20 years can make a huge difference. In this case the big difference is and has been that the papers sat all alone in a courthouse and no news reporter ever looked at them or even tried to find them. These intrepid reporters could tell us when Eliot Spitzer did or didn't wear socks and what color they were during sex. They told us, showed us pictures and gave us descriptions of the toilet stall Larry Craig used at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Not so much reporting for beating the Hell out of a wife. Repeatedly. By an elected official.
Exclusive: Court Document Details Congressman’s Past Spousal Abuse
Of course this story isn't nearly as important as one depicting a battle reenactor.