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Those Darned Kids

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By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 16, 2006; 7:50 AM

I'm getting a little tired of reading all these "exposes" of Facebook and MySpace.

Hardly a week goes by without some newscast or newspaper discovering that it can be hazardous to the college or professional careers of young people to post pictures of themselves engaged in drinking, drugging, loving or other racy activity that might be frowned upon by some adult in a position of authority.

Okay, we get it. Hasn't dumb judgment always been hazardous to your professional health?

It's a legitimate story, but I detect a faint whiff of Old Media getting all exercised about the terrible dangers of New Media--why are all those kids wasting their time blabbing on these social sites?--rather than figuring out how to appeal to their young fans.

So if college-type kids want to endanger their prospects by acting online like, well, college kids, let 'er rip. But now comes a new wrinkle: Should embarrassing postings be held against their parents, especially if their parents are, like, politicians?

First Wonkette reports that one of Bill Frist's sons has some weird language in his profile in Facebook (aimed at college students and alums): "Lets bomb some people." (He didn't major in grammar, apparently.) And "FREE DUKE" hanging on his wall.

Then Roll Call found another son of the Senate majority leader declaring membership in the "Jonathan Frist appreciation For 'Waking Up White People' Group" and another group that says: "No Jews Allowed. Just Kidding. No seriously." And there was this gem: "Texans: the lowest form of white man there is."

Wonkette posted a picture of the guy wearing--I don't know the technical term--a belt made out of beer cans.

Now Wonkette's investigative bureau has uncovered a picture of the daughter of a candidate running for Frist's Tennessee Senate seat under the headline "Bob Corker's Daughter Experiments with Marycheneyism." There is indeed a Facebook shot of two young women doing some serious lip-lock and another involving underwear dancing of the kind probably not seen at Senate socials.

Do I think any of this stuff should reflect poorly on their parents? No. But it's on a zillion Web sites now. It's too bad the kids have been singled out because they belong to political families. And after all, they weren't exactly busted for cocaine or arrested in a DUI. But that's life in the Internet age: Nothing is truly private.

A major-league uproar on the Hill yesterday over a Republican resolution designed to pin down Democrats over the war--one of those great, noisy, partisan battles that doesn't really change anything on the ground.

The New York Times : "The House and the Senate engaged in angry, intensely partisan debate on Thursday over the war in Iraq, as Republicans sought to rally support for the Bush administration's policies and exploit Democratic divisions in an election year shadowed by unease over the war.


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