VITTER FEELING A LITTLE TOUCHY ABOUT CRIMINAL AIDE…. I can see why Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) would be concerned about coverage of Brent Furer, but that’s no reason for the far-right senator to try to intimidate Louisiana newspapers.

To briefly recap, Furer is the aide Vitter kept on his taxpayer-financed payroll, despite Furer having held his ex-girlfriend hostage, threatening to kill her, and attacking her with a knife. The right-wing, scandal-plagued senator knew about this, and not only kept Furer on his staff, but tasked him with helping oversee women’s issues for the Senate office. Making matters worse, Vitter, when asked about this, appears to have lied. More recently, we learned Vitter used taxpayer dollars to send Furer to Louisiana, apparently so he could defend himself against some of his criminal charges.

Today, Brian Beutler reports that the senator’s office seems to have spent some time lately, pressuring local newspapers not to be so harsh about the Furer story.

Vitter gone to great pains to avoid commenting on the scandal, and has sought to publicly distance himself from Furer. But privately, he’s been trying to intimidate newspapers into giving Furer what he considers fair coverage.

In what Redman describes as a “somewhat hyperbolic” letter, Vitter’s attorneys attacked The Advocate for not dancing around Furer’s history.

“We said that Mr. Furer did something — that he slashed his girlfriend — and the police report alleges that and when he finally went to court, he ended up pleading down to lesser charges,” Redman said. “Furer was never actually convicted of slashing his girlfriend…. We missed an alleged or an accused of.”

The Monroe News Star told Brian about a similar recent experience.

This strikes me as a misguided strategy. Vitter has to hope voters are willing to overlook the scandal, and the more he and his team signal their panic over the controversy, and demand “clarifications” from journalists, the more coverage it will receive.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.