More Macaca from the Washington Post

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Today the Washington Post ran a stunningly vague article saying that Congressman Jim Kolbe, saw Foley messages in 2000.

The lede graph says:

A Republican congressman knew of disgraced former representative Mark Foley's inappropriate Internet exchanges as far back as 2000 and personally confronted Foley about his communications.

Does the phrase "as far back as 2000" modify "Internet exchanges" or does it modify "knew of"? Jonathan Weisman obviously can't diagram a sentence, because it should modify "internet exchanges."

I have read the article a few times and can only see that while the communication itself may have dated to 2000, no date is given on which Congressman Kolbe learned of the communciations. He provides not a shred of proof that Kolbe knew sooner than a few weeks ago. Yet the third graph continued:

The revelation pushes back by at least five years the date when a member of Congress has acknowledged learning of Foley's behavior with former pages. A timeline issued by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R—Ill.) suggested that the first lawmakers to know, Rep. John M. Shimkus (R—Ill.), the chairman of the House Page Board, and Rep. Rodney Alexander (R—La.), became aware of "over—friendly" e—mails only last fall. It also expands the universe of players in the drama beyond members, either in leadership or on the page board.

This might, of course, have been a perfectly innocent ambiguity on the author's part. But given that the Democrats are assertiing that Republicans knew for some time that Foley was acting inappropriately and did nothing about it, I have to wonder.
 
I wrote to the paper and gave the author an opportunity to explain, but  have not received a response.
 
Once again, the WaPo seems to be pushing a political agenda.
 
I suppose, it's hard to justify another front page article on Foley, if the article were not disingenuous. If the story had been reported this way —— a few weeks ago another Congressman learned of another early Foley email to a former page and dealt with it appropriately —— you'd have nothing worth a front page slot. Unless, of course, you reprised the old macaca.
 
This election period is not your newspaper's finest hour.

Clarice Feldman   10 09 06

Today the Washington Post ran a stunningly vague article saying that Congressman Jim Kolbe, saw Foley messages in 2000.

The lede graph says:

A Republican congressman knew of disgraced former representative Mark Foley's inappropriate Internet exchanges as far back as 2000 and personally confronted Foley about his communications.

Does the phrase "as far back as 2000" modify "Internet exchanges" or does it modify "knew of"? Jonathan Weisman obviously can't diagram a sentence, because it should modify "internet exchanges."

I have read the article a few times and can only see that while the communication itself may have dated to 2000, no date is given on which Congressman Kolbe learned of the communciations. He provides not a shred of proof that Kolbe knew sooner than a few weeks ago. Yet the third graph continued:

The revelation pushes back by at least five years the date when a member of Congress has acknowledged learning of Foley's behavior with former pages. A timeline issued by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R—Ill.) suggested that the first lawmakers to know, Rep. John M. Shimkus (R—Ill.), the chairman of the House Page Board, and Rep. Rodney Alexander (R—La.), became aware of "over—friendly" e—mails only last fall. It also expands the universe of players in the drama beyond members, either in leadership or on the page board.

This might, of course, have been a perfectly innocent ambiguity on the author's part. But given that the Democrats are assertiing that Republicans knew for some time that Foley was acting inappropriately and did nothing about it, I have to wonder.
 
I wrote to the paper and gave the author an opportunity to explain, but  have not received a response.
 
Once again, the WaPo seems to be pushing a political agenda.
 
I suppose, it's hard to justify another front page article on Foley, if the article were not disingenuous. If the story had been reported this way —— a few weeks ago another Congressman learned of another early Foley email to a former page and dealt with it appropriately —— you'd have nothing worth a front page slot. Unless, of course, you reprised the old macaca.
 
This election period is not your newspaper's finest hour.

Clarice Feldman   10 09 06