It’s expected, and for the best, that a story changes with deeper reporting. But when reporting is contested, as in the case with Diallo’s phone call, it warrants a fuller reckoning, particularly by the organization that has brought it to light. It is noteworthy that prosecutors were not willing to provide comment when the story was disputed.

Given the impact the Times’s scoop on the phone recording has had on the dynamics and public perception of the case—by suggesting that Diallo was profiteering—and the wild trajectory the Strauss-Kahn reporting has taken thus far, it’d be a lot easier to trust the original reporting on the phone call, if they gave readers—and not just subscribers—reason to.

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Erika Fry is a former assistant editor at CJR.