Grapevine: British media biased in 2012 race?

Is the U.K. press gunning for Romney?


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


The White House chose an unusual item to fact check today and played loose with the facts.

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer -- who is of course an All-Star panelist here -- wrote in his column today -- quote -- "Obama started his presidency by returning to the British embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office."

On the White House blog Dan Pfeiffer called that -- quote -- "patently false" and a "...ridiculous claim", writing -- "the bust [is] still in the White House. In the residence. Outside the Treaty Room."  

Pfeiffer even included in his post a picture of President Obama showing Prime Minister David Cameron the bust in 2010. Case closed right?

Well, no, it's not that simple.

It turns out there are two busts.

The bust that was loaned to President George W. Bush after 9/11 that was in the Oval Office, the one Krauthammer referenced was, in fact, returned to the British embassy after that administration ended. That bust now resides at the British ambassador's Washington D.C. residence.

The White House collection has had a second Churchill bust for decades which is the one Pfeiffer says is on display in the residence. 

Late today, Pfeiffer updated his blog post noting the two busts. Not admitting a mistake, but instead maintaining -- quote -- "The idea put forward by Charles Krauthammer and others that President Obama returned the Churchill bust or refused to display the bust because of antipathy towards the British is completely false."

Reaction from Charles in a few.

Playing Favorites?

Is the British press playing favorites when it comes to President Obama and Governor Romney?

One media writer says yes.

Mediaite's Noah Rothman notes Londoners have criticized Romney for a variety of so-called gaffes during his visit.

However, Rothman says the fourth estate there has been much more forgiving to President Obama.

When he gave the queen an iPod containing among other things audio of two of President Obama's speeches, some in the U.S. labeled that a tad bit egocentric, but, the Guardian gushed -- quote -- "clearly a lot of thought went into this gift."

Mrs. Obama broke with accepted decorum by touching the queen during a meeting and the Telegraph's headline read -- "renewing a very touching relationship."

When the president tripped over a toast to the queen at a state dinner a Guardian columnist sympathized -– quote -- "nobody was hurt, nothing was damaged, the whole thing was an utter irrelevance."

And when President Obama referred to the Falkland Islands as the Maldives the telegraph said it was an – quote -- "uncharacteristic error more akin to those of his predecessor George W. Bush."

Chickening Out

Boston Democratic Mayor Thomas Menino now says he will not try to stop Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in his city. 

Menino had said the fast food chain was unwelcome because it supports traditional marriage.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says it would be inappropriate to deny a business license based on political or religious beliefs.