It sure doesn't seem that way to us.
Back when Dr. Ayres was arrested in April, 2007, the case was covered by the New York Times, the LA Times, the Associated Press and many other print publications. There were swarms of TV cameras. The arrest was the headline in the San Francisco Chronicle, which offered daily coverage.
Contrast this to the coverage of the opening arguments on June 23. No buzz, only one TV crew. One reporter from KGO radio. Four reporters from Bay Area papers and one from the San Francisco Daily Journal.
Forget about national interest in this story. The New York Times and USA Today and even the LA Times will not be offering coverage of the trial. Even the San Francisco Chronicle - which shoved the opening arguments story to the back pages of the "B" section -- is not providing daily coverage.
What's to account for the lack of media interest? Well, for one thing, since Ayres was arrested, there has been a mini-epidemic of other child psychiatrists and pediatricians in this country who have been arrested and/or sued for child molestation.
In 2008, another far more famous doctor, pediatrician Mel Levine, made the front page of the New York Times after news broke that at least 50 men have accused him of molesting them when they were children. Levine who has written several best selling books like "A Mind at a Time" and was a frequent guest on Oprah, had almost a cult-like following among parents of children with learning disabilities. There were hundreds of blogs by parents who slavishly hung on Levine's every word. The New York Times has done several stories on Levine's legal troubles - most recently when he had his license suspended because of the molestation allegations and when the board of directors at the foundation that he started forced him out because they were losing business. New York Times Magazine's "Parenting" columnist Lisa Belkin even devoted an entire column to Levine and about the betrayal she felt about the molestation allegations.
Then there are more sensational cases, like those of identical twin pediatricians Dr. Scott and Dr. Mark Blankenburg in Ohio, who were arrested this year on something like 87 counts between them for child molestation. They offered drugs and money to kids in exchange for molesting them.
These are the big cases that are getting coverage. But child abuse by doctors seems to be so routine these days that in many papers around the country, an arrest of a child psychiatrist might get a small column or two.
Doron Weinberg keeps harping on the fact that Ayres was a doctor, or a "medical professional"as he is fond of saying - as if that fact alone makes him exempt from the idea that he could be a child molester. The fact is that if you go back and look at the last fifteen years or so, you will find dozens and dozens and dozens of less well known cases involving child psychiatrists, pediatricians, internists, anesthesiologists who have molested boys.
And sometimes these pedophile doctors have even their shown their true colors in medical school. Take the case of Dr. Joseph DeMasi who was in training in New York State to be a child psychiatrist. DeMasi confessed to his analyst ( psychiatrists are required to go through analysis as part of their training) that he was a pedophile and that he was going to Asia to find himself a nice boy to molest. What did his analyst do? Did he call the cops? Nope. After conferring with several of his medical colleagues, he decided to do nothing. What happened then ? DeMasi graduated from medical school and started to molest young boys sent to him for treatment. A few years later, he was arrested for molesting a ten year old patient of his in a Connecticut hospital.
DeMasi is now in state prison, and another victim of his successfully sued his former analyst for not reporting DeMasi's pedophilia.
We hope we're not right, but we're getting the feeling that there's some apathy among blog readers about providing coverage of this case. We are pondering whether to continue coverage or just hang it up. We would like to get some feedback as to whether there is any interest in continuing.