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Special Report

Reverend Michael Pfleger's Hard Lesson on Public Life

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Candid Camera

The Reverend Michael Pfleger, who has been temporarily removed from his duties as pastor at Saint Sabina Church in Chicago, has a simple explanation for how his anti-Hillary Clinton rant at Barack Obama's former church ended up YouTube phenomenon: He didn't know the cameras were rolling.

The Catholic priest tells the Chicago Sun-Times he did not realize Trinity United's Web service was up and running.

He says, "Their live streaming had been down all day, and they didn't know whether it was back up... I regret the dramatization that I was naive enough to believe was just going to be kept among that church."

"This is a dangerous time in America, the freest country in the world where you have to whisper your thoughts."

Double Standard?

There seems to be a notable difference in coverage by The New York Times when it comes to the presidential candidates' medical history.

The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto points out a Times' editorial early last month called for the contenders to fully disclose their medical records. Three weeks later John McCain released a 1,000 page file to reporters. He also made his personal doctors available for questions during a scheduled 90 minute conference call that was cut to 45 minutes after questions stopped.

The Times' headline read, "Tight Control on McCain Files and Shortened Question Period."

But when Barack Obama released a one page written statement from his doctor last Friday, the banner was a bit different.

"Obama's Doctor, Praising His Health, Sees No Obstacles to Service."

Big Brother

A new Venezuelan law decreed by President Hugo Chavez is worrying human rights groups and legal scholars who say it threatens civil liberties.

The law says residents can be forced to inform on one another to avoid prison sentences. It also mandates cooperation with secret police if needed. Chavez insists it is meant to guarantee national security and shield against what he calls "imperialist attacks."

Chavez called critics of the law de facto supporters of the Bush administration. He said the measure is needed to combat what he termed "interference from the United States."

Food for Thought

And, at the U.N. food summit in Rome we spoke of earlier, European Union and U.S. biofuel targets could be on the chopping block.

The Times of London reports aid organizations are calling on nations to ease biofuel requirements immediately, saying they have contributed to an 83 percent rise in food prices in the past three years.

Those organizations say the switch to biofuels to reduce carbon emissions is directly tied to higher food prices and has led to the destruction of rainforests and grasslands. Some nations are already reviewing their biofuel targets in light of an estimate that 100 million people could be impacted by the global food shortage.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.