Eric Massa will appear on Glenn Beck for an our-long interview tomorrow. This story is going to be a big deal for a while.
It is worth noting, however, that Eric Massa completely changed his story in just 48 hours. On Friday, he posted a letter on his website taking full responsibility for his resignation, and that his desire to avoid national media attention was a motivating factor in his resignation.
Here are the passages taking responsibility:
I own this reality... In fact, there is no doubt that this Ethics issue is my fault and mine alone.... I want to make something perfectly clear. My difficulties are of my own making. Period.
I fell short and I believe now, as I have always believed, that it is not enough to simply talk the talk, but rather I must take action to hold myself accountable.
And here are the passages on wanting to avoid attention:
But in the incredibly toxic atmosphere that is Washington D.C., with the destruction of our elected leaders having become a blood sport, especially in talk radio and on the internet, there is also no doubt that an Ethics investigation would tear my family and my staff apart(...)
I am also aware that blogs and radio will have a field day with this in today's destructive and unforgiving political environment.(...)
I ask that members of the press respect the privacy of my family, my staff, and me at this time.
On both counts, this is a complete reversal. Now Massa is alleging a conspiracy to kick him out of office by the Democratic leadership due to his opposition to the health reform legislation, and he is willing to get as much exposure for his story as possible.
This does not necessarily mean that what Massa is claiming now is wrong. It does mean that he was not always telling the truth--it can't be entirely his fault and a conspiracy to get rid of him.
It should also be noted that Massa has a strong motive to change his story. With his entirely new story, he is going to become a martyr for many opponents of health reform legislation. I guess he has decided that is a better track to take than being disgraced over sexual harassment charges. It would have been a more believable tack if he had taken that approach in the first place, and not claimed full responsibility for the sexual harassment, and if by flat-out changing his story, he is receiving a huge wave of new support.
Act Blue pages which I co-managed supported Eric Massa in 2006 and 2008 to the tune of nearly $100,000. Further, before these charges, I was going to help him win re-election no matter his vote on health care. However, there are good reasons to be suspicious of his actions since Friday. And frankly, while I was very proud of it until Friday of last week, I don't feel very good about my past activism for Eric Massa now. No matter the veracity of his contradictory charges, he is not coming across very well right now.