Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Behind the Headline

The real story that's emerging is that Sen. Larry Craig almost -- ALMOST -- managed to keep his arrest in a Minneapolis men's room secret forever. The hot action happened June 11th, but the Roll Call reporter who finally broke it didn't get the tip until last week.

Interesting piece in Editor & Publisher about how the press behaved in all of this, particularly the Idaho papers. As soon as the Minnesota arrest became public, the Idaho Stateman published its rather fat investigative file on Craig ... including accounts of other alleged gay activity. The paper had launched its investigation when accusations against Craig surfaced on (what else?) a blog, but had failed to publish any of it until Roll Call broke the story on Monday.

"The Statesman's decision not to run its investigation until the arrest had been revealed raises the issue of when a news outlet should both investigate such allegations and report on its findings."

It may surprise the mainstream press people who monitor this site, but we agree that the decision to publish such stuff ain't easy. Don't know what we would have done in that Idaho editor's position, but given Craig's actions in Congress actively to hurt gay people, with his speeches about the "gay agenda" and his self-righteous vote in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, we might have leaned toward exposing his blatant hypocrisy. Maybe we would have at least written an editorial about how public piety at odds with private behavior is the particular curse of the modern Republican Party.

We're gratified, at least, that Craig's hometown paper was investigating.

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