Grapevine: Did Texas teacher censor student?

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Open-ended

A high school English teacher in Texas gave a student a zero on an assignment to write about anything he was interested in -- anything at all -- because the boy wrote about a gun show.

The boy's mother confronted the teacher then put it on YouTube.

The school district released a statement saying the teacher has accepted the paper now and apologized to that student.

But the mom says she does not feel it was adequate and considers the way things were handled blatant censorship.

In the Tank?

Former high-ranking Obama staffers David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs -- who now work for MSNBC -- are pushing back against the notion that they are in the tank for the Obama administration. Both are adamantly now saying they will be completely independent analysts.

Gibbs told Howard Kurtz quote -- "I don't see it either as being a cheerleader for the president -- or as a spokesman for the administration's point of view."

Axelrod said -- quote -- "My role is not that of a surrogate -- but an analyst and commentator. I'm proud of my work for and with the president. But in this role -- I will offer observations -- based on my experience over 35 years in journalism and politics."

It might prove difficult, but Grapevine says, we'll see.

New Rule

Finally, the Associated Press is breaking its own rule about identifying political party affiliation.

NewsBusters notes the AP ran a 500-word story on the bribery arraignment of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and did not identify him as a Democrat.

The AP tells Fox News -- quote -- "The story you reference is being updated to include Nagin's party affiliation.

His party affiliation was inadvertently omitted in the version you've seen."

In the past the AP has also failed to identify other Democrats in trouble, including Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Jesse Jackson Jr.

The AP stylebook says a reporter should include party affiliation if readers need it for understanding or are likely to be curious what it is.

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