Larry Craig has worked hard at portraying himself as “victim” in his media appearances, but make no mistake, the senior Senator from Idaho knows a thing or two about media manipulation.
NBC’s Matt Lauer didn’t “land the interview” because he has a reputation for being fair and balanced. He got it–according to GUARDIAN insiders–because Craig was looking for not only national exposure, but a big Idaho audience. No matter how you cut it in Idaho it is KTVB Channel 7 that delivers a big audience.
Craig dictated the terms of the interview if not the questions. No intimidating New York or Washington TV studio. Nope. He did it in the secure comfort of his Idaho home–put the eastern newsy off balance. Then he piggy backed the local interview into the same session–sort of a dress rehearsal for whichever went was second.
Craig considered favoring the aging, but lovely Diane Sawyer of ABC with the “exclusive.” In the end he went with NBC because KTVB-7 could deliver more local viewers—and repeatedly with their cable venue “24/7.”
By controlling the interviewer, the venue, access, and time, Craig was about as close to being in command as he will ever be.
This isn’t new to the senator. We hear he dictated the ground rules to the Statesman when he did an earlier interview with them. He even brought his own video camera to record the confrontation at the Daily Paper. That was when the “Jimmeny!” comments were made. Gotta admit when a U.S. Senator walks into a meeting with his own video recording gear there is an implied message of mistrust and some would say an attempt to intimidate.
If you don’t think control was the name of the game, look at the Tuesday coverage in the Daily Paper. Photos provided by and credited to NBC…the newsy star on the front page and inside talking to Craig and only comments the network chose to release.
No doubt who will win the ratings game on Tuesday night in Idaho. The Chamber of Commerce must be in heaven with all the “prime time media for Idaho.”
Idaho’s junior Senator, Mike Crapo, has come to his senses just a bit on the Craig issue. Junior told the Daily Paper Idaho could do without the intensity of the media spotlight and it is time to move on. Junior can be glad it will only be one more year of filing appeals, arguing the case, waiting for the decision, etc. If the appeal is successful to change his plea, it will only be a few months more until they set a date for a new trial in the lower court.
The Idaho publicity is bound to outlast the Fiesta Bowl!
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