Foley on Exploiting Children over the Internet in 2002

Interesting stuff you can find digging around through the NPR archives. Turns out that Congressman Mark Foley (he's the Republican representative from Florida who resigned Friday after accusations that he sent inappropriate emails and IMs to teenage boys) was on Talk of the Nation a few years back, talking about, you guessed it, sexual exploitation of minors over the Internet.

Here's a selection from the transcript of that April 17, 2002, interview:

NEAL CONAN: Joining us now from Capitol Hill is Republican Congressman Mark Foley of Florida, co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. Congressman, thanks for joining us this afternoon.
Rep. MARK FOLEY (R. Fla.): Thank you. Good to be with you.
CONAN: You were quoted in The New York Times today as saying the Supreme Court quote, "sided with pedophiles over children." Why do you think that?
Rep. FOLEY: Well, I think what we've done here is allowed people to get away, if you will, whether it's virtual reality or live children, exploiting them for sexual gratification. I think we're entering a very, very dangerous period. I'm not a prude. I have no problem with adult pornography. People are entitled to read it, watch it, see it in their homes or in public accommodations. Where I have to draw the line is using children for the excitement of those more mature people who should know the difference and know better. So I was troubled by the court's rendering. We worked long and hard on that bill to pass it in '96, and we're prepared to meet with Mr. Ashcroft and other legal scholars to define a bill that hopefully will pass the muster of the Supreme Court when we reintroduce it.

Click here to listen to the full interview (audio). Click here for the full transcript.

Oh, one other thing. When I read some of the coverage of the Foley e-mail scandal in the newspapers over the weekend, I thought to myself: Creepy and completely inappropriate. This morning, however, I read the (WARNING: DISCRETION ADVISED) IM transcript on Slate and thought: If anyone knew anything about this and didn't do anything, my hard-bitten cynicism about the absolute moral bankruptcy of politicians were the musings of a Pollyannaish naif.

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