The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Three campaign finance reform groups have filed an FEC complaint against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (search), accusing the group's new anti-Kerry ad of illegally influencing U.S. elections.
The Center for Responsive Politics, the Campaign legal Center, and Democracy 21 say the ad, which cost half a million dollars to run in three battleground states, was funded by unrestricted donations, and therefore violates a federal ban on so-called "soft money."
But the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth insists its ad is legal since it doesn't tell viewers how to vote, adding, "the ads are not meant to influence the presidential election, [they're] meant to tell the truth about John Kerry's service record."
Meanwhile, the week after the new anti-Kerry book "Unfit for Command," written by the founder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, was shipped out to bookstores across the country, someone hacked onto Barnes and Noble's Web site yesterday, and changed the title of the book to, "Fit For Command." The cover's photograph was also altered.
A Barnes and Noble spokeswoman tells the Boston Globe -- "we cannot explain how it may have happened," insisting that Barnes and Noble itself had nothing to do with it. The problem has since been fixed.
Some minorities attending last week's Unity convention of minority journalists were shocked by the conduct of their own colleagues who gave John Kerry a standing ovation even before he began speaking and cheered him on throughout his speech, but gave President Bush a much cooler reception.
Seattle Times reporter Florangela Davila says, "It was so offensive and awful, and I hated it. It was clearly inappropriate ... [and] ridiculous."
South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter Akila Johnson says, "people were acting like citizens not reporters." And Hartford Courant columnist Helen Ubinas calls it, "the ultimate betrayal ... to everyone."
Arab Militias Threaten Arab Journalists
Armed Arab militias in Gaza are threatening to attack Arab journalists there if, according to the militias, they continue to report the problems of the Palestinian Authority and ignore Israeli operations in Gaza.
Leaflets being distributed by the Palestinian Resistance Groups say, "It appears as if someone is directing these stations what to report... This makes these stations suspicious and we hope that we won't be forced to deal with them in a harsh manner."
— 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.