CHARACTER ASSASSINATION AT WARP SPEED

Matt Drudge, the Liz Smith of cyberspace, reported in his E-mail dispatch last week that a White House aide is a wife beater. Bad news for the Drudgester: he now says the story, which initially went out to more than 60,000 readers, is untrue. So he retracted it and apologized. O.K.?

No-K., says William McDaniel, the aide's lawyer, who says he's preparing to sue the Wagging Tongue of the Web for libel. "People who use the Internet feel they're not subject to the same constraints as everyone else," McDaniel says. A lawsuit will "deter Drudge and people like him from doing...

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