The State Department admitted Thursday it postponed a $400 million payment to Iran in January until a group of Americans held in the country was released -- but not all media outlets apparently saw it as a top story.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that the negotiations to return the money – originally from a 1979 failed military equipment deal made between Iran and the U.S. – were conducted separately from negotiations to free the four prisoners.
However, Kirby also said that the U.S. withheld the cash delivery until Iran made good on its promise to release the prisoners on January 17.
The story was given prominence on most news sites and in newspapers. The New York Times, for example, put the story on its front page.
However, The Washington Post buried the story on page A-10, underneath a column about the National Park Service, according to NewsBusters. This was is in spite of one of the freed prisoners – Jason Rezaian – being a Washington Post reporter.
The ransom story also was buried in Friday’s edition of USA Today, Newsbusters reports, with the paper placing the story on the bottom of page 5A. Both the Post and USA Today slapped the DOJ’s decision to phase out privately operated prisons on their front pages.