Prominent Republican Gets Actual Death Threat, NYT Suddenly Drops Concern Over Threatening Protesters

After devoting several stories to unsubstantiated allegations of racism and spitting by Tea Party protesters last weekend, the New York Times almost ignored an actual death threat made against a top Republican, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 Republican in the House, that resulted in the first actual arrest since the alleged wave of threats against politicians began.

Norman Leboon of Philadelphia was ordered held without bail pending a mental health evaluation after trying to post a video threatening Cantor onto the clip-sharing site Youtube.

The Times made do with a one-paragraph Associated Press brief buried in the National Briefing section on page 18, with an uninformative headline: "Philadelphia: Man Held in Threat on Congressman." (The Times also ran a four-paragraph story on the paper's "Caucus" blog Monday afternoon.)

By contrast, the Washington Post's Anita Kumar devoted a comprehensive story to the incident in Tuesday's paper, including details not included in the Times' AP dispatch, like the most threatening quote from Leboon's video: "You receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads. You and your children are Lucifer's abominations." The Post also reported that Leboon donated $505 to Obama's presidential campaign.

Among the political stories the Times found more worthwhile: Two stories from revelations about a $2,000 tab by the Republican National Committee at a bondage-themed club in Hollywood, both on page A14, the front page of the paper's National section.

- Clay Waters is editor of Times Watch. You can follow Times Watch on Twitter.