The latest from the Political Grapevine:
CBS is once again in trouble with the bloggers. Last nig ht, CBS News reported on Beverly Cocco of Philadelphia, portrayed as an ordinary parent and Bush supporter with two sons who is, "petrified" about her sons being called up in a draft. The report said, "she's not alone. ... mass e-mails are circulating among parents worried their kids could be called up ... [and] the acting director of the Selective Service believes he could start drafting people quickly."
But, as bloggers point out, what the story does not tell you is that the Selective Service says emphatically — on its Web site no less — it has no plans to conduct a draft, and Ms. Cocco is an anti-draft activist who heads a group called "Parents Against the Draft." As for those mass emails, they were debunked as false when they began circulating at least three months ago.
Story a Mistake?
Speaking of CBS, "60 Minutes" founder Don Hewitt, who retired as executive producer just three months ago, thinks it was obviously a mistake for CBS to air the now-discredited story on President Bush's National Guard service.
But, what's more, he says that even if it were true, it's not much of a story to begin with. After all, Hewitt says, "I think I'd have done anything to not be [in Vietnam]. ... There wasn't a father in America that didn't try to get his kid out of going to Vietnam. Bill Clinton went to Oxford. [And] I just can't get too exercised about anyone who tried to duck Vietnam."
Times Denies Allegations of Foul Play
The Justice Department is accusing a New York Times reporter of tipping off an Islamic charity, since put on the UN's terror list — that its office was about to be raided by the FBI. The Justice Department says foreign correspondent Philip Shenon warned the Global Relief Foundation, which allegedly helped fund terrorism, of an FBI raid in December 2001, and potentially endangered the lives of federal agents.
A Times lawyer, however, denies the allegation, and says the charity would have expected the raid anyway since other charities had been busted. All this stems from an investigation into who leaked sensitive information to the press just after the 9/11 attacks, and the Justice Department has subsequently requested post-9/11 phone records from Shenon and a co-worker. The Times is now suing to block the request.
"Intemperate" Words Dangerous?
The government of Singapore is blasting Taiwanese Foreign Minister Chen Tan-Sun for using what it calls, "intemperate language" that suggests Taiwan is, "pursuing a dangerous course" to cut ties with China.
So what exactly did the Taiwanese Foreign Minister say? Well, during a meeting at the foreign ministry, he called Singapore, "a country the size of a booger."
– FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report