Ken Silverstein Knew…

…and so did some others (about the Mark Foley emails). Harper’s Silverstein writes his take up here.

    Last May, a source put me in touch with a Democratic operative who provided me with the now-infamous emails that Foley had sent in 2004 to a sixteen-year-old page. He also provided several emails that the page sent to the office of Congressman Rodney Alexander, a Louisiana Republican who had sponsored him when he worked on Capitol Hill. “Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously, This freaked me out,” the page wrote in one email. In the fall of 2005, my source had provided the same material to the St. Petersburg Times–and I presume to The Miami Herald–both which decided against publishing stories. …

    The final draft of my story–which did not name the ex-page who received Foley’s emails–was set to run on June 2. …

    We decided against publishing the story because we didn’t have absolute proof that Foley was, as one editor put it, “anything but creepy.” At the time I was disappointed that the story was killed–but I must confess that I was also a bit relieved because there had been the possibility, however unlikely, that I would wrongly accuse Foley of improper conduct. …

    While Harper’s decided not to publish the story, we weren’t entirely comfortable with the decision. A few weeks later I passed along the emails and related materials to several people who were in a position to share them with other media outlets. I subsequently learned that other people had the same information and were also contacting reporters. (By this point, my original source apparently had given up on getting the media to cover the story.)

    Among those who received information about the story but declined to pursue it were liberal outlets such as Talkingpointsmemo.com, Americablog.com, and The New Republic (The Hill, Roll Call, and Time magazine also had the Foley story, though I’m not certain when it came to their attention.) Ironically, it was ABC–which just weeks ago was being defended by Republicans and attacked by Democrats for airing The Path to 9/11–that finally ran the story. The network obtained the emails from a person who is scrupulously non-partisan.