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Fitz the Earnest One

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Message Michael Leon
Watching Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald field questions at the post-indictment press conference on web cast, adjectives fly to mind earnest, candid, well-spoken, and refreshing.

The youthful-looking Fitz conjures up the image of the special prosecutor Archibald Cox during Watergate, though he comes across like an erudite, Irish John Cusack in his clear and self-deprecating response to any question posed. Even when he begs off a question, you feel as though he is being straight with you the best that he can under the circumstances.

Now, compare Fitz' performance to any George W. Bush or any White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan question and answer session. You get the difference, right?

We had become forlorn and given up on getting a straight answer to any simple question posed during the reign of Bush and his band of talking points and message discipline.

No matter the question, we have come to expect whatever administration official is standing in front of the camera to keep robotically repeating the same message over and over. Some call that lying.

Watching Fitz, how good hearing the truth feels! Had we forgotten what it feels like to have a man or woman give us a straight answer to a simple question?

Fitz has reminded us. And the disparity between him and the administration is so clear that even the most insipid network news reporter cannot help but notice it.

After two years of near silence from the Special Counsel's office, any post-indictment administration plan of personal attack on Fitz will have to be revised in light of this obviously candid man and his winning public performance in this high political drama.

The public relations experts of Bush World have just met their match in Fitz the Earnest One.

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Michael Leon is a writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. His writing has appeared nationally in The Progressive, In These Times, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at
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