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Second Republican congressman snared in page sex scandal?

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Denny Hastert has put me in a difficult position.

I've heard rumors. Unsubstantiated talk. No proof yet. But I've heard things. Just like I heard things about Mark Foley this past July. This time I've heard things about a relatively senior Republican member of the House, and also about someone on the Speaker's own staff. Both rumors seem relevant to this story as it's unfolding.

So here's my dilemma. Denny Hastert says that if I don't report the unsubstantiated allegations I've heard, I'm a criminal. But the thing is, I'm also a journalist, and a good human being. I don't think it's right to print unsubstantiated rumors I've heard, rumors that could make life quite difficult for this Republican congressman and this senior member of Hastert's staff.

So what do I do? Do I publish unsubstantiated rumors about a GOP congressman and one of Denny Hastert's top aides? I don't want to, I don't think it's right, but Denny Hastert says he'll sic the FBI on me for hurting children if I don't. And he'll probably end up blaming Nancy Pelosi if my rumors turn out to be true and I didn't go public with them.

So what do I do? Maybe I'll just call Denny Hastert's office on Monday, tell them what I've heard, and let them decide how comfortable they are with the Speaker's new standard of justice.

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