The New York Times is doing its best to convince Republicans that they should stay home on Election Day, because after all, “With four weeks left before Election Day, the poll indicates that the scandal involving Mr. Foley, a former Republican congressman from Florida, is alienating Americans from Congress, and weakening a Republican Party that was already struggling to keep control of the House and Senate.”. The New York Times comes to this conclusion based on the recently released NY Times – CBS opinion poll despite the fact that that two-thirds in the poll said the Foley matter will make “no difference” in how they vote (as reported by Brent Baker earlier). A quick read of the NY Times release of the poll indicates that the poll itself is actually a referendum on Republicans and George Bush rather than an evenly spaced set of questions that are meant to determine how Americans think of the Democrats as well. For instance, on the questions concerning the Mark Foley scandal not one of them asks what the Democrats knew ahead of time or how Democrats handled the scandal. Yet questions 53, 54, 55, 88, 56, 57, 58, 59 and 60 are all about the way the House leadership handled the scandal. The implication in this set of questioning is along the same lines as the week long theme in the MSM that has been intent on making the Republican leadership the focus of the Mark Foley scandal rather than Mr. Foley himself. This kind of questioning allows the New York Times to frame their commentary in the same context.
The problems for Congress have clearly been exacerbated by the Foley scandal. Eighty percent of Americans said they considered the Foley revelations either very serious or somewhat serious. Two-thirds said that House Republicans did not initially take the warnings seriously enough, and 62 percent said they believed House Republican leaders knew before last week that Mr. Foley had sent sexually explicit messages to teenagers.And what would an article like this be without the complimentary quote from an outraged Republican busting the chops of Republicans in Congress?
“They just covered it up,” said Charles Young, a Republican from upstate New York. “We put them in office to do what is right for the country. It should have been brought to their attention and disposed of. We don’t need people in office who corrupt our children.”Is this really an article on how the polls indicate that fallout from the Foley scandal is hurting Republicans or actually a continuing commentary from the New York Times desperate to keep the story alive? Note that the New York Times released the actual questions and answers while CBS released the questions with analytical bylines that are meant to explain the results. We have been reading about the demise of Republicans in the New York Times for some time now. On September 4th the NY Times ran an article titled “G.O.P. Seen to Be in Peril of Losing House”. On September 6th the Times ran a correction that stated “A chart on Monday about races for the House of Representatives misstated the number of Republican-controlled seats that have become competitive since May. It is eight, not nine.” All in all I’d say that things have changed little in the hopeful minds of those at the New York Times.