The Internet Parent
Sponsored by K9 Web Protection

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Real Lesson of the Mark Foley Saga

Say "Sleazy Hypocrite", miss an opportunity

By now, the news that Mark Foley was an “Internet predator” is widely reported. Here’s the article by Declan McCullagh from CNet that describes the apparently paradoxical behavior of Foley, the former Republican congressman from near Palm Beach, Florida who was both a strident defender and protector of children, and a child abuser/Internet predator at the same time.

What can explain this behavior? That Congress is infested with sleazeball hypocrites? If that’s the message you take from this tragedy, it’s a opportunity lost.

Look at the facts. This guy worked hard. He championed a worthy cause (if perhaps a bit misguidedly at times). He tried to lead Congress to take difficult and potentially unpopular actions.


Because he knows something that many of us are unwilling to fully comprehend. We have a mental health crisis and child-abuse crisis of epidemic proportions on our hands. It’s aided and abetted and accelerated by the easy access to pornography on the Internet. It’s further accelerated by the easy access to unsupervised communications among kids, and between kids and adults, on the Internet. And once you’re caught up in that epidemic, it’s very hard to get out. Sometimes, even an act of Congress isn't enough.

Nobody understands this reality better than Mark Foley right now.

Porn addiction, pedophilia, and similar spiraling, addictive appetites are all fed by the Internet. Unless we’re willing to say that it’s OK for adults to seduce and have sex with kids, we have to conclude that Mark Foley has a mental health problem. And when they abuse kids to feed their appetites, he and others like him create yet more victims, who in turn grow into adults with mental health problems.

I’ll say it again. We have a mental health crisis and a child abuse crisis of epidemic proportions that is spiraling out of control, and largely out of sight, out there on the Internet.

As a responsible, loving parent, you MUST do something to protect your kids. Install a filter/monitor. Supervise your kids’ Internet behavior. Get involved in making a difference in your community. Remember, to successfully protect your own kids, you have to work to protect your neighbors’ kids, too. In his own way, Foley was trying to protect your kids -- and in the process, protect himself as well.

Comments? I'm interested in your thoughts regarding Foley, Internet addictions, and community action.


Post a Comment

<< Home