The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Bush Gets Bad Press
A new study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism shows that media coverage over the past 4 months has been substantially more focused on, and mostly negative toward, President Bush. The study shows that 56 percent of media coverage has described President Bush as either arrogant or lacking credibility.
By contrast, John Kerry has been described negatively nearly half as much. Accordingly, the study shows that 3 times more Americans describe President Bush as stubborn. And more Americans describe President Bush as someone who twists the facts and is a wealthy elitist.
However, the study also shows that a majority of Americans say President Bush, not Kerry, is tough and doesn't give up, and more describe President Bush as strong and decisive.
Democrats have announced a special "prime-time" speaker during their convention in Boston later this month: the son of the late Republican President Ronald Reagan. A Democratic spokesman praised former President Reagan's son, also Ronald Reagan, for making — "courageous pleas for stem cell research," which some say could help treat Alzheimer's disease, from which the late former president suffered.
Though the younger Reagan has blasted the Bush administration for limiting stem cell research and for invading Iraq, he says he's speaking at the convention just to "educate people about stem cell research," insisting — "If they had asked me to say a few words about throwing George Bush out of office, I wouldn't do it."
Speaking of conventions, radical activists are urging Americans to disrupt the Republican convention at Madison Square Garden in New York by paralyzing anti-terrorist operations, particularly bomb-sniffing dogs.
One group of activists, posting instructions online, says — "go to a rifle, pistol or skeet shooting range, spend an hour shooting to saturate clothing with smell of gunpowder, go directly to a ... train headed for Penn Station. ... Sit or stand near the doors as the train approaches the station. ... If [a police] dog alerts on your scent, do not leave or resist; the situation will cause a major disruption of the train schedule. ... With any luck, Madison Square Garden will be evacuated."
Ditka on the Hill?
Two and a half weeks after Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan, of Illinois, dropped out of the race, a group of Illinois Republicans is now calling on former Bears Coach Mike Ditka to jump into the race. The group, calling itself draftditka.com, has already obtained 6,000 signatures on a petition to bring Ditka into the race.
Draftditka.com says — "Republicans are all but written off in Illinois. ... We need him. It's that simple. Coach would lend some much needed mainstream credibility to a rising party. ... Besides, it will be a lot of fun!" Ditka says he's considering joining the race, and getting — "excited" just thinking about it.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report