The latest from the Political Grapevine:
British Backing and Latin Begging
A dozen members of Britain's Labor Party are urging John Kerry's presidential campaign to temporarily hire them this summer to stump for Kerry in the U.S. One MP, quoted by London's Telegraph, insists President Bush is a — "complete and utter menace to the future security of the world.
Meanwhile, in Italy, more than 100 lawmakers, including the head of the liberal Daisy Party, have sent a letter to Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader, pleading with him to drop out of the race. They say his candidacy may cost Kerry the election, calling it — "self-defeating and wrong."
Reports on Allegations
CBS News — which aired 30 reports on former Ambassador Joe Wilson's allegations that President Bush misled the country by saying Saddam Hussein sought to buy uranium from Africa, has yet to report that two and a half weeks ago, a Senate Intelligence committee report undermined Wilson's account and cited intelligence indicating Iraq had sought uranium in Africa.
The New York Times and Washington Post, meanwhile, each ran at least 70 stories on Wilson's allegations. But, according to the Washington Post itself, they have each run only 2 stories on the intelligence committee's conclusions regarding Saddam and Africa.
Ombudsman on Own Paper
Speaking of the New York Times, its ombudsman, public editor Daniel Okrent, is insisting his paper is unabashedly liberal, saying, "If you think the Times plays it down the middle on any of [the hot-button issues], you've been reading the paper with your eyes closed. I don't think it's intentional when the Times does this. But negligence doesn't have to be intentional."
Okrent specifically points to the Times' coverage of gay marriage, which he says — "approaches cheerleading ... [and fails] to provide the three-dimensional perspective balanced journalism requires."
Jenna's New Job
Two weeks after Jenna Bush reportedly accepted a job as a teaching assistant at a charter school in Harlem, New York, a black and Latino advocacy group is now objecting, insisting — "she is [not] of a high enough moral character to teach school." The group, Artists and Activists United for Peace, adds — "Her taking this job is keeping a black person from getting the job. We think she and her sister should enlist in the military."
Wake-up Call for Washington Post?
And finally, the word of the day at the Washington Post is: OOPS! This after printing 10,000 copies of a free special convention issue with the banner "Election 2000." The Post's executive editor calls it an — "embarrassing mistake."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report