**** RUMOR PROBABLY FALSE: SEE UPDATE ****
That would not merely seriously reignite the Foley Follies; it would also stifle the wingnut attempt to turn this into a gay scandal rather than a scandal about grown men abusing their office to make sexual advances to high-school students, and the party and institution they belong to scurrying to protect the grown-ups rather than the teenagers. If the story breaks this week or next, we could see a true landslide in November.
How likely is it that Carlson and Milbank haven’t heard the name associated with the new rumor? Not very. But what’s left of journalistic ethics keeps them from naming names unless and until the scandal breaks.
Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But if it isn’t, I wonder why the AP picked this particular file photo from 2003 to use with the Foley story, and why the cutline identifies the second Congressman in the picture, who isn’t mentioned at all in the text of the story, and why the picture wasn’t cropped to show Foley alone, if Foley’s problems were all that the picture was intended to illustrate.
If in fact the AP is sending coded messages in this fashion, do we approve or disapprove? I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that, if the picture and cutline weren’t meant to send a message, they reflect some seriously careless editing.
Update Rich Miller of Capitol Fax, who from a partisan perspective would prefer to believe the rumor, has done some checking around and doesn’t. If this is indeed b.s., then the AP photo editor got some ‘splainin’ to do.
Second update Archpundit has switched from predicting that AP would break the story today to referring its readers to Rich Miller. So the story has definitely cooled off, if it isn’t stone dead.
Footnote This is why respectable media outlets don’t run with rumors, especially rumors that could damage completely innocent third parties, and most especially children. Yes, Wonkette.com, I’m looking at you.