AP-propriate Practice?

And now some fresh pickings from the wartime grapevine:

Patriot Act Drums Up Support

Attorney General John Ashcroft (search) has been touring the country in an effort to blunt what appeared to be growing criticism of the U.S.A Patriot Act, which critics across the political spectrum argue infringes on civil liberties.

But a new poll out today shows that the vast majority of Americans do not think the bill is trampling constitutional rights in the process of fighting  terrorism.

According to a Gallup Poll, 48 percent say the bill is "about right" and 21 percent say the it doesn't go far enough. Only 22 percent of those asked say the bill does indeed go too far.

Blasting Bush Administration

Author Jonathan Schell, who said, among other things, that President Clinton's impeachment was bringing, "shame to the constitutional system," now says that the United States, "must learn to lose" the war in Iraq, which he says requires "relinquishing attractive fantasies."

In a column in The Nation magazine, Schell blasts the Bush administration for erecting a , "powerless shadow government" in Iraq, for having a, "highly self-interested agenda of its own," and for making the, "main mistake of ... waging the war at all."

And so, Schell says, the U.S. should "announce a staged withdrawal of its forces."

AP-propriate Practice?

After President Bush's address to the nation on Sunday night, the Associated Press sent a story to U.S. media reporting on Americans' reactions to the speech. The story was headlined…"Bush's speech on Iraq gets mixed Reaction." And it cited the responses  of nine people…five of which were negative, while four were positive.

But the AP sent a very different version of the same story to media outlets in Germany…which has been quite critical of U.S. actions in Iraq. The version for German consumption omitted two of the positive quotes, meaning that of seven reactions, five were negative and just two were positive.

What's more, the German AP story carried a far more critical headline…which read…"Hurrah speech instead of substance."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report