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Scruggs’ lawyer, John Keker, said it would take Faulkner or Walker Percy “to understand how these kinds of things happen.” Actually, Faulkner already has done it. Just substitute Scruggs for Snopes, and you have it. Faulk-ner’s Flem Snopes, according to Brooks, “is naked aggression, undiluted acquisitiveness.”

Ben C. Toledano is a lawyer in Mississippi and Louisiana. His articles have appeared in Commentary, National Review and the Wall Street Journal.