Readers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and those who rely on other St. Louis media outlets knew nothing of Rep. John Bowman's impending guilty plea until after it happened, while those who read The Turner Report knew it was coming for a week.
It is hard to understand the media outlets' reluctance to cover this story, since the information was all available in court records. My reporting was not based on any rumor of Bowman pleading guilty. The court records clearly said a change of plea hearing was scheduled for Friday, Jan. 11.
The media also seemed to ignore many of the other events that took place in connection with the Bowman case. Except for the trial of former Bank of America Vice President Robert Conner, the ringleader of the bank and credit card scheme that eventually brought down Bowman, I could find no coverage of the guilty pleas of every other defendant in the case, guilty pleas which indicated that Bowman might be in serious trouble.
Meanwhile, while most St. Louis residents (except those who read The Turner Report) remained blissfully unaware of the developments in the case, Bowman was continuing to conduct business as usual, prefiling four bills only one day before his guilty plea. Residents of Bowman's district had to wait until Friday to find out they were not going to have representation in the House for most of this year's session.
The St. Louis media apparently had to wait until U. S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway issued a news release before it did any work on this story. And after that, it was business as usual- call people from both parties and get comments, print a little bit of information from earlier stories, and call it a day.