editorial page editor CYNTHIA TUCKER
already stands with Henry Grady and Ralph McGill as one of the great voices of Southern journalism. She's molded the strongest section of the local daily into an informed and independent voice for Southern liberalism. And she's amplified that voice as an articulate talking head on national news shows. But the editorials written by Tucker's staff also reflect the bold erudition readers can find in her own columns. For more than a decade, she's tilted at windmills; sometimes she's helped those windmills topple. This year, her longstanding warnings about Bill Campbell's administration were vindicated by guilty pleas from the former mayor's associates. Her writing style -- heavily reliant on a deep understanding of her subjects -- is driven by passion and even a bit of self-righteous anger. Last October, the AJC
brass watered down Tucker's department when it merged doctrinaire troglodytes from the Journal
editorial board with the Constitution
's editorial staff. That sometimes has mired the new board in trivial debates and dulled the edge on more than a few editorials.
But Tucker's columns continue to smash icons on an anvil of facts and reason. Most recently, she's led a crusade to rid metro counties of their anachronistic sheriffs' bureaucracies. It's no wonder that people who aren't so keen on the facts -- from Campbell to Neal Boortz -- frequently, and unsuccessfully, try to discredit her.