October 02, 2006

Don't wanna talk about it

Josh Marshall makes an interesting point regarding "Foleygate":

The simple fact is that Foley's downfall has pretty nearly decapitated the leadership of the House GOP with just five weeks to go before election day. And that's devastating.

What do I mean by decapitated? Let's assume, for the sake of discussion, that nothing else really comes out about how the House leadership handled this. No more shoes drop. Not a safe assumption from what seems to be in the reporting pipeline. But let's assume it.

Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) is in a tight race for reelection and he's chairman of the NRCC, the Republican House campaign committee. He's in charge of the effort to keep the majority.

What's the number one thing on his mind right now? I doubt it's the NRCC or even his race for reelection. I think Reynolds is, to put it mildly, distracted right now.

How about Denny Hastert and John Boehner? I don't see them going on shows or making any public appearances for a while. They'll get asked awkward and possibly unanswerable questions about Foleygate.

I think that last paragraph in particular is an obvious but nonetheless astute observation. Any House Republican, but particularly a member of the leadership, is going to be really hampered in trying to tout the Congress's "accomplishments" in the term recently ended, at least on television. Very few of the talking heads on cable are going to let the Foley sex scandal be swept under the rug by some politician who may in fact have known months ago about Foley's transgressions with House pages and did nothing about it. Sex sells, and the cable nets know it and need it. Fox's ratings fell 28% this year from last, the largest drop among the three main cable networks (MSNBC was down 12% and CNN down 21%). They all need a ratings bump, and scandal does that better than anything else.

Posted by Linkmeister at October 2, 2006 11:43 AM | TrackBack