagging questions.

On his What's Alan Watching? blog, Newark Star-Ledger TV critic Alan Sepinwall writes, "As someone who long ago reconciled himself to the notion that Lost is going to be all journey, no destination, I had a fun ride tonight."

But cartoonist Tom Richmond, writing on Tom's MAD Blog, is less sure that the premiere portends an interesting season: "I am getting worried that Lost is getting lost itself in its never-ending peeling of a layer to reveal another layer storytelling. I'm concerned that this ship is sailing in undeniably interesting waters but will sink before it reaches a satisfying destination."

Read more about the premiere of Lost.