Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
DeLay Should "Serve Jail Sentence" There?
At a speech in Massachusetts over the weekend, Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean said embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay "ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence down there."
That was too much, even for Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, one of the House's most outspoken liberals. Frank called Dean's comments "Just wrong [and] ... out of line," adding, "[DeLay] has not been indicted. I don't like him, I disagree with some of what he does, but I don't think you, in a political speech, talk about a man as a criminal."
Capture Helped "Break the Back"?
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says the capture of Al-Qaeda's number-three man, Abu Faraj al-Libbi, two weeks ago has helped "break the back" of the terrorist organization. In an interview with London's Financial Times, Musharraf says, "They cease to exist as a cohesive, homogenous body under good command and control, vertical and horizontal… Whatever they are now capable of doing is individual and group actions divorced from central command ... They are on the run in the mountains, [and] not in contact with each other." But, Musharraf says, al-Libbi has not offered any clues to the whereabouts of Usama bin Laden.
Networks Not Being Fair?
A new survey shows that network evening newscasts these past two months have been overwhelmingly hard on President Bush's idea for Social Security reform. The survey, by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, shows that 83 percent of comments made by so-called "non-partisan sources" on Social Security — from experts to reporters themselves — were negative. Specifically, ABC had 92 percent negative comments, CBS had 89 percent, and NBC had 69 percent.
As for whether the President was successfully rallying Americans behind his idea, 98 percent of those who weighed in on the three networks said "no." Meanwhile, a separate media survey by the University of Connecticut shows that in the November elections, 68 percent of journalists voted for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Twenty-five percent voted for President Bush.
In a new column explaining how Newsweek came to report that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had desecrated Korans, the magazine's assistant managing editor, Evan Thomas, cites Bader Zaman Bader — a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay who says he still has nightmares after seeing a U.S. soldier throw a Koran into a toilet.
What Thomas' piece doesn't report is that when Bader was interviewed by the AP and Chinese media right after his release last year, he never mentioned such an incident. Bader only brought it up after he started demanding compensation from the U.S. government for his imprisonment.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report