Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Brazile's Briefing Complaint
No sooner had Tony Snow finished his first briefing as the president's press secretary than Democratic activist and CNN contributor Donna Brazile was on the phone to April Ryan, who covers the White House for the Urban Radio Network.
In declining to discuss the NSA's alleged collection of domestic phone records, Snow had said he wouldn't "hug the tar baby" of commenting on a program the White House won't confirm or deny. Brazile wanted it known that several people called her to complain about that reference to an American folk story about a trap that's impossible to get out of — which has also been used as a racial slur. Ryan has obligingly filed a story about it.
Fuzzy on the Details?
The crowd at the annual meeting of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association came to its feet this weekend at the news that senior presidential adviser Karl Rove had been indicted on perjury charges in the CIA leak case. Trouble is, it wasn't true.
The rumor appears to have been started by a left-wing Web site called, of all things, Truthout.org, which reported that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald went over the charges with Rove's attorney for 15 hours on Friday, and that Rove later informed the White House of his impending resignation.
Rove's lawyer says no such meeting occurred and that Fitzgerald was in Chicago on Friday. And a spokesman for Rove denied any such conversations with White House officials. Truthout.org, meanwhile, says it stands by its story.
Controversial University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill — who argued that 9/11 was the result of U.S. foreign policy, and called its victims, "Little Eichmanns" — has been found guilty of several forms of serious academic misconduct by an investigatory panel at the university.
Panel members found Churchill guilty of deliberate falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism in his work on the history of Native Americans and called him, "disresepctful of Indian oral traditions." Three of the five panelists recommended that Churchill be fired or suspended for his actions. Churchill has denied any misconduct and called the investigation politically motivated.
Most viewers tuning in to President Bush's speech on immigration last night saw the president begin, as scheduled, a minute and a half after 8 p.m. — unless, that is, they were watching CNN.
Turns out, NBC — the network in the Oval Office — mistakenly cued the president to begin speaking at 8 and while other network producers and directors ignored the error, CNN broadcast the embarrassing false start. The network quickly returned to its pre-address coverage after realizing its mistake.
Meanwhile, NBC's deputy bureau chief blamed the error on a "miscommunicated cue by our personnel in the oval office."
Last Thursday we reported that the USA Today story on the NSA's data mining of domestic phone calls waited until page five to mention that customers' names, addresses and other personal information are not collected as part of the program. In fact, that information appeared on the front page in the 11th paragraph. We regret the error.
—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns 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.