Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Out of Thin Air

Well this is certainly one of the most unique news stories I have read in a while. Radar traces the backstory on Mark Foley - who we all agree gives us the shudders - to a blog called Stop Sex Predators.

SSP is the most basic of blogger templates and in fact is the exact template from which this blog evolved, except for the background color. The "links" section still contains the stock "Google me," and "edit me" buttons inserted as part of the template. The blogger profile is empty.

Radar describes SSP as "virtually indetectible to Google."

Yet the blog was highlighted by none other than Dailykos 12 minutes after Foley's emails were posted. The author at Kos claims to be a White House intern. He also claims to have Googled SSP.

What's the deal here?

This is a virtually unheard of blog whose author hasn't been motivated enough to add a single sidebar link or any of the standard motiff, fill out a profile, change the look of the blog even a tiny bit, or...anything.

After just a handful of posts over the summer, a hot, hot, hot entry on "skinterns" appears on Sept. 5, before SSP goes dark again until a Sept. 21 article with this lede:

I have been away for a while, so please accept my apologies for the lack of blog posts. BUT....while I was away, the blog has been noticed and some shocking emails have been received!!!!

The emails describe not a pedophile, but merely a homosexual. Granted, he is a very aggressive one and likes young interns way too much. One author ran into him at a gay bar after freshman year in college, another was reporting secondhand that Foley liked gay bars, locker rooms, and "he especially likes teenage boys," and a third is a man who claims he was hit on by Foley only after he left DC at the end of his internship.

At that point it was more of an "outing" than anything else.

Later that day are scanned faxes of e-mails, 12 minutes later an "intern" at Kos "Googles" the e-mails, and the story grows from there.

In response to breaking this DC bombshell, SSP has not responded to any e-mails from media wanting to know more.

The mere presence of Kos is enough to create suspicion as to the timing of the story, but add an "undetectable" blog Googled 12 minutes after posting and it enters the realm of the unbelievable.

Big stories have been broken by blogs before. Whoppers like Memogate, green helmet guy, cauterizing ambulances, Eason Jordan, and others. In all of those cases though, the authors had the credibility of transparency and/or a track record of accuracy, and provided all necessary research and sourcing.

Don't get me wrong, it is a damn fine thing that Foley is busted and out of there, but the timing and sources are highly suspicious. The assertions don't add up. How did this undetectable blog suddenly get so popular for Mark Foley gossip? How did Kos really find the story?

It has October Surprise written all over it, and doesn't even seem a very clever one. If it is, I wonder how long its authors have been hanging on to it. Long enough for a few more teenage interns to get groped perhaps?

Somebody needs to start providing some answers.

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