Inside Scoop On Exclusive Interview

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!

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Larry Craig is backed by lots of big corporate money, otherwise why do you think he got this kind of coverage from NBC??

    Good grief, folks! Wake up and smell the overbrewed coffee. Craig has always been about big donations from big biz. The recent media spin is just more of the same.

    His $$ patrons want to keep him in the Senate to protect their interests as much as he is able as long as he is able. What surprises me is that no media so far except the New Yorker has pointed out that his other home in D.C. is a yacht down at D Dock. That would have provided an even more glam venue for the interview….but yachts also smack of corporate gifties, yes?

    EDITOR NOTE–The yacht has been covered by most everyone now.

  2. Grumpy ole guy
    Oct 16, 2007, 10:41 am

    Maybe the Senator wanted it filmed out of doors in the hope that he wouldn’t appear to be stalling?

    Hard (you should excuse it) to be grumpy with material like this.

    He IS a victim, in one way, just as every gay man is when we do not view them as “normal human beings”; when we cast them as pedophiles; when we insist upon reducing their freedoms.

  3. What happened to the Idaho GOP? Now Junior took a Crapo on Senior. Junior’s just another Idaho cut n’ run Republican.

    Talk about flip flop. Guess there is no room for homosexuality in the Idaho GOP tent, even for bonafide NRA homosexual gun nutters. Too bad for them. What are they going to do when the next one gets caught or decides to come out. As long as these guys buy into more government in our private lives they better get used to eating their own.

  4. And KTVB seems just fine in helping Craig with the spin and damage control as if that is possible. The headline on the interview from the website states: “Before appeal, Craig apologizes to Idahoans”. Was that negotiated too?

    Please someone read the article and tell me where you see an expression of personal responsibility in any of the following categories: his conduct in the bathroom, his discussions with the police before, during and after the arrest, the guilty plea, the two press conferences when he expressed his intentions that misled his colleagues and his constituency, and the phone call to his lawyer disclosing his plans to blatantly manipulate the story in the media.

    I don’t see what I’d consider an apology anywhere. Indeed if I remember correctly Craig is on probation. The fact that he has not taken personal responsiblity shows a marked lack of regret which the Court can punish further having retained jursdiction to do so.

    The entire appeal is a farce. He’s appealing to a Court with a very high deferential standard of review of the bulletproof lower court decision. No ordinary citizen would do this even if he had $500,000 to squander on it. I’m surprised his campaign donors aren’t vocally incensed. The appeal will fail but in the interim he maintains his innocence in the court of public opinion despite the fact that he willingly gave up such innocence when he entered the guilty plea. In so doing he mocks the legal process and insults our intelligence.

    Man, it ain’t just a river in Egypt. This guy is totally deluded. The fact that Idaho Republican leaders continue to provide expressions of support taints them not only with complicity in the spin but also begs the question of how long they have been assisting Mr. Craig in maintaining his secret life as a perv. We already know Senate Republicans were aware of Craig’s tendencies which is why they threw him under the bus without blinking. http://www.43rdstateblues.com/?q=gop_aware_of_craigs_weird_conduct What did his “freinds” know and when did they know it?

  5. Not sure I agree with you on this!

    “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.”

    The media has a well earned reputation of putting their own “spin” on issues! Independent documentation of the whole interview is reasonable in a high profile case like this.

    I think it’s a stretch to call this intimidating on the Senator’s part. It looks to me like a case of lets make sure no spin occurs.

  6. I read recently where Senators are so full of the power of themselves and the Senate itself is so clubby that Toe Tapping Larry will never be moved out of the Senate by his “peers”. The article went on to say that it is the folks back home that make the difference.

    Well folks, its time to make a difference. Don’t waste your breath on Wide Stance, he has become deaf, dumb and blind to his perfidy. Target Kirk Sullivan at the Idaho Republican party and Butch Otter. That’s where the pressure needs to come from.

