Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The New York Times has reported that media outlets obtained that controversial memo highlighting the political benefits of the Terri Schiavo case from "Democratic aides,” who said it had been distributed to Senate Republicans.
But according to Fox News contributor Fred Barnes, top Senate Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and majority whip Mitch McConnell never saw the memo. What's more, the talking points were printed on blank paper, with no letterhead, date, or signature and contained numerous factual and typographical errors.
And ABC News, which first ran the memo under the headline "GOP talking points," now says they never meant to imply that it was created by Republicans.
Passing the Buck
The New York Sun reports that former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Nancy Powell refused to distribute wanted posters, matchbooks, and other items advertising the $25 million reward for the capture of Usama bin Laden in 2002. What's more, the Sun says Powell told a visiting congressman that capturing bin Laden was only one of her many priorities in the country.
The State Department called the report "unfair and untrue" — saying the decision to end the "Rewards for Justice" advertising program was made by officials in various unnamed government agencies before Powell arrived in Pakistan.
Father and Son
Liberal activist groups and some major media outlets have seized on a Los Angeles Times story on the death of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's father 17 years ago. The Texas Republican and his family chose to let his father Charles die, after an accident left him in a coma and on life support to overcome massive organ failure. NBC News is calling it an "End of Life" situation similar to the Terri Schiavo case.
So is the American Progress Action Fund, which says DeLay's opposition to removing Terri Schiavo's feeding tube is "the very picture of political opportunism and hypocrisy." But unlike DeLay's father, Schiavo was in stable condition, was not on a ventilator when the feeding tube was removed, and was not dying.
The cover of the March edition of Harper's magazine featured a photograph of seven unidentified U.S. Marines, over the headline, "AWOL in America: When Desertion is the only option." But one of those Marines says he's never gone AWOL — and that he'd never desert his post. Lance Corporal Britian Kinder said the cover shot implies that he's a deserter — and his father has demanded a printed retraction.
But the magazine, which does not identify any of the marines pictured, says the photo is not meant to depict the real people featured in the article.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report