Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Pretty Penny

If you want to cover Barack Obama's election night rally in Chicago you are free to do so, but it will cost you.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports positions at the event could cost between $715 for radio correspondents to a whopping $1,870 for a riser position complete with long-distance phone lines and Internet. The cheapest place a reporter can stand on a riser with a view goes for $880.

Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times writes, "This is an outrageous pay-to-play plan that caters to national elite outlets with deep pockets."

And while there will be a general media section that is free, Sweet calls it "unappealing" and "second class," adding it will be "outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views."

A Race to Judgment

A columnist for The Kansas City Star writes the "socialist" label used by John McCain and Sarah Palin when describing Senator Obama's politics is not political, but racial.

Lewis Diuguid — who is African-American and a founding member of the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists — has written extensively about race during the campaign. He says the socialist description has "very ugly historical roots" and that "McCain and Palin have simply reached back in history to use an old code word for black. It sets whites apart from those deemed un-American and those who could not be trusted during the communism scare. Shame on McCain and Palin."

Dressed to Kill

Her moose hunting outfits apparently just would not do, so the Republican National Committee decided to spend some money on Sarah Palin's wardrobe — and boy did they.

The RNC spent more than $150,000 on clothes and accessories for Palin and her family. The Politico newspaper reports the accessorizing began in early September and included shopping sprees at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, as well $4,700 on hair and makeup.

But a spokeswoman for the McCain camp dismissed any criticism saying that in the end the clothes will not end up in Palin's closet. Tracey Schmitt said, "With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it's remarkable that we're spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses. It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign."

Bearing the Brunt

A Canadian man who killed a bear in self-defense is again under attack, but this time from animal lovers.

British Columbia native Jim West came between a mother bear and her two cubs during a morning hike October 4. West killed the bear by hitting its head repeatedly with a stick, but not before the bear mauled him causing injuries that required 60 stitches. Her two cubs were later euthanized by conservation officers.

West says he has since received harassing phone calls and that e-mails have been sent to media outlets with false accounts of the attack. In one e-mail, someone impersonating West says his dogs started the confrontation and that after the bear escaped up a tree West waited for the bear to come down.

He says, "I figure this is someone from PETA because I've had some people tracking me down... I'm sorry but it was simply a life-or-death situation."

A PETA spokesman denies any involvement.

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