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Larry Craig Taps His Foot While Fox Does A Song And Dance

Reported by Chrish - September 2, 2007 -

Note: Guest blogged by Priscilla

Obviously, the Larry Craig scandal is an embarrassment for the Republicans and as such, Fox News, as an extension of the Republican Party, is creating a spin. Substituting for Julie Banderas, Fox’s Greg Jarrett began the hour with a tape of Craig’s announcement that he will be resigning from the US Senate. Jarrett asked Major Garrett, who was covering the story in Idaho, how the people were reacting. Garrett responded that although the people were sympathetic, they also acknowledge that Craig “made mistakes.” Garrett also noted that the bulk of the pressure on Craig was from Republican senators who are very “public” in their criticism.

Jarrett then proceeded into a discussion with former Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania, Ron Klink, and Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus. Jarrett said that the Foley scandal hurt the GOP and asked Jacobus how this scandal would impact politically and electorally on the Republican Party. When Jacobus started to say that the Foley scandal dragged on…Jarrett interrupted and said that Foley “quit immediately.” (Comment: right wing talking point alert). To her credit, Jacobus responded that that it appears that the Republicans knew about it and didn’t act quickly enough. Jacobus noted that had Craig fought this from the start, things might have been different. Jarrett, with a characteristic smarmy chuckle, added “but he’s now vowing to fight charges to litigate and vacate.” Jacobus then went into full right wing divert and distract mode when she commended Craig for stepping down because “William Jefferson when asked to do so Nancy Pelosi couldn’t get him to do so.” (Comment: Has Senator Ted Stevens resigned any of his committee posts?)

Jarrett then said, with characteristic inflated inflection, “here’s what I don’t get (Comment: right wing talking point alert): the Democrats seem never to lose jobs over sex scandals. Barney Frank had a relationship with a male prostitute, Gerry Studds had sex with a 17 year old male page, and Bill Clinton had sex with a young intern in the Oval Office.” (Comment: Frank’s affair was consensual. Studds consensual relationship with the page was legal as the page was 17 and that was the legal age of consent. Clinton’s affair was also consensual. Studds was censored at the same time as Republican Dan Crane who had an affair with a 17 year old female page – but somehow that never seems to be mentioned by right wing commentators.) Jarrett then went to say that “Larry Craig taps his foot and is forced to step down.” He claimed that there’s a “double standard and it’s OK for Democrats to have sex scandals. (Comment: Craig pled guilty to playing footsy which was considered to be disorderly cruising behavior. The Democrats cited by Jarrett did not plead guilty after an arrest – big difference. )

Klink finally had a chance to speak and pointed out the hypocrisy of a party that claims to be a “moral compass” and preaches a standard of conduct while behaving differently. As examples, he cited Henry Hyde, Dan Burton, Bob Packwood, Mark Foley, and Newt Gingrich. He said that when one googles "Republican sex scandals,” there are pages of them. (Comment: for your reading , here’s one.) Jarrett responded, in his characteristic unctuous manner, “I notice that you left out William Jefferson. It’s not sex; but money in the freezer. Come On.” Klink commented that it wasn’t as though Jefferson was advocating one thing and doing another. (Comment: In case you didn’t know that Jefferson is black, his photo was then shown.)

Jacobus said that Craig didn’t step down because it was a sex scandal (Hellooo???!!!) but because he was arrested and pleaded guilty. (Comment: so then it’s really OK to be involved in sex scandals as long as you don’t get caught?) She added that “Democrats are hung up because it’s a scandal of a homosexual nature and the reaction would be the same as if he pled guilty to soliciting sex with a woman in a bathroom.” (Comment: no, Cheri, he would have called an “escort service.”) And in true right wing talking point fashion, she later ended the segment, in response to Klink’s comment about Gingrich having an affair while leading the Clinton’s impeachment, by saying “it’s about the perjury.”

Comment: Craig, who just might be gay despite his protestation, got thrown from the GOP train because his crime was of a homosexual nature and the Republican Party panders to voters who feel that being gay is the worst sin of all. Their double standard is amazing considering that David Vitter, whose name was not mentioned by Jarrett, was left unscathed for his dalliances with a prostitute. Fox seems to be taking the approach that Craig was doing nothing wrong and was “set up.” Is this because they really don’t want to address Republican homophobia and the resulting hypocrisy – because Larry Craig is just so not gay?!