09.09.09

Mark Foley's New Gig

The disgraced former congressman—who sent illicit emails and IMs to male teen aides—is staging a comeback with a new radio show. Benjamin Sarlin talks to his new boss about what to expect.

Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) suffered one of the more spectacular career implosions in recent political history just three short years ago, when his lurid emails and instant-message conversations with male teens working in his office made it into the press. The notorious exchanges included one incident where Foley asked one of the aides to measure their penis and another in which he asked a page, "Do I make you a little horny?" Now Foley is re-entering the public spotlight after his long exile with a radio show on Florida's Seaview AM Radio 960.

According to the Seaview's operations director, Joe Raineri, Foley came to the station a few weeks ago to pitch a possible talk show.

“He’s not running for office so no reason to hold back.”

"He approached us a couple months back thinking he might want to pursue a radio career and he asked if we would help him," Raineri told The Daily Beast. "With all that's going on and all the questions people have about what’s going on on Capitol Hill, we thought his experience and knowledge was far superior to anyone else in the area."

Foley has already taped his first show, in which he discusses the Bernie Madoff case and the SEC's failure to catch on to his crimes earlier as well as issues related to the current health-care debate. While Raineri described the first show as "conversational" and " Meet the Press-style," future shows could take on different formats.

"We're crawling before we walk here with him," he said. "The first couple of shows will be taped until he gets the feel of radio since he's not a radio guy.”

Raineri said he was thrilled to be able to add someone like Foley, who sat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, to the lineup.

"We're a local AM station and we have an awful lot of people very concerned about this health-care issue and he brings an insider view to this that you're not going to get that from many people," Raineri said. "And he's not running for office so no reason to hold back."

Benjamin Sarlin is a reporter for The Daily Beast. He previously covered New York City politics for The New York Sun and has worked for talkingpointsmemo.com.