Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
News Not Its Forte?
Iran (search) may control the media in that country but that does not mean it can get its stories straight. When it first got word of an explosion in the southern city of Deylam, Wednesday, Iranian state TV said, "A missile was fired from an unknown plane 20 kilometers from the city." A short time later, state TV said the blast was more likely caused by a fuel tank that fell out of, or off an airplane.
Soon after that officials on state TV said the explosion was, in fact, deliberate, part of "dam building operations." And then later they denied there was ever an explosion to begin with, insisting, "We have found no signs of an explosion." But soon enough, they said there was an explosion and it was to build a road. They've since gone back to the dam building explanation.
Yet to Resign
Five weeks after CBS News fired one producer and asked three other executives to resign for their role in the now discredited story on President Bush's National Guard service, the three asked to resign still have yet to do so. What's more, one of them, former executive producer Josh Howard (search), is demanding the network clear his name and retract a statement saying that he helped rush the story to air and, "dealt a tremendous blow to the credibility of CBS News in general, one which it was his duty to avert."
According to The New York Observer, Howard believes an independent panel's findings contradicts that statement and Howard has now hired a lawyer to sue the network for breach of contract. The other two CBS officials have also hired lawyers.
Two prominent African-American Republicans have demanded an apology from the new DNC Chairman Howard Dean for saying at a Democratic Black Caucus meeting last week, "You think the Republicans could get this many people of color in a single room? Only if they had the hotel staff in here."
And in a joint statement, Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele and former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts say they are outraged over the insensitive and intolerable remarks. Adding, "This kind of backward thinking remind us of a horrible time in history, when blacks were seen as servants." But the chair of the caucus says Dean's remarks were well received, insisting they were, "A statement of fact" and Steele and Watts are blowing things out of proportion.
Homework: Make Bush Bring Troops Home
Several teachers at River Road Middle School in Elizabeth City, North Carolina have handed student this is homework assignment: write President Bush and persuade him to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. The assignment says, "The president is sending troops to Iraq to fight. Families are losing loved ones because of Bush's determination to set up democracy in Iraq."
Many parents are up in arms, calling the assignment inappropriate. And the local school superintendent has denounced the assignment as one- sided and apologize.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report