9/29/2009

What news coverage would Kevin Jennings be getting if he were a Republican?

Sex scandal double standard: What if Kevin Jennings were a Republican?

When Republican Rep. Mark Foley was caught chasing congressional pages, he got exactly what was coming to him. In a blizzard of coverage (1,400 stories, according to Google news), Mr. Foley's creepy behavior was examined from every possible angle. Nobody wanted to hear that the congressman's stupid and objectionable behavior was confined to e-mails and text messages. His immediate resignation didn't quiet the furor. When two years of investigations found no crime, the results got barely a peep.

Whether the press feeding frenzy around Mr. Foley's disgrace was justified or not, the explosion of coverage was certainly understandable, even predictable. That reality is what makes coverage of Kevin Jennings, President Obama's "safe school czar" something of a mystery.

Mr. Jennings brings all the sleaze of Mr. Foley. Sex and the underaged? Check. An older man? Check. Potential misbehavior by a government official? Check. . . .

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