Rep. Chris Cannon made a few comments about the scandal surrounding former Representative Mark Foley. Consider:
“These kids are actually precocious kids,” Cannon, R-Utah, told KSL Radio’s Nightside. “It looks like uh, maybe this one email is a prank where you had a bunch of kids sitting [around] egging this guy on.”
“Frankly, this is the responsibility of the parents,” Cannon said. “If you get online you may find people who are creepy. There are creepy people out there who will do and say creepy things. Avoid them. That’s what you have to do. And maybe we can say that a little more to the pages.”
Personally, I don’t find those comments particularly infused with a “blame the victim” mentality. I think he did try to deflect the scandal a bit by highlighting the alleged prank by one of the pages involved, as well as a common sense statement that does little to address the heart of the scandal, i.e., the alleged cover-up. Whatever. Rep. Cannon is a politician, so this sort of non-response is unsurprising. His response to outrage over his original statements wouldn’t be surprising if he backed up his response with his votes on various matters. Consider:
“The point of what I said is that institutions can’t protect kids in a day when you have instant messaging and cell phones that do texting but also take pictures.,” Cannon said in an interview Friday. “Parents need to take some responsibility and teach their kids what to do.”
Perhaps Rep. Chris Cannon could demonstrate his opinion the next time some inane bill comes before the House to protect kids from the dangers of this or that cultural obscenity, a “danger” I suggest is considerably less harmful than the advances of a sexual predator.
Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan