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All charges against Village Voice Media executives Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin were dropped over the weekend, and the special prosecutor running the case against their paper, the Phoenix New Times, has been fired. (The paper was exploring misconduct by a local law official.) The Arizona State Bar is now investigating the prosecutor's conduct in the case, in which there were "serious missteps," according to the county D.A., who... is now also being investigated by the bar!

What a neat clusterfuck! We're sure there's a chatroom somewhere on the web, maybe "DSBRD LWYRS 4 LUV," where they can go spend some time with former Duke-case-handling D.A. Mike Nifong.

Jack Shafer, who once worked for Lacey and Larkin and maintains a favorable opinion of the two, waggled his finger in Arizona's direction: "Never pick a fight with people who buy their whiskey by the truckload, their ink by the tanker, and their pixels at wholesale."

This morning, the state's largest newspaper, the Arizona Republic, went to court to ask that all filings in the case be unsealed. Their Sunday editorial explained that they're often "leery of New Times' style of free-for-all journalism. But, in this appalling overreach of government intrusion, both the New Times and the public were grievously wronged."