John McCain Counters Chuck Norris' Jab

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Senior Moment

Actor and Mike Huckabee-supporter Chuck Norris says John McCain is too old to be president. Norris told guests at a fundraiser that presidents age three times faster than normal people: "Now if John takes over the presidency at 72, and he ages three-to-one, how old will he be in four years? He'll be 84 years old... That's why I didn't pick John to support because I'm just afraid that the vice president will wind up taking over his job in that four-year presidency."

Huckabee's response: "Only John McCain and his hairdresser know for sure. It is a very stressful position.... I'm not going to say he's too old. I think he's got a lot of inner strength, good genetic factors by his mom."

McCain's response: "I'm afraid I may have to send my 95-year-old mother over and wash Chuck's mouth out with soap."

Bush Whacking?

Director and noted George W. Bush critic Oliver Stone says he is going to shoot a movie about the president after the end of the current writers' strike.

Stone tells Variety that he has empathy for President Bush as a human being. He adds, "I want a fair, true portrait of the man. How did Bush go from an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world? It's like Frank Capra territory on one hand, but I'll also cover the demons in his private life, his bouts with his dad and his conversion to Christianity, which explains a lot of where he is coming from."

Stone wants Josh Brolin to play Mr. Bush. Brolin's father is married to another noted Bush-basher, Barbra Streisand.

Timing Is Everything

A Dallas minister who marched with Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. says Monday's national holiday honoring King is an insult to his legacy.

Rev. Peter Johnson says the observance should be on April 4, the anniversary of King's assassination: "We have ignored the essence of his life and the horror of his death. We've allowed white America to escape the guilt of his assassination and we've allowed black America to drift back into a coma... We remember him with parades and galas and banquets, things that are really irrelevant and silly regarding Dr. King's legacy. If we really want to honor Dr. King, we should do something about people who live under bridges."

Left Handed?

Another national survey has found that more Americans believe the news media leans more to the left than the right.

The study by Sacred Heart University Polling Institute found 45.4 percent of the respondents think journalists and broadcasters are mostly or somewhat liberal. Just 15.7 percent think they are conservative.

44.9 percent view CNN as liberal; 41.9 believe The New York Times leans left; 40.3 for National Public Radio and 38.8 for MSNBC. 48.7 percent said FOX News is mostly or somewhat conservative.

And, as far as which outlet is "most trusted?" FOX News led the way with 27 percent, CNN at 14.6 percent; NBC News at 10.9 percent; ABC at 7 percent; local news 6.9 percent; CBS at 6.8 percent; MSNBC at 4 percent and Public Broadcasting at 3 percent.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.

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