In comments. Bupa says that I should praise the New York Times's Steven Weisman because he gets the punch line right on the latest developments in the Wolfowitz-Riza affair:
Bush Opens Door to Wolfowitz’s Resigning - New York Times: A factor that kept emotions high was the disclosure on Tuesday of documents that seemed to buttress the bank committee’s conclusion that Mr. Wolfowitz tried to keep the pay and promotion arrangement for Ms. Riza a secret. According to one document, Mr. Wolfowitz had a bitter showdown with the bank’s personnel director, Xavier Coll, in March 2006.... Mr. Coll recounted that Mr. Wolfowitz became "increasingly agitated"... using expletives and threatening retaliation.... [T]he document seemed to demonstrate that Mr. Wolfowitz was aware six months after he arranged for Ms. Riza’s [large raise in salary] that few people at the bank knew about it. This appeared to contradict his contention that it was well known at the bank and deemed appropriate.
I'm not so sure. I think I would set the bar higher. First of all, these are the last paragraphs of Weisman's story, not the first. They belong high up in the story.
Second, there are a good many things that Weisman does not say in the story that he should. For example, he should say that on Sunday he reported on the Coll memos like this:
[World Bank o]fficials... said testimony and notes that Xavier Coll, vice president of human resources, provided to a bank committee investigating the matter supported the charge that Mr. Wolfowitz was aware of engaging in favoritism. One said the documents were "devastating" to Mr. Wolfowitz’s case... and... have become central to the charges Mr. Wolfowitz is fighting. The officials did not provide the documents.
It was unclear whether Mr. Wolfowitz’s supporters would read the same information differently and insist that it buttressed his insistence that his actions were encouraged by others and subsequently cleared by them. Robert S. Bennett, Mr. Wolfowitz’s lawyer... disputed that any such evidence existed and suggested that there might be some misinterpretation of the evidence. Mr. Bennett has reviewed extensive amounts of the testimony in the case.... "I will say that a careful review of all the documents shows, if anything, that there was no bad faith on Mr. Wolfowitz’s part."
Weisman should say that Robert Bennett lied to him: Coll's document says that there was bad faith on Wolfowitz's part. And Weisman should also explain to his readers why he gave Bennett as much relative weight as he did in his story of last Sunday.
Perhaps this is setting the bar too high--perhaps no establishment Washington reporter can be asked to press Robert Bennett rather than simply printing what Bennett wants to say. But on this issue, Krishna Guha and Eoin Callan's reporting in the Financial Times has been earlier, more comprehensive, better, and fairer than the reporting in the New York Times or the Washington Post: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2378a922-0358-11dc-a023-000b5df10621,dwp_uuid=2114d450-df62-11da-afe4-0000779e2340.html, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/ef1356a6-0310-11dc-a023-000b5df10621,dwp_uuid=2114d450-df62-11da-afe4-0000779e2340.html, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0f18fcf0-0251-11dc-ac32-000b5df10621,dwp_uuid=2114d450-df62-11da-afe4-0000779e2340.html, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/35c4cbe0-f9dc-11db-9b6b-000b5df10621.html.