Below the Fold for December 8

Let's check out some political stories we found Below the Fold:

Trashing Free Speech

In Berkeley, California, home of the Free Speech Movement, newly elected Mayor Tom Bates now admits that he stole and destroyed roughly 1,000 copies of a recent edition of the Daily Cal, the newspaper for the University of California-Berkeley.

The issue carried an endorsement of his opponent, former mayor Shirley Dean. Having previously denied involvement in the caper, Bates now says, "There is no question that tossing newspapers is absolutely inappropriate and unacceptable. I apologize on behalf of myself and my supporters for our involvement in this activity."

The People Speak

In a related story, Iran's Court for Government Workers is prosecuting three pollsters who recently conducted a survey for the parliament's foreign affairs and national security committee. Their crime: Producing a poll indicating that 75 percent of the Iranian public favors re-establishing relations with the United States.

The 400-page indictment accuses the trio of espionage and of having unwarranted connections with the Gallup organizations.

One of the pollsters heads the nation's Ministry of Islamic Guidance; another was among the students who took Americans hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979.

Name's the Same

And, in one of the odder lawsuits in recent years, a Montana man is suing Viacom, which has produced Jackass, the Movie, a spin-off from a related television show.

The man is suing the company for plagiarism and copyright infringement, among other things. His name is -- you guessed it, Jack Ass.