    Craig has shown himself to be nothing more than a selfish liar. He so needs to go.

  7. Colleen Fellows
    Oct 16, 2007, 12:58 pm

    I know, maybe in his own defense, Larry could do a real-time reenactment of the police bathroom stall sting from his point of view and side of the story. Matt Lauer could fill in as the under cover police detective in the neighboring stall. Then Larry could show us just how he was able to reach behind himself, while seated with the wide stance, to pick up a piece of toilet paper off the floor. That would certainly inflate the audience numbers tonight.

  8. sam the sham
    Oct 16, 2007, 1:18 pm

    My favorite “videos” of the person of interest are the ones I see on Saturday Night Live and YouTube. Other than that….his face and voice make me ill. I do not care if he is gay – I do care that he is a liar and a cheat. I do care that Idahoans, as well as the rest of the world, cannot trust one thing this man does. Oh, but that is nothing new for the folks “serving” in DC.

  9. This is a good analysis of Larry — we like him in Minnesota because of his “stance” on the issues.

    As a friend observed, “he’s the gift that keeps on giving” and it brings glee watching the Republicans squirm as the Lary show continues. Also slamming the Mitt was a nice touch.

  10. bert farber
    Oct 16, 2007, 3:03 pm

    About the senator’s “house boat”. I don’t think it’s really a yacht. I hear it’s a 1977 Bertram about 40 feet give or take.

    And I understand his “wide-stance” came about because when he uses the “head” — as they say in the navy– on the bobbing boat he needs to spread his feet to keep balance so he doesn’t fall over. I think the senator should point this out in the NBC-KTVB interviews so people would understand how come he developed a wide-stance. Back to the boat..I also hear it’s got three feet of moss all over the hull.

  11. I know you meant that tongue in cheek Colleen. There’ll be no discussion whatsoever of the topics you highlight even though that’ll be why everyone’s watching. That omission makes for quite the tease on this “exclusive”. I note KTVB’s Dee Sarton was inducted into Idaho’s Hall of Fame with Craig over the weekend. The relationship with some media outfits to the powers that be is too damn cozy for me. As a friend wrote, prepare for flaming softballs.

    I think you’re correct on the reasons for the stance but are you sure its the boat that’s bobbing, bert?

  12. I still think some where we are not getting the facts. It’s got to be about Money. No one would put up with the embarrassment of all the publicity this has generated, Can any one tell me?
    If he resign’s how does that affect his retirment.
    Some where it’s all about money.
    Please Mr. Craig give us peace. Leave us now!

  13. Colleen Fellows
    Oct 16, 2007, 4:47 pm

    What’s in a name?

    Now I’m sure I don’t have to remind everyone here that the houseboat on the Potomac in which Craig dropped his anchor as a young Congressman was christened with an ironic nautical name. Instead of “Land Ho” he named his boat “Ida Ho.” http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/28/washington/28boat.html

  14. Mike Murphy, Bull Moose Tenor
    Oct 16, 2007, 5:47 pm

    … YAWN …

  15. Colleen Fellows
    Oct 16, 2007, 8:15 pm

    Well Sisyphus,
    It does look like Lauer and Larry got into the bathroom footsie and patty cake bit a little.

    What it comes down to is that as we all knew, nothing new was going to come out of this interview. Matt Lauer was a bit tougher than our local affiliate, but by no means as hard hitting as one would expect of a nationally known journalist. As others have stated before, regarding the press conference at the Boise Depot, press conferences are by their nature, orchestrated, and so are interviews in politicians’ homes.

    In the end, Idaho is still stuck in the middle of a quandary created by our senior Senator, who refuses to do what is best for our state in lieu of his own “legacy.”

    I’m sorry, we did learn one thing. Matt Lauer doesn’t know how to correctly pronounce “Boise.”

