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Letter From The Editor

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By the time you read this, all hell may have broken loose in the long-festering scandal known variously as Rovegate, Plamegate, or Judygate. Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is expected to announce his decision regarding who to indict -- and for what crimes -- this week.

Fitzgerald's charges could involve much more serious matters than the "outing" of an undercover CIA agent. They may unveil the conspiracy to "sell" the American public on the war with Iraq with "facts" that were "fixed around the policy." The investigation could lead all the way to Vice President Cheney and the shadowy White House Iraq Group.

If that happens, color me a happy man. Not because I wish Cheney any particular hardship, but because such an indictment may finally shed light on the lengths to which this administration has gone to manipulate the media and deceive the American public.

From its "Mission Accomplished" carrier landing to its payments to pundits to its staged presidential "conversation" with the troops to its coopting of New York Times reporter Judy Miller, the Bush administration has been relentless in its efforts to distort the truth.

American journalism is nowhere near being the powerful force that flushed Richard Nixon from the White House in the wake of the Watergate scandal. This is partly due to the emergence of large media corporations whose interests are more about bringing profits to shareholders than about bringing truth to the public. And it's partly due to the fact that this administration, like none before it, has mastered the art of media manipulation. Two dangerous trends that need to stop now. Go, Fitzy, go.

Bruce VanWyngarden, Editor

brucev@MemphisFlyer.com

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