A top presidential aide is a worthwhile subject for a profile, and if the Beltway chatter is all about how that aide is struggling, that becomes, almost by default, part of the story. Still, we should expect our press corps, and especially The New York Times, to do more than capture the conversation in D.C. We need them to question it, challenge it, and just maybe teach readers something in the process.

Greg Marx is a CJR staff writer. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.