Bashing Begins

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Two hours after the president nominated Harriet Miers (search) for the Supreme Court, citing her work for such charities Exodus Ministries (search), Hunter College political science professor Kenneth Sherrill released a statement blasting Miers' affiliation with the group, which he said provides support for men and women "recovering" from homosexuality.

Sherrill, who specializes in gay politics, offered to appear on television to discuss whether Miers could rule impartially on important gay rights cases before the court, saying, "Someone had better look at this pretty quickly." Well, someone did and it turns out the professor had the wrong Exodus, confusing Exodus International (search) with Exodus Ministries, which encourages ex-criminals to reunite with their families. Sherrill has since apologized.

Newsroom Critique

Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz (search) reports that messages criticizing the paper's editorial direction are flying around the newsroom in a spontaneous e-mail debate. Kurtz cites one such criticism from Book World editor Marie Arana, who writes, "we wear liberalism on our sleeve and are intolerant of other lifestyles and opinions... You must be liberal, progressive, a Democrat. I've been in communal gatherings in The Post, watching election returns, and have been flabbergasted to see my colleagues cheer unabashedly for the Democrats."

The reaction of executive editor Len Downie to that message was that the message proves that "we do have a diverse staff when it comes to ideological backgrounds"

Fourth and Final Fix?

The New York Times has issued a formal correction for columnist Paul Krugman's (search) false claim that a full hand recount in Florida would have given the presidential election to Al Gore in 2000 -- the paper's fourth attempt to fix the error. Krugman tried to correct the August 19 error himself in a subsequent column, but Times ombudsman Byron Calame objected to the informal clarification.

Krugman then published a more formal correction on August 26, but had to fix that after he relied on an incorrect Miami Herald report. The new correction will be appended to Krugman's original columns and editorial page editor Gail Collins says the paper will now run regular formal corrections under the Times' editorials.

Ronnie's Revelations

Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle (search) is a man obsessed with removing money from politics, according to a documentary based on special access to the prosecutor during his investigation of Tom DeLay. The National Review reports that in "The Big Buy," Earle says he "feels a great pressure" to alert the American public to the evils of corporate political contributions, which he calls "every bit as insidious as terrorism."

What's more, an assistant Austin DA tells filmmakers that Earle single-handedly pushed the DeLay investigation over his colleagues' objections, telling his staff "just keep hacking at it." One critic says Earle doesn't distinguish between what's illegal and what he thinks is wrong, saying, "you say...'Is that against the law?' He will say it's wrong. You say, 'Well, OK... Where is it that it is against the law?'"