The latest from the Political Grapevine:
A new FOX News poll shows President Bush leading John Kerry shows that — while he still trails overwhelmingly among African-Americans — President Bush is nonetheless doing twice as well now (with 18 percent) than he was just before the 2000 election.
Fired for Feisty Remarks?
The Washington bureau chief for Sinclair Broadcast Group — who said his company's plan to broadcast a program based on charges in an anti-Kerry documentary was "biased political propaganda" — has now been fired.
What's more, Jon Leiberman says Sinclair won't waive the non-compete agreement he signed when he joined the company — which means he can't work for any TV outlet in any market that has one of Sinclair's 62 stations. Still, he says, "I really feel like I can sleep at night, and I can be OK with my decision [to criticize Sinclair publicly]. ... I know I stood up for the principles of objectivity. In journalism, all we have is credibility and objectivity."
Iran's Basij militia — the hard-line branch of the Iranian army that insists President Bush is "the Great Satan" — has written a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, urging him to let their leaders send observers to the U.S. presidential election.
After all, the Basij militia says, "[T]he presence of observers from the Islamic republic of Iran, the most democratic regime in the world, is necessary to guarantee the smooth running of the American elections."
And the militia says, "We want to ridicule the so-called democratic slogans of the American leaders."
Returned to Sender
London's Guardian newspaper, which last week urged Britons to send anti-Bush letters to voters in the U.S., has received some mail of its own from U.S. voters — many condemning the dental hygiene of the paper's readership.
One letter calls Guardian readers "yellow-toothed pansies." Another calls them "mealy mouthed morons," and another says, "May you have to have a tooth capped."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report