George Michael's Restroom Bust Was No Larry Craig Feeding Frenzy

August 31st, 2007 12:35 PM

Perhaps the first famous name that comes to mind when it comes to policeman arrests in a restroom is George Michael, the former Wham! singer, who was busted in April of 1998 for lewd conduct in a restroom at Will Rogers Memorial Park in Beverly Hills. (The act was reportedly masturbation and some public nudity.) This story, with Michael's fame on the wane, drew almost no attention from the same national media outlets who are now pounding on the office door of Sen. Larry Craig and insisting he resign.

A quick Nexis search shows no George Michael arrest stories on ABC, or NBC. CBS offered this anchor brief from Russ Mitchell on the morning of April 11: "In other entertainment news, pop singer George Michael apologized to his fans in a CNN interview in LA last night. Michael was arrested Tuesday and charged with what police called a lewd act in a restroom in a public park in Beverly Hills. He is due in court next month."

Even the New York Times, with that all-the-news-that's-fit-to-print motto, avoided the story. Less than two weeks after the lewd-conduct story broke, on April 19, 1998, the Times mentioned George Michael in an article on crew cuts, but not his lewd acts: "In the 90's, the classic crew has been modified, no longer flat on top, but an even buzz all the way round. George Michael and the 'Bodyguard'-era Kevin Costner blazed the trail for the new look."

Finally on December 18, on page E-30. music critic Ann Powers quipped about a Michael CD: "This two-CD retrospective is selling millions worldwide, yet in a strange reversal of the cliche, all George Michael can do in America is get arrested. The disco crooner's recent detention for indecent exposure earned him more attention stateside than he has had since the early 1990's."