ABC news mistakenly released the IM identity of the page who exchanged IM messages with former Rep. Mark Foley. Bloggers Wild Bill from Passionate America and Ms. Underestimated tracked the AOL profile from the unredacted IM message and are reporting that the person is a 21 year old Deputy Campaign Manager for Congressman Ernest Istook in Oklahoma.
The current age of the person would put him at 17 or 18 years of age at the time of the IM exchange although ABC released a statement saying that the messages took place before and after the man's 18th birthday.
Further, the bloggers discovered that the indivudual was a member of the departing 2001-2002 Page class. A check of the Thomson Library of congress shows that the person was not a member of the 2003 class.
Matt Drudge has since picked up on the story and received a statement from ABC News.
ABC ONLINE GLITCH LEADS TO IDENTITY OF FOLEY ACCUSER
FEATURED IM EXCHANGE WAS WITH 18 YEAR OLD
Wed Oct 04 2006 20:32:06 ET
A posting on ABCNEWS.COM of an unredacted instant message sessions between Rep. Mark Foley and a former congressional page has exposed the identity of the now 21 year-old accuser.
The website PASSIONATE AMERICA detailed the startling exposure late Wednesday.
ABCNEWS said in a statement: "We go to great lengths to prevent the names of alleged sex crime victims from being revealed. On Friday there was a very brief technical glitch on our site which was overridden immediately. It is possible that during that very brief interval a screen name could have been captured. Reviews of the site since then show no unredacted screen names."
SEX CHAT WAS WITH 18 YEAR OLD
On Tuesday ABC news released a high-impact instant message exchange between Foley and, as ABC explained, a young man "under the age of 18."
ABC headlined the story: "New Foley Instant Messages; Had Internet Sex While Awaiting House Vote"
But upon reviewing the records, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, the young man was in fact over the age of 18 at the time of the exchange.
A network source explains, messages with the young man and disgraced former Congressman Foley took place before and after the 18th birthday.