Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
A New York Times reporter has been admonished by his superiors after voicing the hope that the U.S. can accomplish its goals in Iraq. Here's what Times chief military correspondent Michael Gordon said on The Charlie Rose show earlier this month — "As a purely personal view, I think it's worth it — one last effort for sure to try to get this right, because my personal view is we've never really tried to win. We've simply been managing our way to defeat. And I think that if it's done right, I think that there is the chance to accomplish something."
Public editor Byron Calame writes that Washington bureau chief Philip Taubman said Gordon "stepped over the line" and "went too far." Neil MacFarquhar appeared on the Rose show, and criticized Bush administration practice of sending bombs to the Middle East — saying the policy "erodes and erodes and erodes America's reputation." MacFarquhar received no reprimand for his comments.
NBC's reporter in Baghdad concedes that the media isn't getting the "good news" stories from Iraq on the air. Jane Arraf recently told anchor Brian Williams that life in Iraq "isn't entirely what it seems" from the constant focus on bombings and other violence. Arraf said,"I'll tell you what I think is a piece of good news that's out there every day that's really hard for us to get at. There are children walking to school... and it's that wonderful sign of resilience that is the fabric, the background of life there."
Arraf says doing that story might actually put the children in danger.
President Bush's father says media criticism of his son is so harsh that he sometimes finds himself talking back to the television. The elder Bush said Saturday, "It's one thing to have an adversarial ... relationship — hard-hitting journalism — it's another when the journalists' rhetoric goes beyond skepticism and goes over the line into overt, unrelenting hostility and personal animosity." He added — "(It is) so bad in fact that I found myself doing what I never should have done — I talk back to the television set. And I said things that my mother wouldn't necessarily approve of."
Arrests Down, Injuries Up
Last week we told you that police in Tijuana, Mexico who had their guns taken away in a corruption probe had been issued slingshots and ball bearings. But after a 50 percent decrease in arrests this month and the injuring of five officers who were unarmed — the police department has given back the guns.
The city's public safety secretary said the decision to take the guns away had made life more dangerous for both the officers and the city's residents.
—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.