Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Questions about Gannon

Critics have accused the White House of granting unusual access to Jeff Gannon (search) — the reporter who recently resigned as White House correspondent for a conservative Web site. But the White House clears in other reporters with partisan views, as long as they represent a news organization that publishes regularly.

That includes Russell Mokhiber, who works for Ralph Nader's "Corporate Crimes Reporter" (search). Mokhiber recently asked Press Secretary Scott McClellan (search) if the President believes the sixth commandment, thou shalt not kill — "applies to the U.S. invasion of Iraq?" The White House says they welcome a wide range of views in the briefing room.

No Criticism From Carter

Nearly two weeks after the Iraqi election, former President Jimmy Carter (search) has broken his silence saying they were "very successful." Carter has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration's policy in Iraq, saying the war is "as much of a quagmire as Vietnam," and had repeatedly predicted the country would not be ready for an election in January. But Carter now tells CNN that the election "was a surprisingly good step forward."

On The Shores Of Tripoli

Controversial Colorado Professor Ward Churchill (search), who compared some 9-11 victims to Nazis, met with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli in 1983 — two years after the U.S. banned Americans from traveling there due to Gadhafi's support for terrorists.

The Rocky Mountain News reports that Churchill made the trip as an emissary of the American Indian Movement and admitted at the time that he had sought and received diplomatic support from the Libyan strongman. But Churchill defended the visit, arguing it wasn’t that bad — that he "had not requested arms from the Libyan government."

Sarcastic Thank you?

A billboard thanking liberal movie stars for their contribution to the Presidential election has gone up in Hollywood, but the gesture may go unappreciated. The billboard is sponsored by the conservative action group Citizens United and credits what it considers the extreme views of celebrity activists such as Michael Moore (search) and Barbra Streisand for helping to re-elect George Bush. The billboard says, "Thank you, Hollywood!"

Turning Penguins Straight

A German zoo's plan to introduce females into a group of what they think are homosexual male penguins has angered gay rights groups, who complain the zoo's actions are trying to turn the penguins straight. The Bremerhaven Zoo concluded the penguins might be gay after the males tried to mate with one another. Zookeepers say they just want to see whether the birds were acting that way because of a lack of females. A spokesman added, "nobody is trying to break up same sex pairs by force."

— 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