The latest from the Political Grapevine:
The editor and publisher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press is standing by his reporter who fed that question about armor to the soldier who then asked Secretary Rumsfeld. Editor Tom Griscom, a former official in the Reagan Administration, said in an editorial that reporter Lee Pitts (search) merely "used the tools available to him as a journalist."
Pitts gave his question to specialist Thomas Wilson after learning that only soldiers could ask questions to Rumsfeld — then Pitts bragged about the incident to a fellow reporter. But while the editor defends the reporter's actions, he also says the details about how the question came about "should have been included in Thursday's story ... [and] it was not."
Rich get Richer
Incumbents in the House of Representatives increased their fundraising advantage over challengers in the last election enabling 98 percent of them to keep their seats. A new study by the Campaign Finance Institute (search) showed that incumbent candidates raised 20 percent more than in the previous election, while fundraising by challengers was down 6 percent.
On average, office holders took in over a million dollars, while their opponents raised just over $300,000. And of the 401 House members seeking re-election, 394 will return to office in January.
We've been reporting that the American Health Association is treating 60 South Florida Kerry supporters for what is now called Post Election Selection Trauma (search), or PEST, and now the Boca Raton news has an exclusive look inside the therapy sessions.
One woman told the group, "I haven't been able to sleep since the election," adding, "I feel like I live in a dictatorship … the election was rigged." An elderly Boca Raton man yelled "Bush is a moron!" While a retiree named Bernie ranted, "There's certainly going to be a draft and the media won't even report how many people have been killed!"
One participant worried that Democrats don't have anyone to defend them: "We're missing an advocate for our cause," he lamented. While another said, "I have no faith in Hillary Clinton for 2008 ... she isn't the answer." And referring to red state voters, one woman said "there's more of them than us. That's scary."
The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that all phone conversations are private and not even parents can listen in on their children's calls.
Carmen Dixon told police she'd overheard her daughter's friend admit to stealing a purse while listening in to the call from another phone. She gave the information to the police and the man was arrested, but the court threw out her testimony because it was based on an intercepted conversation. Dixon says eavesdropping on her daughter was the only way to keep track of her, but that after the court ruling she'll stop listening in. Really.
— 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.