Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The New York Times today has an op-ed by Army Reserve officer Phillip Carter, warning that military recruitment is in danger, and urging the president to do something about it. The op-ed goes on to say, "Imagine my surprise the other day when I received orders to report to Fort Campbell, Ky., next Sunday," adding that the call to service is a precursor to "a surprise tour of Iraq."
But Carter never wrote any of that. It was added by a Times editor and was supposed to be removed before the paper went to press. The Times says it was all a "production error."
Back Story on Burnt Koran
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has called on Americans to read the Koran to show that "bigots do not represent our nation's values" — this after a shopping bag filled with a burnt copy of the Koran and other scorched Arab writings was found outside a mosque in Blacksburg, Virginia last month.
The American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee called it a hate crime, insisting, "books don't burn themselves and end up outside of a mosque." But it turns out the bag came from a Muslim student at Virginia Tech, who was hoping the Koran, burned in a house fire last year, could be given a respectful disposal. The student, who called police last week , said he left a note with the shopping bag, but it apparently blew away.
An 'Orchestrated Right-Wing Attack'?
Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin says the backlash from his remarks comparing prisoner treatment at Guantanamo Bay to that of Nazis was an "orchestrated right-wing attack," executed through the mainstream media.
What's more, in an interview with the Daily Herald newspaper, Durbin says criticism from Chicago Democratic Mayor Richard Daley was stirred up by conservative syndicated columnist Robert Novak at a meeting in Chicago. According to Durbin, Daley was already "extremely sensitive" to comments about U.S. soldiers because his son is in the Army, and hearing only Novak's version of the story led him to speak out.
Newsweek senior editor and Washington Post heiress Lally Weymouth threw a Fourth of July party in the Hamptons on Saturday, and invited such guests as New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer. ABC wanted Schumer to appear on its Sunday show — live from Washington the next morning, but Schumer didn't want to miss the party.
No problem. ABC chartered a plane to pick up Schumer in the Hamptons early Sunday, fly him to Washington so he could be in-studio, and then fly him back to the Hamptons later that day.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report