It would be interesting to know whether in fact it is the case that Barton Gellman and Jo Becker had to threaten, and what they had to threaten, before Len Downie would run their piece on Cheney:
War and Piece: : A veteran newspaper editor friend has some sharp observations about the Post Cheney piece:
A careful reading of the story of Cheney's coup against a feeble executive reveals that paragraphs 7 through 10 were written and inserted in haste by a powerful editorial hand. The banging of colliding metaphors in an otherwise carefully written piece is evidence of last-minute interpolations by a bad editor whom no one has the power to rewrite.
("Waxing or waning, [moon metaphor], Cheney holds his purchase [grasping image, a monkey?] on an unrivaled portfolio [business metaphor]...." A monkey with a gibbous face clutching a briefcase stuffed with investments?)
(Worse is this garble: "Cheney, they said. inhabits an operational world [?] in which means are matched with ends [is there any other way?] and some of the most important choices are made." [Where's the rest of the sentence? What does this pseudo-sentence even mean?])
That in turn suggests that this piece has been ready to run for some time. Insertions like the one about the veep's office not being part of the executive branch and seriatim "softenings" show that jamming it into the paper at the end of June, when only cats and the homeless are around the read the paper, was made at the last minute.
Why? My guess is that this series ready to go during the debate over the supplemental funding of the Iraq war and that Downie or someone at the top held it back until Gellman and others started carrying snub-nose .38s to work under their seersuckers.
A key element of the coup is also ignored: the role of the press as revealed in the Libby scandal... : Note in particular paragraph seven the phrase that Cheney's subversive roles "went undetected." The correct verb is "unreported."
This series is a landscape of an internal war. Parts of it are still smoking and some reputations are visibly dying--anonymously, for the moment. The journalistic graves registration people will go in later and tag the corpses.