Batavia (IL) – Political scandals have been around for ages, but with the Internet they can quickly morph into a cultural phenomenon. No doubt you’ve heard Representative Mark Foley’s lurid instant messages to a congressional page, but did you know that bloggers and other enterprising people have made videos and produced Flash games lampooning the scandal?
Up until last week, Foley was the Republican representative for Florida’s 16th Congressional District. He resigned after ABC published steamy instant messenger chats he made with a congressional page. Since the resignation, there have been additional questions as to whether the House leadership, specifically Speaker Dennis Hastert, had any advance knowledge of Foley’s conduct.
Yesterday, Hastert promised that he would conduct a full investigation and told a crowd in Batavia, Illinois that he would not step down as House Speaker. You can see some pictures of the speech in our slide show.
Even before Foley’s resignation videos poking fun at his online chats began appearing. A quick search YouTube shows several spoof videos about the scandal including one cleverly titled video, “Rep. Foley with a Miner”. Videos from the Colbert Report, a spoof on news shows, have also made it to YouTube. In the videos, host Stephen Colbert explains how the scandal could actually be his fault and that people may not understand some of the acronyms in the chat.
Flash games are also slowly trickling out to the web, mainly on left-leaning websites like the Huffingtonpost.com. One game lets players use arrow keys to move Speaker Hastert and block Mark Foley, all to the Benny Hill theme music.
Of course some people just want to make a buck off the whole thing and there is no better place than the giant online auctioneer eBay. A few domain names with variations of Mark Foley’s name are up for grabs, but so far many of them have no bids or are stuck at $1. Buttons are also being sold, with one reading, “What Page Are You On Mark Foley”.