Busy Day for Bloggers: Larry Craig and MSNBC

by francine Hardaway on August 30, 2007

OMG, what a day for the blogosphere. I usually don’t write about things like this, but I have just heard the tape of Larry Craig’s arrest on MSNBC. The Minneapolis airport police released it. Why on earth was that necessary? Whose interests are really served?

As the anchorwoman said, there’s a big “ick factor” here. It’s definitely TMI for the average Idaho voter. The tape recounts the minute details of how Larry Craig tapped the policeman on the foot and reached down to “pick up a piece of toilet paper” from the floor (would you do that in a public bathroom?) The officer is relentless, and Craig is pathetic. In Idaho, I’m sure they have already made up their minds.

I think this is a case of media going too far. I’ve been accused of sympathizing with perpetrators before, because I tend to see the complexity of human beings, and I have to do it again now. Not to defend Craig, but at least to tell the media to call off the dogs. So what if the guy is gay? That’s his own business. And even if he committed a misdemeanor by soliciting sex in a public restroom, let him take those consequences privately, both at home and in the Senate.

To me the real issue is lying, both to himself and to others. Clearly, Craig has “work” to do, as therapists would say. He has lied, the lies have come out and now he should just go home and do the work, without his relatives having to hear the tape of an arrest he was obviously trying to keep from them.

I was married to a gay man, a man who tried very hard to be straight, and finally left me for another man, to whom he is still married. My former husband (not the doctor who died, but the one before him) agonized about his responsibilities to his wife and family, and finally left because he knew he was tempted to have gay sex and didn’t want to run the risk of infecting me during the early days of the AIDS epidemic. This was honest and open, characteristic of our entire relationship.

Clearly, this is not the way Larry Craig lives. But I wonder what my former husband would have done if some policeman had released a tape like this. He probably would have committed suicide. We need to get our voyeuristic, politically charged eyes off this man. The police did not have to release the tape to be proven “right;” the man already pled guilty. MSNBC didn’t have to play the tape over and over, the way it is now doing. And quite frankly, I shouldn’t be listening and neither should you.

What is with our society that we are so consumed by schadenfreude? I’ve just finished listening to the Owen Wilson suicide attempt saga, and now I get to hear this. Blech. Where’s the real news.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marshall Kirkpatrick August 31, 2007 at 6:44 pm

Francine, thanks for friending me on Twitter. It lead me to click through to your blog (which I’ve been meaning to do, btw) and find this very thoughtful post. Consider me a subscriber. Keep up the good work.

francine August 31, 2007 at 7:55 pm

I try. Thanks.

Lisa Wines September 1, 2007 at 9:59 am

Francine, thanks also for finding me on Twitter. I need to experiment so I get what it’s all about. In re your post – I have seen all the press bubbling up on my feedreader and I haven’t read anything, listened to anything or watched it. I hate what’s happening to our country right now, and another Republican out of the picture does not break my heart. But I need to respect him as a human being…or all the things I fight for (same-sex marriage, equality, etc.) would become a joke. I have tons of “work to do” as we all do. And he is just another human working his way thru life just like me. I wish him the best and would like to focus on the merits of his replacement and leave him alone with his family to figure out his life.

francine September 1, 2007 at 12:05 pm

I agree. He probably doesn’t self-identify as gay, and now will have to fight the legal battle in order to avoid being identified that way in his own mind. It’s so confused and confusing that I’m glad he resigned and doesn’t have to do it publicly. And the Republicans continue to kill their wounded.

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