Grapevine: Iran touting human rights record?

Blasts destruction of Afghan Korans


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Bragging Rights

Iran's foreign minister is condemning the destruction of Muslim religious materials by U.S. troops in Afghanistan while praising Iran's human rights record.

Ali Akbar Salehi called the Koran burning deplorable and a gross violation of human rights. He boasted that Iran has the best human rights record in the Muslim world.

Salehi failed to mention the crackdown on dissent inside Iran or the Christian pastor who has received a death sentence after being charged with apostasy among other alleged crimes.

Double Standard

The director-general of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) admits that Christianity is treated with less sensitivity than other religions because, he says, it is pretty broad-shouldered.

Mark Thompson says TV producers have to consider violent threats if they pursue certain types of satire aimed at ethnic minorities.

He concedes comedy about the Prophet Muhammad would never be aired because it could have the same emotional force as -- quote-- "grotesque child pornography."

Splitting Hairs

And finally, Maryland Republican Congressman Roscoe Bartlett says he did not refer a bill to committee calling for tax breaks for mustache wearers.

Tuesday, we told you that the American Mustache Institute claimed that that had happened. We asked Bartlett's office about it, received no word back.

Today, we were told his press secretary sent an inquiry to a committee without her boss' knowledge or permission.