Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Fair and Balanced?
President Obama has not been shy about giving interviews during his first six months in office. He has sat down with ABC News at least six times, seven times with CBS and nine times with NBC. He has given just two interviews to FOX News since taking office.
Presidential historian Martha Joynt Kumar tells The Politico newspaper that Mr. Obama has given more interviews than any recent president at this point in his term. And his fourth prime-time news conference tonight is the same number that president George W. Bush held in his eight years in office.
But despite the media saturation, most of which has been positive, the president is still not happy. He told a group of liberal bloggers during a conference call Monday: "I know the blogs are best at debunking myths that can slip through a lot of the traditional media outlets... and that is why you are going to play such an important role in our success in the weeks to come."
"Special Report" still has an outstanding interview request with the president.
Feeling the Pressure
The Obama administration is bowing to pressure from a government watchdog group which requested a list of health industry executives who have visited the White House to discuss the president's reform plans.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent the request to the Secret Service. The group wants to gauge the influence the executives have had in crafting health care policy. The Secret Service initially said the documents were exempt from public disclosure laws. But the White House now says it will release the names after the group filed a lawsuit today. Candidate Obama vowed to allow TV cameras, specifically C-Span, to cover behind-the-scenes health care negotiations.
Federal agencies such as the Departments of Justice and Agriculture have been warned against hosting conferences in Las Vegas, Reno, and Orlando, because those destinations could give the wrong impression.
The Wall Street Journal obtained an internal FBI mail which reads: "…conference[s] are not to be held in cities that are vacation destinations/spa/resort/gambling. Las Vegas and Orland[o] are the first two on the chopping block."
An Agriculture Department employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says his agency is encouraging employees to hold meetings in places that are not considered resort locations, but are still cheap and easy to get to. He says approved cities include Chicago, Denver, Portland, Washington D.C., and Milwaukee.
But some say the rules are punishing travel-dependant states that have tens of thousands of hotel rooms, lots of conference space, and great deals.
Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Geoff Freeman at the U.S. Travel Association says: "In the quest to demonize travel, we're killing jobs."
And the hometown of global warming alarmist and former Vice President Al Gore experienced the coldest temperature for July 21 in 132 years. The National Weather Service says the mercury in Nashville, Tennessee dipped to 58 degrees at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. That broke the old record-low of 60 degrees, which was set in 1877.
Officials at the National Weather Service say it was the third consecutive morning when Nashville either tied or broke a daily low temperature record.
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.
Bret Baier currently serves as FOX News Channel's (FNC) chief political anchor and anchor of Special Report with Bret Baier(weeknights at 6-7PM/ET), the highest-rated cable news program in its timeslot and consistently one of the top five shows in cable news. Based in Washington, DC, he joined the network in 1998 as the first reporter in the Atlanta bureau.