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Is Senator McCain in Favor of Gay Marriage?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Take Two

Arizona Senator and likely Republican presidential candidate John McCain raised some eyebrows last night by saying he is in favor of gay marriage. McCain told an NBC cable audience: "I think that gay marriage should be allowed, if there's a ceremony kind of thing, if you want to call it that. I don't have any problem with that."

A few minutes later, McCain attempted to clarify his position, saying: "I believe that if people want to have private ceremonies that's fine. I do not believe gay marriage should be legal."

Global Warming Reversal

One of France's most decorated geophysicists has changed his mind about global warming. Claude Allegre — who is the author of 11 books and a member of both the French and U.S. Academy of Sciences — had previously expressed grave concern over mankind's role in global warming. But now Allegre writes in a French newspaper that "the cause of climate change remains unknown." He says, for example, that Mount Kilimanjaro is not losing snow due to global warming — but because of local land use and precipitation changes.

Meanwhile a glacier expert with the Chinese Academy of Sciences is discounting previous forecasts that glaciers across Western China could disappear in 50 years. Zhang Wenjing does not question global warming — but says it would take centuries to melt the dense ice packs in that region.

Negative Reporting

Bad news is always bigger news than good news. But a study by the Business and Media Institute says when it comes to the economy, broadcast network news stories are overwhelmingly and intentionally negative.

The year-long study of evening news programs revealed more than twice as many negative economic stories as positive — and the negative stories were in full -length reports — while the positive were in shorter forms. The study says the "CBS Evening News" went negative on the economy in 80 percent of its reports — the highest percentage among the three networks.

"Two-Faced Hypocrite"

The race for state comptroller in Texas is getting down and dirty — and not in the usual way. Democratic candidate Fred Head is calling Republican rival Susan Combs a "two-faced hypocrite" for writing what he calls "a pornographic book."

The tome in question is a romance novel called "A Perfect Match" that Combs published in 1990. Head has posted excerpts of the book on his Web site that feature what the people who buy romance novels want them to feature — steamy romance.

All of this has enraged the 9,000 member Romance Writers of America — which is headquartered in and has many members from — Texas. One novelist wonders why Head posted parts of the book on his Web site if it is in fact pornography. Another says she's a Texan, a Christian, a grandmother who has written 46 novels — and a registered Democrat — but she's not voting for Fred Head.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill 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