Martin Baron, The Post's executive editor, offers a more mundane rationale for the newspaper's lack of coverage: He wasn't aware of the story until Thursday night, when readers began e-mailing him about it. "I wish I could be conscious of all stories everywhere, but I can't be," he said. "Nor can any of us."
The media appears to be responding to the criticism. CNN devoted multiple segments to the story Friday. CBS said it plans two segments and MSNBC will discuss the trial on its "Morning Joe" program this week. The Post ran a full AP report on it in Saturday's editions; the paper has also assigned its own reporter to cover the trial in Philadelphia this week.
"We talked about the story during the day on Friday and decided that, in fact, the story warranted our staff attention because of the seriousness and scope of the alleged crimes and because this was a case that resonated in policy arguments and national politics," said Baron. "In retrospect, we regret not having staffed the trial sooner. But, as you know, we don't have unlimited resources, and . . . there is a lot of competition for our staff's attention."
Added Baron, "We never decide what to cover for ideological reasons, no matter what critics might claim. Accusations of ideological motives are easy to make, even if they're not supported by the facts."