  16. I tried to watch the KTVB segment, but quickly turned it off. Obsequious, to say the least.

    Matt Lauer did a better job, though he didn’t ask the most damning question: If Craig had to go so bad, why did he walk the opposite direction from his next flight – and pass four men’s restrooms in the process – to use a bathroom known to be an anonymous gay sex hot spot?

  17. It appears that Mr. Craig suffers from the same malady that afflicts OJ Simpson. Is it some kind of egotistical, delusional form of narcissism. Why does he think he is so important that he absolutely MUST continue to sacrifice his own personal life in order to serve Idaho in Washington? Give me a break. No one is indispensable. And Mrs. Craig talking about the floor falling out under her…try being let go after devoting 17 years to a career with a company you have given everything to while nursing a parent through terminal cancer and at the same time dealing with being told your child is never ever going to be a normal member of society much less the shining star you held hopes for in your heart… Life is hard. Knowing your husband is a liar hurts. But your suffering is not unique.

  18. Another “wide stance”:

    Craig said of why he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, “it sounded like an easy way out of this.”

    He also said resigning would be taking the “easy way out,” and,
    “I think most Idahoans know I’ve never taken the easy way out.”

    Hmmm ….

  19. “The tape, I think, is very clear, about what I said, how I reacted.” … said he felt “intimidated” by the officer.

    When I heard the tape, I heard a calm collected (even argumentative) man trying to talk his way out of a bad situation, not an intimidated one. By showing his business card, he was the one trying to intimidate.

    “And, again, I need a little therapy.”


  20. Our Senator said that he had a lot of coffee to drink, but no one will ask him the question that I would like answered…

    Why didn’t you use the urinal?

  21. “Obsequious”…isn’t that the name of a yacht docked next to Larry Craig’s Bertram? U.S.S. Obsequious? And wasn’t that a presidential yacht, too…that FDR and Nixon took out on the Potomac? It’s named after some kind of tree? I’m pretty sure.

  22. Right you were Colleen. They talked about it more than I thought they would. But it was hardly a cross examination. Would have been nice if someone could have pointed out the myriad inconsistencies like the one Gordon picked up on.

  23. FYI, Sisyphus is Scott Picken…Channel 6 News Director.

    EDITOR NOTE–NOT! Picken would use his own name and Sis has been around the GUARDIAN a lot longer.

  24. Porcupine…

    It’s too hard to reach under the divider when you use a urinal. First you have to get down on your knees…oh, wait. Never Mind.

  25. Mrs Craig said they have had several friends who have been harrased at that airport……

    What the hell is going on there, and who is doing all the harrasing?

  26. Well, the story has been on all the news, the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, Jay Leno, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, etc. Larry looked like a idiot on every airing, or at least like a person in the early stages of dementia.

    We have to pay this guy? Kind of like making payments on a car that died. Of course, he will still get his pension – a whole lot more than I get from Social Security that I paid into for 45+ years.

    Sure as hell makes me proud to be an Idahoan.
    What will it take to make him go away? This whole deal was almost starting to slow down when Old Lar decided to give the story a fresh kick in the butt by offering himself up for a new round of questioning. Amazing. There must be some reason for his actions – or not.

  27. I think Popkey’s theory is a good one.


  28. I agree eric. I’ve been saying it for a while now. Craig’s had his eye on that prize before the sting even came about. My sources tell me he was seriously considering retirement before June for the very reason that as young as he is he would make much more money than if he tried to do the same after another term. The disclosure of his guilty plea threatened all that and he’s digging in just to preserve his retirement plans. He’s doing so with the only thing he has left to bargain with, his status as a US Senator. In so doing, he displays a very callous disregard for his constituency that he’s dragging through the mud with him. The fact that his Idaho colleagues are giving him a pass shows how much they care for you as well.

  29. bert farber
    Oct 18, 2007, 1:24 pm

    Mole —
    You got real bad info sayin’ that Old Sissyfuss is Scott Picken. You must work for the CIA.

  30. I just heard the “This American Life” story with which I’m sure you’re quite familiar.


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