Howard Kurtz does a post-mortem of the Idaho Statesman's decision not to print the results of a major investigation into Larry Craig's past sexual misconduct until after the sentator's arrest for soliciting was made public this week. While the writer, Dan Popkey, admits to feeling Craig's pain, says he says the decision not to publish was a moral and journalistic one.
The paper couldn't get corroboration on what the editor called a "he said/he said situation" in which the charges made by an individual against Craig were denied by Craig. "We were not going to line up the anonymous sources and put them against the senior senator," says Popkey. "They didn't find the smoking gun," an Idaho media professor tells Kurtz. Popkey, he adds, is "probably the most courageous reporter in Idaho."