Media on Foley: Bloggers vs. Old Media

| Tue Oct. 3, 2006 2:24 AM EDT

So amid this story about how various mainstream media outlets (among them the St. Petersburg Times, the Miami Herald, and NBC's Brian Ross) were alerted to the Foley situation months ago and chose not to run with it, is the source of what eventually prodded the capital P Press to pick up the story: Stopsexpredators.blogspot.com.

Despite three days of full-court press coverage, this website is still something of a mystery (though one that may be solved by the time I wake up tomorrow). It began in July, and has had just a handful of posts, most of them Foley related.

Conservative bloggers like Americanthinker wonder, as do I, what/who is behind SSP—or more to the point, how it/they managed to push this story out. Notes Tom Maquire at Justoneminute

And yet, 3 separate people who had contact with Congressman Foley somehow found this website independent of one another and supposedly sent emails to the owner of this site to complain about Foley's inappropriate behavior.
Color me skeptical. Maybe the blog author was an unwitting catspaw, but I would want some assurance that this was not simply a successful attempt to promote a story that wasn't quite ready for the Mainstream Media by laundering it through some blogs.

Which is an interesting point, as is the (gasp!) notion that Foley's opponent helped to push out the story, though then Tom veers off into a heady mixture of denial and desperation. Make no mistake, when confronted with the IMs, Foley instantly folded up the tent and went to rehab, which he wouldn't have if he could have denied or somehow justified the correspondence.

Meanwhile, the St. Petersburg Times editor's note on why the paper didn't run with the story—detailing valid concerns as: we don't go with unnamed allegations, amid some waffling—can be found here.

In a nutshell, this looks to be as interesting a media story as a political one.

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