Who Knew What? And When?

We’ve noticed some pundits recently claiming that many journos “knew” about Foley’s uncomfortable relationship with congressional Pages.

Take The Hill’s A.B. Stoddard, speaking recently on “Hardball”:

    Mark Foley was not known as a drunk, Mark Foley was known as a really nice guy who happened to spend a lot of time attending meetings of the page program, welcoming addresses, et cetera, the functions that they had. And he was just very friendly with them, you know, as they make their way through the building and stuff. It was just a known fact and it just wasn’t really–it wasn’t comfortable, it wasn’t appropriate.

Our question: How many reporters knew of this? And should someone have spoken up sooner?

After the jump, see Florida Congressional Candidate Tim Mahoney discuss whether the media sat on the story of Foley’s relationships with pages.

MATTHEWS: Do you think this is made up?

MAHONEY: You know, I don’t care about that. All I care about is the issues having to deal with the 16th district. I mean, what happens to Mark Foley going forward is a personal issue. I think the thing that really we need to focus on is the fact that this was an open secret in Washington, D.C., the press knew about it…

MATTHEWS: Wait a minute. What was the open secret?

MAHONEY: Well, the open secret was that there were these e-mails out there, the…

MATTHEWS: It was an open secret among the leadership of the House. I certainly, nobody I knew about it or we would have been doing something with this. What do you mean by an open secret?

MAHONEY: Well, there was an open secret because if you look at the press reports and the storying being written, there was information in those stories not available on the Internet. So it was very clear that there were newspapers that had interviewed Mark and talked to him going back to 2005.

MATTHEWS: Who had sat on the story. You’re accusing the media of sitting on the story of his relationships with pages?

MAHONEY: Excuse me?

MATTHEWS: Are you accusing the media of sitting on stories, of killing stories, spiking stories, whatever the word…

MAHONEY: I’m not accusing anybody of anything.

MATTHEWS: You just did. You said there was an open secret among the media. What did you mean by that?

MAHONEY: Well, if you take a look at the stories that were being written that people knew about this issue going back to 2005.

MATTHEWS: And the media knew about it?

MAHONEY: Well, obviously there was one newspaper that basically wrote about it and said that they asked Mark if he had written those e-mails and he said yes. That was I think November 2005.

MATTHEWS: Well, you know your stuff.