And now the most compelling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
The New York Times stands accused of another lapse. In a front-page story on the use of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act (search) last week, the Times said the Justice Department, "had received 34 complaints of civil rights (search) and civil liberties (search) violations by department employees that it considered credible, including accusations that Muslim and Arab immigrants in federal detention centers had been beaten." The story was widely picked up across the country, but Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute points out that the word "credible" referring to alleged violations of the Patriot Act simply means that these 34 charges, out of more than 1,000 the department received, would be violations if proven true. In fact, she says, the department has so far found only six charges to be even worthy of investigation, and has since dismissed two of them.
A new poll out today suggests that the recent slide in President Bush's (search) approval ratings has stopped. Indeed, 57 percent of those polled by Newsweek magazine say they approve of President Bush's job as president, compared with 55 percent who said that two weeks ago. Similarly, 58 percent of Americans say they approve of how President Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, compared with 53 percent two weeks ago, before Saddam Hussein's (search) sons were killed.
Senator Lieberman's (search) attack on the Bush administration and his fellow Democratic candidates today was delivered in an unusual place for a speech…in the Senate Radio and Television Gallery, where members normally go to answer press questions. Indeed, under Senate rules, a member may only use the gallery's studio when invited there by a member of the media. The Senator's invitation today was helpfully provided by CNN.
The director of the new Harry Potter (search) movie, Alfonso Cuaron, says the story's evil wizard Voldemort reminds him not only of Saddam Hussein... but also of President Bush. He tells Newsweek magazine that all three, "have selfish interests and are very much in love with power. Also, a disregard for the environment." As for the movie's slippery minister of magic, fudge, well he reminds Cuaron of British Prime Minister Tony Blair (search) because both are, "the ultimate politician" and because both are "in denial about many things."
— 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.