This morning on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume compared Mark Foley’s predatory behavior towards underage pages to President Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Hume said that while Foley is now “in total disgrace in his party,” Clinton’s “inappropriate behavior toward a subordinate [didn't] even cost Bill Clinton his standing in his party.” Watch it:
There is zero comparison between Foley’s behavior and Clinton’s. Foley made unwanted advances towards underage boys which one page described as “sick” and reported to authorities. The leadership of Foley’s party covered up his behavior for months.
President Clinton had a consensual relationship with an adult. The fact that it was an extramarital affair was virtually unanimously condemned by members of both parties.
HUME: It is very serious misbehavior on the part of Congressman Foley, whether it stems from arrogance or just weakness of the human flesh is another question. It’s probably worth noting that there’s a difference between the two parties on these issues. Inappropriate behavior towards subordinates didn’t cost Gerry Studds his Democratic seat in Massachussetts, nor Barney Frank his. Nor did inappropriate behavior toward a subordinate even cost Bill Clinton his standing within the Democratic Party, even though indirectly he was impeached for it. Mark Foley found out about this, was found out to have done this, and he’s out of office and in total disgrace in his party.
WILLIAMS: It took him long enough, don’t you think?
HUME: What do you mean?
WILLIAMS: Well, gee, they knew about it way back. No action was taken. That’s the question.
HUME: What we don’t know —
LIASON: Barney Frank was not with a subordinate. We should correct that. We should correct that.
WALLACE: Yeah, I think we should point that out. I don’t think Barney Frank was involved with a page.
HUME: It is worth noting that we don’t yet know exactly what they knew and when they knew it. This — obviously, we’ll find out this week.
WILLIAMS: Well, it’s an argument among Republicans who have a very different time record here for what Hastert is saying.
WALLACE: Alright, guys. You can take it outside afterwards.