If anyone's corrosive, it's Rove

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The news media, under heavy fire these days, have found a critic who deserves contempt for his words of derision.

Of all people, Karl Rove, the president's political wizard, thinks the press has been "corrosive" for government. Rove used the word in a speech to a small group of graduate students in political science at George Washington University.

Look in the mirror, Karl. You will see the real corrosive impact on the system.

Rove stands at the head of the class as a political manipulator who will do or say anything to win. Rove's career, modeled after the late Lee Atwater, figures anything is fair game in a campaign. Destruction of an opponent's reputation comes with the territory.

Rove knows the press is an easy target when his No. 1 client is in trouble. The president couldn't be in much deeper trouble, as reflected in all the recent polls.

For too many years, highly paid political consultants have played too large a role in presidential and high-profile Senate campaigns. Democrats are not immune, as campaigns have become a cesspool of negative campaigning.

However, Rove is the epitome of what's gone wrong. He wants to win and squash his opponent in the process. Ask Ann Richards, John McCain, or John Kerry.

Two Texas reporters wrote about Rove's early campaigns in the book titled Bush's Brain. He hated it because it pinned him down on his ethics.

As a retired reporter, I recognize the media have a hill to climb to regain some lost credibility in episodes we'd like to forget.

But we don't need a gunslinger like Karl Rove to act as a press critic. In fact, keep it up, Mr. Rove. The voters will recognize that you are merely trying to change the subject as Bush stumbles along in a dreadful second term.