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Special Report

Democrats on Defensive?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean doesn't think much of Republicans, but says they have accomplished one thing: putting Democrats on the defensive, insisting, "What the propagandists on the right have done is make people afraid to say they are Democrats."

At a Democratic fundraiser in Burlington, Vermont last night, Dean vowed that's all about to change. So what's his plan? Well, first he says, "We need a message. It has to be clear." And, he says, "We have to be pushing our version of the facts because their version of the facts is very unfactual." As for what exactly their new message should be, Dean didn't offer any specifics.

Bush Officials "Black Tyrants"?

Remember last night we told you how over the weekend veteran singer Harry Belafonte called African-American officials in the Bush administration "black tyrants," and seemed to question whether they make any real contribution, saying, "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value"?

Well, Holocaust scholars are now demanding a public retraction, calling Belafonte's remarks "inaccurate and hurtful." The David S. Wyman Institute — at Gratz College outside Philadelphia – says, "The fact is there were no Jews in Hitler's hierarchy ... African-American conservatives are not comparable to Nazis. ... [And] Such analogies pollute public discourse by trivializing the brutal horrors committed by the Nazis."

Sponsor ‘Inappropriate’ and ‘Disturbing’?

More than a dozen anti-war groups are demanding that San Francisco's hip-hop radio station KMEL drop the U.S. Navy as a sponsor of its annual Summer Jam concert series, calling it "inappropriate" and "disturbing."

In a letter to KMEL and its parent company, Clear Channel, the groups say, "Why would KMEL allow the U.S. Navy to prey on Bay area youth, especially the young people of color who represent over 50 percent of [the] station's listeners?"

The letter also accuses Clear Channel of using its power to "promote the Bush administration's pro-war agenda," and the groups are threatening to challenge Clear Channel's radio license if their demands are not met.

What's He Doing Differently?

A Harvard-trained lawyer in New York City who represents cab drivers is trying to unseat an incumbent city councilman in a working-class district of Manhattan. This is his third attempt. So what is Democrat Victor Bernace planning to do differently this time?

Well, for starters, he's hosting what's being billed as a "sexy, erotic dance show" at a Manhattan nightclub next month. The "Havana Nights" fundraiser will feature bikini-clad go-go dancers and men in nothing more than briefs, which supporters can see for $20 a head.

Bernace says most fundraisers are "boring," but says, "I'm trying to be part of the next generation." After all, he says: "I'm not running for mayor in a small, old-time religious town in Utah. I'm running in New York City."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report