Thomas Sowell

 There is no talk today about "move on," with or without the dot com. There is no one saying "get over it." More important, there is no orchestrated campaign of character assassination in the media against special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, the way there was against special prosecutor Kenneth Starr during his investigation of Bill Clinton's perjury.

 There is no need to demonize Mr. Fitzgerald. What really needs serious re-examination are laws under which special prosecutors are issued unlimited fishing licenses to go see if they can trip someone up on inconsistencies in their statements about something that was not even a crime in the first place.

 After any special prosecutor has spent millions of tax dollars and is caught in the media spotlight, the temptation is to find something, anything, rather than say it has not been worth the expense or the bother. A regular prosecutor has many other cases to turn to if one particular case does not look worth investing more time and money in, when other cases are demanding attention.

 A special prosecutor has only that one case and so has no incentive to weigh alternatives like a regular prosecutor.

 Even aside from cases involving a special prosecutor, there are far too many complicated laws regulating too many things for which people can easily be indicted, leading to a media frenzy -- and often a biased frenzy at that.

 To the liberal media, the accused is "innocent until proven guilty" -- when the accused shares their political views. Otherwise the standard is "the appearance of impropriety."


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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