Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

At Arm's Length

The Associated Press and other media outlets reacted with alarm when the McCain camp kept reporters from attending a photo opportunity with Sarah Palin and foreign leaders at the U.N. on Tuesday. AP reporter Sara Kugler wrote that reporters were banned "so as not to risk a question being asked of Palin."

The McCain camp later relented, but there was no concern by the AP in July when Barack Obama conducted similar closed-door meetings with European leaders.

And by the way, the Center for Responsive Politics reports Kugler donated to the liberal 527 group America Coming Together (ACT) during the 2004 campaign. Kugler gave $342 to the now-defunct voter registration group. ACT closed up shop after being fined $775,000 by the Federal Elections Commission in 2007 for violations of federal campaign finance laws.

Funny Business

Four years ago some Democratic activists accused Republicans of trying to suppress votes in Ohio in order to favor President Bush. But this time around, Republicans say a top state official is trying to suppress the registration of absentee voters for John McCain. The campaign sent more than a million absentee ballot applications to Republicans.

Democratic Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner told election officials to reject the applications if a box is not checked on the form stating, "I am a qualified elector."

A lawsuit filed by two Ohio voters says state law does not require the boxes to be checked. One Republican county prosecutor says Brunner does not have the authority to reject the applications.

But Brunner says, "While state law does not require a check box, the McCain-Palin campaign designed its form to require that voters check a box to affirmatively state they are qualified electors."

Mea Culpa

A new campaign ad is linking Republican Congressman Tom Feeney of Florida to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But it's not what you think.

Feeney is airing the ad in his district to apologize for a 2003 golf trip to Scotland which was paid for by Abramoff. Feeney calls the trip a "rookie mistake," saying, "I did everything I could to make it right. I reported it to the ethics committee, and I paid the money back... public service is about being honest even when you make a mistake."

Polls show Feeney is in a dead-heat with his Democratic rival former Florida State Representative Suzanne Kosmas.

Chile Response

A Chilean wine has some wine-enthusiasts in the liberal San Francisco area turning up their noses. But it's not the taste that bothers them, it's the name.

Palin Syrah was once a strong seller, but sales have dipped since John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate. Some customers say the wine's name is too similar to Palin's. One Bay-area bar describes the wine as tasting of white pepper and madrone — an evergreen found in the Pacific Northwest.

But the bar's owner says customers poke fun, coming up with their own descriptions like gunpowder, moose meat and hockey mom. And poor sales are threatening the brand's future on the wine list.

Meanwhile, Palin Syrah has been flying off the shelves in Houston. One company says it used to have cases staked 20 high but now has just 74 bottles left.

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy 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