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Hannity Trots Out Mark Foley To Advise Anthony Weiner To Resign

Reported by Ellen - June 10, 2011 -

File this one under "just when you think you’ve seen it all…" On last night’s Hannity, Sean Hannity brought on former Congressman Mark Foley – you may recall that in September, 2006 Foley resigned after it was revealed he had sent inappropriate emails and sexually explicit instant messages to underage boys who were current and former Congressional pages – to offer his thoughts and advice to Rep. Anthony Weiner. Of course, there are some huge differences. Weiner sexted adult women, not underage Congressional employees, and much of Foley’s doings were allegedly swept under the rug by the Republican leadership while he remained head of a Congressional caucus on children’s issues. Foley tried to demur from telling the Fox News audience what Weiner should do but finally – under pressure from Hannity – Foley did Hannity's bidding and made it clear he thought Weiner should resign.

Foley signaled his thoughts early on in the interview when he happened to reveal he thought resignation was his "only option… In my heart I said, you know, there are consequences for your actions… I had to step out of the process, I had to get help and I did.” He later said he would never have gotten well had he not stepped “out of the cauldron.”

Later, in the third video below (they’re all pretty short but you can jump to that one if you only want to see this particular exchange), Hannity asked, “What advice, if you could tell Anthony Weiner, if he were sitting next to you right now, and said, ‘Can you give me advice on what I should do, where I should go,’ what would you tell him?”

Foley said he didn’t think he had the qualifications to advise Weiner.

But Hannity would not take no for an answer. “Actually, I would argue you probably have – having been through this, you probably do have the qualifications – at least give your insight.”

Foley said what Hannity pretty much knew he'd say: “In my heart, you cannot fix this from inside that building.”

“He needs to go,” Hannity said quickly. You could almost hear the gears in his head turning for future talking points: Mark Foley says Weiner must resign in order to recover!

Foley continued, “You cannot fix your problem. Whatever it is that’s troubling him – beautiful wife, you know, wonderful family, a great constituency – obviously wasn’t enough for either one of us. And he’s not gonna get better going back into the building and hope people give him a pass.”

That portion and Hannity’s efforts to goad Foley into blaming Rahm Emanuel and Nancy Pelosi while absolving GOP leadership notwithstanding, much of the interview was rather interesting and not the suck up “Republican Rehab” type of segment I’ve come to expect from Hannity when he interviews tarnished Republicans. You might even respect him a bit more for asking some tough questions - if you can just forget that Hannity once tried to dismiss the Foley scandal by calling it "a distraction" and saying, "Clinton had oral sex in the White House and you guys (Democrats) are worried about instant messages.”

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