The Rehabilitation of Larry Craig Through Idaho's Right Wing Noise Machine

Recently Rupert Murdoch's parent corporation, News Corp., dropped all pretense of "fair and balanced" and gave the Republican Governor's Association $1 million explaining away the corrupting influence by arguing that the parent corporation has no say in the promulgation of news by its subsidiaries. Marc Johnson wrote a thoughtful, and far too kind, piece on the propriety of such a donation, noting the dishonesty and pointlessness of News Corp's defense. Jon Stewart observed that the money was going the wrong direction, but that's a tail wagging the dog conundrum.

That brings me to Idaho's branch of the right wing noise machine. The other day I noted Larry Craig's radio guest host gig, subbing for conservative Nate Sellman, in which he had Wayne Hoffman screening questions. Wayne needs no introduction but is notable here as the principal of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, a conservative public policy organization which began its own news outlet, the Idaho Reporter, which, like Fox, touts itself as fair and unbiased. During the call in, Wayne made sure no one asked about the senator's infamous past, a stipulation apparently demanded by the senator.

Wayne Hoffman was accompanied by one of his minions, Brad Iverson-Long, a "journalist" Hoffman pays to promulgate the Idaho Reporter. I listened to the show for about an hour which reaffirmed why I don't listen much to commercial radio and certainly not conservative radio. During the show, Craig received accolade after glowing accolade while Wayne screened calls and barked orders at his dutifully responding obsequious employee. And one person even got through and tried to ask why Craig said he would resign but changed his mind. Hoffman refused the call arguing that it wasn't pertinent to the topical subjects of the day. Someone should have asked about the Prop H8 ruling, Lt. Col Ferenbach, or the tolerance of Muslims in the gay community, but I doubt they would have taken those calls either. Like News Corp. Hoffman screams about the corrupting influence of money in politics, yet categorically refuses to provide any information on the source of his funding. The duplicity is apparent and the result is astonishing. They seek to restore to the honor and dignity of elder statesman status to a senator who was caught and convicted of soliciting anonymous sex in a public bathroom. And given our current stupid public discourse, this bizarro world outcome doesn't seem that far away.