Media Blog

Major Papers Fail to Cover U.N. Trial

In the New York Observer, Niall Stanage criticizes the NYT for not assigning a reporter to cover the trial of Tongsun Park:

The story had everything: secret agents, political intrigue, personal betrayal and cash. Lots and lots of cash.
Yet, for all that, a remarkable trial that ended last week in a Manhattan courtroom—a proceeding that implicated figures in the highest echelons of international politics—was barely mentioned in the major American press. If it weren’t for the journalistic wing of the conservative movement, outlets like the National Review Online and The New York Sun, it might not have been covered at all.
Take the events of last Thursday, for example. After two weeks of testimony, a jury took only a few hours to convict a South Korean national, Tongsun Park, of acting as an unregistered agent of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. The conspiracy of which he was a part ran for 10 years, ending in late 2002, and helped one of the world’s worst regimes maintain its grip on power.
But The New York Times did not assign a reporter to his trial, its total coverage amounting to a brief wire report on the day following Mr. Park’s conviction. Of the other major national dailies, The Washington Post ran a single news-brief item, the Los Angeles Times not a word.
Given the stakes—and what the Park trial clearly demonstrated about the seamier side of the U.N.—it hardly made sense.

As Stanage notes, NRO readers didn’t miss a minute of the action if they were keeping up with Claudia Rosett’s Notebook.


The Latest