State Sen. John McGee hasn't been heard from yet; his initial court appearance isn't scheduled until this afternoon.
But the story of the Caldwell Republican's bizarre arrest on misdemeanor drunken-driving and felony grand theft charges has long since gone viral on the Internet — and international.
London's Daily Mail jumped across the pond to write about McGee. In a sidebar — under the headline, "When Will All These Lawmakers Learn?" — the Daily Mail likened McGee to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., who resigned amidst a Twitter photo scandal.
I was a bit surprised that the Daily Mail took interest in an Idaho state legislator's travails, no matter how juicy the details. I doubt the Daily Mail's coverage will sway many voters in McGee's Canyon County legislative district — that is, if McGee still has a political future after this story plays out.
But the viral nature of the McGee story is worth noting, and I think it's different than the situation that faced then-Lt. Gov. Butch Otter, arrested in 1992 on a drunken-driving charge and convicted a year later. Otter, of course, recovered from this story and has never lost an election since — for lieutenant governor, for 1st District Congress and, most recently, for governor. Otter's arrest was big news, but it didn't get the rocket propulsion provided by the Internet.
None of this is meant to downplay the charges facing McGee — or to paint McGee as a victim. When an elected official is arrested, it's news; it's that simple. But bad news travels fast. And now, it travels faster than ever.