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Sunday, June 12, 2011
NewsBusters Ridicules Weiner Conspiracies -- Though It Entertained Them About Foley Scandal
Topic: NewsBusters

A June 7 NewsBusters post by Lachlan Markay outlines "The Most Ridiculous Leftist Defenses of Anthony Weiner." It might be funny if NewsBusters and its Media Research Center parent hadn't invoked some of those same defenses in the 2006 scandal surrounding Republican Rep. Mark Foley and his communications with young male congressional pages.

Markay writes that "the 'it's a coordinated plot to take down Weiner' line mostly originated in the blogosphere, but made its way into the mainstream via some of the usual suspects, such as The View's Joy Behar." But as we detailed at the time, his NewsBusters colleague Mark Finkelstein wrote regarding the Foley scandal in an Oct. 2, 2006, post that "it seems increasingly plausible that the timed release of information - of ever-escalating seriousness - is part of a calculated campaign to keep the story in the news and inflict maximum political damage on the GOP."

Markay also noted that some attacked Andrew Breitbart for forwarding the story. That's the exact same tactic NewsBusters used in the Foley scandal. An Oct. 4 post by Al Brown suggested that ABC's Brian Ross, who first reported the Foley scandal, "willfully lie[d] in order to run with the story and "get" the Republicans five weeks before the elections."

Markay claimed that some invoked the "Nothing to see here. Move along, people" defense. But that's exactly what the MRC did. Brown wrote inhis NewsBusters post that the Foley scandal was nothing more than "two consenting adults exchanging instant messages." And theMRC's insisted that there were more pressing matters:

While Washington insiders were distracted with a Capitol Hill sex scandal -- and while media outlets and politicians are doing all they can to keep the story alive -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at its second, consecutive record high on Wednesday; President Bush signed a bill that frees up funds for a U.S.-Mexico border fence; and a federal appeals court unanimously ruled that the Bush administration may continue its terrorist surveillance program while it appeals a judge's ruling that the program is unconstitutional.

Last week, Markay accepted a job as an "investigative reporter" for the Heritage Foundation. If he had done some actual "investigative reporting" before he wrote his NewsBusters post, he'd look a little less foolish.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 PM EDT

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