And now the most riveting two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Last month -- while Halliburton Inc. (search) was being accused of overcharging for fuel shipped to Iraq from Kuwait -- the Associated Press began its report by saying -- "A Pentagon audit has found Vice President Dick Cheney's former company may have overcharged the Army." Reuters began its story in a similar way, describing Halliburton as -- "the oil services firm once run by Vice President Dick Cheney." And the BBC began its story by saying President Bush -- "expects an oil company once run by his vice-president to return money if it has overcharged for services in Iraq."
But when Halliburton was, in effect, cleared of any wrongdoing earlier this week, the references to Cheney suddenly dropped out of the lead of stories from the same news outlets.
Saddam Status Report
Meanwhile, in Iraq, Saddam Hussein reportedly spends half of his days being interrogated by coalition forces and the other half sleeping or repeatedly cleaning his cell, including its small toilet ... That according to an unnamed source in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, one of the most respected newspapers in the Arab world.
What's more, according to the newspaper -- translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute -- Saddam is being held in a prison in Ridhwaniya, just miles away from one of his palaces. And his cell is adorned with photographs of his two sons, and President Bush -- compliments of the coalition.
Definitely Dean ... It's In The Details
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, at Sunday's Democratic debate in Iowa, criticized fellow candidate Howard Dean for suggesting on a National Public Radio show last month that President Bush might have known in advance about the 9/11 atrocities. Dean responded by saying -- "You better go look at what I said about Saudi Arabians tipping off the president. I said I didn't believe it, and I said it right on that show."
Well, here's what Dean actually said on that show -- "The most interesting theory that I've heard so far, which is nothing more than a theory -- I ... think it can't be proved -- is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis." Dean never said on that show he didn't believe it ... though days later, pressed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, he finally said he did not believe it.
Insiders Into Dean, Too
Speaking of Dean, Democratic insiders are reportedly worried that the current front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination is not electable, but a new survey of party insiders -- namely the "superdelegates" who help select a final nominee for the party -- shows that Dean is leading among them, too.
According to the Associated Press survey, 80 Democratic superdelegates have endorsed or pledged their support for Dean. Dick Gephardt comes in second with 57, closely followed by John Kerry with 50. One Democratic superdelegate has even endorsed President Bush. However, of the 584 superdelegates surveyed, more than half have yet to make up their minds. There are 725 superdelegates in all.
— 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.