Trapped in the closet

Categories: Media

Editor & Publisher is wondering why it took nearly three months for the media to pick up on the arrest of Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) for soliciting gay sex in a Minneapolis airport restroom.

"You would think in the 24-hour news cycle, something like this would slip through," Roll Call reporter John McArdle, who broke the story late Monday, is quoted as saying. "He wanted to keep it quiet, and he almost got away with it."

Meanwhile, over at MnSpeak, WCCO reporter Jason DeRusha offers four plausible answers.

DeRusha writes:

1. Airport Police are a pain in the neck... and extremely secretive. Even yesterday, no one would come back to the office to send us the report or give us the mug shot. "They close at 4 p.m." is what I was told.

2. Because airport police is separate from Minneapolis Police, or the Sheriff's office, media would have to go to the airport to request reports. The arrest information doesn't leave their property, and as the charge was a minor charge, I don't think it even went to the county attorney. It was like a ticket.

3. No one locally would raise an eyebrow about a "disorderly conduct" at the airport for a guy named Larry Craig even if they saw the report's front page.

4. The plea deal at the courthouse happened the week after the bridge collapse. So the usual suspects who would have tipped someone off, were too busy with other things to even concentrate on this.

In a followup post, DeRusha reveals just how difficult it was getting information even after the story broke:

(Not to be a baby about it-- but the PR people at the airport commission told me they got 20 calls in 5 minutes on this story-- they've never experienced anything like it before. You'd think one of the airport police supervisors could have turned around their Crown Vic and come back to work to fax out the report, and e-mail the mug shot.)

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