A Different Spin on Saddam Capture

And now the most fascinating two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:

Ratings Peaking for President

A new poll shows the president's approval ratings on the economy are now the highest they have been in more than a year, rising 9 percentage points to 55 percent in the past month alone. The Associated Press poll also shows that 44 percent of Americans say they are now more confident about their job security than they were six months ago, compared with 39 percent who said that a month ago.

Meanwhile, a separate poll shows the number of Americans who say the U.S. is going in the right direction continues to rise in the wake of Saddam's capture, going from 45 percent at the beginning of last week to 47 percent now. The survey indicates the president's overall job approval rating has slightly dipped from 64 percent immediately after Saddam's capture to 62 percent now.

Teen Drug Use Decline -- Not Newsworthy?

It was also good news for the Bush administration when the Department of Health and Human services announced last week that teen drug use in the U.S. has declined more than 10 percent over the past two years, exceeding the administration's goals.
The Washington Post ran a front-page story on it.
The L.A. Times also ran the story.
So did both major Chicago newspapers, and dozens of others across the country.
CBS News, ABC News, CNN and even Australian media reported it.
But The New York Times: Not a word.

Not (If) Necessarily What He Said

However, The New York Times on Sunday did report that President Bush is unequivocally backing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, quoting him as saying -- "I will support a constitutional amendment which would honor marriage between a man and a woman, codify that."

But that's not quite what the president said. He started the remark with -- "if necessary." In fact, the president then went on to insist gay marriage is a state issue, adding -- "unless judicial rulings undermine the sanctity of marriage, in which case, we may need a Constitutional amendment." But The Times on Sunday didn't include that quote, either.

A Different Spin on Saddam Capture

Saddam Hussein (search) was actually captured by Kurdish forces who drugged him and abandoned him in that spider hole where U.S. forces later found him... that according to a British tabloid. The Sunday Express quotes an unnamed former Iraqi intelligence officer who says the Kurdish Patriotic Front received intelligence on Saddam's whereabouts, took him captive, and then abandoned him after he agreed to give the group political advantage in Northern Iraq.

And so, the tabloid says, reports of U.S. troops capturing Saddam were obviously -- "peddled by American spin doctors." Asked about that, Colonel James Hickey, the man who led the operation that found Saddam in the hole, says Kurds played -- "no role" in Saddam's capture.

FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report