And now the most scintillating two minutes in television, the wartime grapevine:
A new poll out today shows that if Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., were to jump into the Democratic presidential race today, she would instantly be the frontrunner by a huge margin with 48 percent of the vote of registered democrats. The Quinnipiac University poll (search) shows Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., would come in second at 11 percent. The same poll shows that President Bush's approval rating has dropped to 53 percent, but shows him ahead of all the Democratic challengers, including Senator Clinton by 50 percent to 43 percent.
President Bill Clinton (search) got off to such a rocky start in the press that he complained publicly that he never got the customary media honeymoon. But a new study says major news outlets still gave the former Clinton administration more favorable coverage in its first year than they gave President Bush's, his father's, or that of Ronald Reagan (search). The study, conducted by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, looked at the reporting of ABC, CBS, NBC and selected newspapers. The New York Times, for example, had 33 percent favorable coverage for Clinton on its front pages, while it had 30 percent favorable coverage there for the current President Bush. One smaller newspaper, the Des Moines Register, gave the Clinton administration 59 percent positive coverage, while its coverage of the Bush administration was 31 percent favorable.
Hyped Heroism…or Hyped Report?
Remember that Reuters (search) dispatch we quoted last night in which Pfc. Jessica Lynch (search) was described as, "the Army private whose ordeal in Iraq was hyped into a story of U.S. heroism under fire?" The story carried the byline of a Deanna Wrenn, who turns out to be a reporter for the Charleston Daily Mail in West Virginia. She writes in today's Daily Mail that she did submit a story on Pfc. Lynch to Reuters, but not the one Reuters put out over her name. When she saw it, she says she asked the wire service to remove her byline, but Reuters didn't do it.
1 in 5 thinks U.S. may be behind 9/11
And finally, one more poll, this one done for the German Weekly Die Zeit. It shows that one in five Germans believes the U.S. government may have sponsored the September 11 atrocities. What's more, the poll shows that nearly one in three under the age of 30 believes that. Reuters says some don't believe Al-Qaeda (search) was responsible for the attacks because they don't trust the American news media, which one 17-year-old German says, "is controlled."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report
With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume.