Searching For Media Hypocrisy, Doocy Falsely Claims Vitter Prostitute Scandal Led To ’06 Losses

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"Searching For Media Hypocrisy, Doocy Falsely Claims Vitter Prostitute Scandal Led To ’06 Losses"

On Fox and Friends this morning, host Steve Doocy pre-emptively claimed media bias in the coverage of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s (D) tie to a prostitution ring. “When David Vitter, the senator from down south, was caught up in the DC Madam scandal, of course the mainstream media said, ‘look this is just part of the culture of corruption with the Republican party,” complained Doocy.

“Will the mainstream media talk about this being a big scandal in the Democrat party?” asked Doocy. To illustrate his point, Doocy claimed that coverage of Vitter’s scandal led to “steep losses in the 2006 congressional elections” for Republicans. Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/03/DoocyVitter06.320.240.flv]

Doocy’s hyperventilating claims make him sound more foolish than usual. Vitter’s prostitute scandal couldn’t have affected the 2006 congressional elections because it broke in July 2007.

Doocy is likely thinking about another conservative sex scandal: Former Rep. Mark Foley’s (R-FL) sexually explicit relationship with congressional pages, which broke roughly a month before the ’06 elections.

The reason the media tied Foley’s scandal to congressional conservatives wasn’t because of bias though. It was because congressional conservatives protected Foley before the media found out:

- The office of then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was told of Foley’s “worrisome conduct” three years before ABC exposed Foley’s explicit contact with pages.

– When Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), then-chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Hastert of Foley’s inappropriate e-mails earlier in 2006, he presented it as something that “that might have affected campaigns” instead of something that needed to be addressed to protect the pages.

– Rather than address the issue in a bipartisan way that would have underscored a common desire to protect the young interns, the conservative chair of the House Page Board — Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) — refused to inform the Democrat on the committee — Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI).

Additionally, when Vitter’s name appeared in the DC Madam’s phone record, he was the third conservative member of Congress to be caught in an inappropriate sexual scandal in roughly a year.

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