Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) (J. Scott Applewhite, File/Associated Press) Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

In an interview last night on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Fox News contributor Bernard Goldberg does an excellent job of laying out the coverage considerations for the mushrooming story regarding New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez (D):

If a news outlet gets a tip that a politician went to the Dominican Republic and engaged adult prostitutes, no story. Prostitution is legal in the Dominican Republic.

“Unless a politician is spouting from the Bible and telling us how much family values means to him, it’s of no interest to me,” said Goldberg.

“If a news outlet gets a tip from a ‘shady source’ and it was ‘backed up’ — I put that in quotation marks — by two prostitutes in the Dominican Republic that he was involved with underage girls, I wouldn’t cover that either,” he said. Too explosive an allegation.

But: When the FBI gets involved in the investigation, as it has, “then it becomes a legitimate story,” said Goldberg, who knocked network news outlets for failing to get on the case.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.