Sunday’s Idaho State Journal was a depressing document.

Rep. Priscilla Giddings just won’t go away. She outed the identity of a sexual assault victim then defiantly lied about it numerous times, most recently in front of the House Ethics Committee. Journal columnist Brian Parsons used a thousand or so ill-chosen weasel words to call the case against Giddings a “smear campaign” and likened accused rapist and former State Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger to Richard Jewell, who was first accused then cleared of the bombing at the Atlanta Olympic Games. Along the way, Parsons tried to drum up sympathy for ex-President Donald Trump with an attempted, badly attempted, whitewashing of Trump’s go at fixing the Georgia election, calling it a “liberal smear campaign.” Never mind that Trump’s phone call was recorded and played back so many times it rose to #12 on the top forty. Parsons seems fixated on the words “smear campaign.”

He calls himself “an unabashed paleoconservative.” Is that a synonym for enthusiastic dope?  

I turned to the sports page for some good news and got it when I read that 100 percent of the Ol Miss football team, players, coaches and staff, had been inoculated against CoVID. However the good news became less good because the article also said Idaho ranked last among all states with a 42.1 percent vaccination rate. So 57.9 percent of my fellow Idahoans have a chance to kill me. We’re Number 50! We’re Number 50!

However, all that became less important when I got to the bottom of page B1 of the opinion section and discovered that MIKE MURPHY IS BACK. Murphy has written the book “Tortoise Crossing: Expect Long Delays.” That title is prophetic. I don’t know how long the delay has been since he last wrote for the Journal, but it has been an extended one. Welcome back Mike. Your slightly warped sense of humor is what I need, what we all need, to cope with life in the new normal, when proven facts can become a “smear campaign.”

Glenn Alford,