Barney Frank's retirement announcement could have come as early as 1989 but back then the Democratic congressman from Massachusetts relied on the liberal attitudes of his constituents and his friends in the media to see him through a prostitution scandal, friends like the Boston Globe's Tom Oliphant.
On the August 26, 1989 edition of the syndicated Inside Washington, Oliphant had no fear that Frank would survive the scandal of his apartment being used for a male prostitution ring as he proclaimed Frank to be "a man of surpassing integrity."
The following is a brief excerpt from the August 26, 1989 edition of Inside Washington:
TOM OLIPHANT: I've known Barney Frank since was in college. He's a man of surpassing integrity that I've never known to be questioned. I think he's a master politician, which people forget. He's also a magnificent Congressman, and above all, there is nothing in this episode that counters any of those other images, and I would expect him to survive this smear in good standing.
- Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center. Click here  to follow Geoffrey Dickens on Twitter.