Editing watch | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Editing watch

Posted By on Sat, Sep 30, 2006 at 12:25 PM

An El Dorado reader notes differences in handling wire copy on an important passage in the story about the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley. He takes both the Democrat-Gazette and the El Dorado News-Times. The D-G editing has the effect of reducing questions about Republican response to indications of impropriety with pages. There are more questions to come, particularly about a Florida newspaper's decision to sit on the story for months and about the Republican who indicated Foley's denials were investigation enough for him. (What would he say? "Yep, you caught me.") Here are the passages, you decide -- spin or just one of those edting things:

D-G VERSION

Campaign aides had previously acknowledged that the Republican congressman e-mailed the former Capitol page five times, but had said there was nothing inappropriate about the exchange. The page was 16 at the time of the e-mail correspondence. The page was sponsored by Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who said Friday that when he learned of the e-mail exchanges 10 to 11 months ago, he called the teen’s parents. Alexander added, “We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem.” House Speaker Dennis Hastert said he had asked the chairman of the House’s page board, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., to investigate the page system. “We want to make sure that all our pages are safe and the page system is safe,” Hastert said.
EL-DORADO NEWS TIMES
Campaign aides had previously acknowledged that the Republican congressman emailed the former Capitol page fi ve times, but had said there was nothing inappropri- ate about the exchange. The page was 16 at the time of the e-mail correspondence. Rep. Rodney Alexander, RLa., who sponsored the page from his district, told reporters that he learned of the emails from a reporter some months ago and passed on the information to Rep. Thomas Reynolds, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Republican campaign organization. Alexander said he did not pursue the matter further because "his parents said they didn’t want me to do anything." Carl Forti, a spokesman for the GOP campaign organization, said Reynolds learned from Alexander that the parents did not want to pursue the matter. Forti said, however, that the matter did go before the House Page Board — the three lawmakers and two House offi cials who oversee the pages. It was unclear what the offi cials did. The board currently is headed by Rep. John Shimkus, RIll., who did not respond to requests for an interview. House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Friday he had asked Shimkus to investigate the page system. "We want to make sure that all our pages are safe and the page system is safe," Hastert said. 

Meanwhile, another reader remembers Rep. Foley's comments on Bill Clinton's dalliance with a grown woman:

"It's vile," said Rep. Mark Foley, R-West Palm Beach. "It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."

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