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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Foley’s Folley

As someone who has struggled with substance abuse problems in the past, I was extremely outraged at the way disgraced ex-Florida Representative Mark Foley has tried to blame alcohol on the scandal he created in Washington. Foley, 52, resigned his House seat for sending sexually explicit e-mails and instant messages to minors who worked as congressional pages. Foley claimed he had a few too many and accosted some teenage male pages. In AA they wouldn’t call you an alcoholic– they’d call you a pedophile. Too many times in recent memory this has happened. People in the spotlight get caught supposedly acting out of character, so their PR people have them release a statement blaming their behavior on prescription drugs or alcohol and then stash them in rehab so they can’t answer to the media. When they check out two weeks later all’s well, and whatever they were accused of doing won’t happen again because they’ve seen the error of their ways and put the bottle down.

One would think it would be difficult to give alcoholics a bad name, but Mr. Foley, you’ve managed to top Mel Gibson in that category. Of course, being a politician, he can’t have just the one excuse. Foley said through his lawyer that he was abused 40 years ago by a clergyman at his church, and oh yeah, he’s gay (I’m pretty sure The Gay and Lesbian Alliance won’t be answering any of his calls!). Does any of this excuse the fact that Foley interrupted votes on the House floor to text creepy messages to teenagers that were supposed to be under his tutelage? How drunk were you then Mr. Foley? Does the House supply the liquor still or is it BYOB?

Now House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert is under fire from conservatives for acknowledging he knew as far back as 2005 of inappropriate e-mails Foley sent but never alerted anyone let alone the proper authorities. One has to wonder if Speaker Hastert called on Bernard Law for advice on this one. No worries J. Den, just tell them you are addicted to Vicodan and Bud Light, take a nice relaxing week-long vacation to a “spa” in Arizona and it’s all good. Mel, its o.k. that you made those anti-semitic remarks. We know you’re only a racist when you’re loaded. Now all we have to do is wait for Barry Bonds to release a statement saying he only injected steroids while under the influence and the “I Got Caught Red-Handed but It’s Cool ‘Cause I’m In Rehab” excuse will finally get kicked in the trash. Something I’ve learned in recovery is to take full responsibility for your actions, past and present. Don’t blame the drugs or alcohol. Blame yourself.