Published May 15, 2008
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
On the Defensive
Bill Moyers is again defending his recent PBS interview with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and says Wright has been the victim of the news media.
Moyers said on Tuesday's "The Daily Show", "[Wright's] whole career was being summed up in sound bites that added up to no more than 20 seconds, endlessly played through the media grinder of our national press."
He said Wright, who has made harsh anti-American and anti-white comments, had "misspoken and made some erratic statements."
But he called those statements "mistakes." Moyers has been criticized for going easy on Wright and not asking him about some of his accusations, such as his belief that the U.S. government developed HIV as a means of genocide against blacks.
About that omission Moyers said, "I ran out of time."
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu says that while Americans are the most generous people in the world — and deserve credit for supporting Barack Obama — the U.S. is a "crazy country" for getting upset with Reverend Wright.
The Chicago Tribune reports Tutu says Wright "may have said more crudely what actually almost every African-American would have wanted to say. I mean that is how they feel in your country."
And, he says the U.S. is haunted by a racial divide that still offers blacks what he called "the illusion of equality."
A student at Minnesota's Saint Cloud State University has left his teacher training assignment at a local high school after his service dog was threatened by a Muslim student.
The Saint Cloud Times reports 23-year-old Tyler Hurd feared for the safety of his dog which protects him during occasional seizures he suffers as a result of a childhood injury.
Muslims believe saliva from dogs invalidates the ritual washing before prayer, and many will not touch or own dogs.
The school calls the affair a misunderstanding, and officials want Hurd to resume his training. One Muslim advocacy group is also backing the student, saying the moral and legal need to accommodate people using service dogs outweighs the discomfort Muslims may feel around the animals.
And for those wondering how the U.S. economy is avoiding recession, the answer may be in the latest world competitiveness report out of IMD Business School in Switzerland. It ranks the American economy as the most competitive for the 15th straight year.
It says the economy is the world's strongest, topping all others in investments, stock purchases and commercial service exports. It says the U.S. is the easiest place to secure venture capital for business development. And, it writes the U.S. dominates all other economies in key technology criteria such as computers in use.
Project director Stephane Garelli says, "The U.S. always seems to find the means to reinvent itself in ways that Japan, and much of Europe, often lacks."
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.