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Byline: DAVID KRONKE

There was much mirth on the cable news channels Tuesday over the plight and humiliation of Larry Craig, the family-values-touting senator from Idaho arrested for lewd behavior in a Minneapolis airport bathroom - not to mention his spectacularly ill-advised nationally televised statement in which he admits to perjury and blames all his woes on, yes, the media.

Consensus: Dude's toast.

That out of the way, the scandal devolved into sitcom banter on MSNBC's "Live With Dan Abrams," in which Abrams, Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson were discussing the case, and Carlson mentioned he had once been propositioned in a men's room (must've been the bow tie).

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Abrams declared (I'm paraphrasing); back up. Carlson clarified: Yes, he had been approached in a public restroom.

I've never been approached, Scarborough interjected with mock disappointment.

Carlson then continued to try to make his point, to little avail. What happened? Abrams wanted to know. Tucker explained that he went and got a buddy and they returned to the men's room and grabbed the guy, hoping against hope that that would put an end to the story - apparently not realizing the anecdote could go in myriad directions at that point.

So Abrams pressed: Then what happened?

Increasingly sheepish, Carlson explained he smacked the guy's head into a wall and summoned a cop. Abrams and Scarborough laughed their way through Carlson's little tale of derring-do. Boys will be boys.

(No doubt, bloggers are Googling to see if they can corroborate Tucker's tale.)

But perhaps it is hard to take seriously a story this salacious involving this much sanctimonious hypocrisy (newscasters also delighted in running - and rerunning - a clip in which Craig denounced then-President Clinton as a "naughty, nasty boy"). As Jack Cafferty noted on CNN, you couldn't write this stuff.

(Also: hilariously obsessive footage of the actual airport men's room in which the arrest took place, with the cameras roaming into stalls, peaking under doors at men's shoes, etc. That's journalism!)

Biggest disappointment with the Craig thing (dubbed Craigslust) - and no, it's not the political hypocrisy; that's become a given these days - is that, once again, one of my favorite stories of the past year - the loony love-triangle astronaut (she'll be pleading temporary insanity) - was yet again denied the attention she so richly deserves. As you may recall, Lisa Nowak's quixotic cross-country drive - she wore diapers in order to cut down on her travel time and bathroom breaks in order to do, well, something to a romantic rival (Nowak had enough weaponry to make the next installment of the "Saw" movie series) - got lost in the shuffle of Britney Spears' buzzkill of her coif and the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

And now, her announcement that she'll be pleading not guilty by reason of temporary insanity is overlooked thanks to a senator with restless leg syndrome. Girl can't catch a break.

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Title Annotation:LA.COM
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 31, 2007
Words:486
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