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SAY IT AIN'T SO

That was the almost universal reaction when the reports of "trouble" first arose this morning with the winner of the Tour de France. I think we all fell for the life story of Mr. Landis -- his Mennonite upbringing, his chronic hip pain, his ability and motivation and humility. All of that may still be true. As test results go, this might be a false positive. As news reports go, it's already been a negative. Even if he is cleared, he now has the Armstrong-esque cloud of suspicion around him, and there's little we can now do about that, as the story is, as they say, "out there." It's a relatively new dynamic -- an often-tragic outcome of our media age.


OVER THERE
The conflict continues, and so does our coverage. Fletcher, Engel and Potter will start us off tonight. Zawahri is back in the news, by dint of his appearance on a tape today... we'll take a look. We'll also have a look at domestic politics from David Gregory, the Landis story from Kevin Corke -- and we'll read back what some of our viewers have been saying (complaining) to us about our coverage of the Middle East... and what we HAVEN'T been covering because of it. Along those same lines: early notice that our Making A Difference report tomorrow night will come to us from the storm zone in the Gulf. Last night's NBC News/Wall St. Journal poll numbers certainly paint a grim picture of our times -- especially the hopes and dreams (or lack of them) among parents wanting to do what parents ALWAYS want to do: leave behind a better nation for our children.

Also, where were you when you first heard: "HEAD ON. APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD (REPEAT TWICE MORE)?" Many call it the most annoying commercial on television. Many also believe it's the most effective. Mike Taibbi will have our look at what the fuss is all about.

We hope you can join us for our broadcast tonight.