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Trouble In Wall Street Journal Newsroom

June 22, 2017

I never like to see this type of story which then reflects badly on the whole class of journalists.

The Wall Street Journal has fired chief foreign affairs correspondent Jay Solomon for what the paper called a “breach” and ethical lapses over his involvement with an Iranian-born arms dealer.

Washington Bureau Chief Paul Beckett made the announcement to staff during a hastily called meeting on Wednesday after meeting with senior editors in New York the day before. Beckett did not elaborate on Solomon’s situation, only to say that an upcoming Associated Press investigation would have more details. Beckett took no questions and asked any staffers who knew anything about the situation to come forward, according to multiple sources.

Shortly after the announcement, the Associated Press on Wednesday afternoon published an article that said Solomon was offered a 10 percent stake in a company called Denx LLC by “Farhad Azima, an Iranian-born aviation magnate who has ferried weapons for the CIA.” Azima, the article said, was also one of Solomon’s sources for years. Solomon’s involvement was unearthed as part of an AP investigation into Azima, in which the AP obtained a “collection of tens of thousands of emails his lawyers say was stolen by hackers,” which included conversations between Azima and Solomon.

I do want to add that Solomon’s work covering national security and foreign affairs had been submitted by the paper for Pulitzer consideration, according to former and current Journal employees. His two decades at the Journal included stints in Asia and Africa. While in Washington, he had become a well-sourced fixture on the foreign policy social scene.  I am saddened by this news.

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