Did the Minneapolis Star Tribune suppress news of the airport arrest of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport nearly three months ago after an airport police officer working undercover in a bathroom said he observed Craig signaling he wanted to engage in “lewd conduct”?
No, says reader’s representative Kate Parry. Police reporters don’t do daily checks at the airport — usually considered a low-risk gap in the checks system, she says, adding that the newspaper should revisit whether some kind of daily check with airport police is needed at a time when airports are more often making news. Even if a reporter had seen the arrest report, there was nothing at the top of it to make it stand out because the name Larry Craig is so common. Craig, who is resigning Sept. 30, did not appear in court on Aug. 8 for sentencing, but had filed a guilty plea to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and was fined $575. Misdemeanor charges are not kept in a public area in Hennepin County, so reporters only see them if they ask about a specific case.