IBC Bias?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

IBC Bias?

A group calling itself "Iraq Body Count," or IBC, estimates that nearly 25,000 civilians were killed in the two years following the U.S. invasion of Iraq — a figure picked up by Reuters, CNN and the BBC.

But those reports never mention that IBC arrived at its figure by adding up casualties tallied by all sorts of organizations, including the left wing CommonDreams.org (search) and Al Jazeera.

What's more, IBC counts Iraqis killed in murders and terrorist attacks, saying "The burden of responsibility fall[s] squarely on the shoulders of those who initiate war without U.N. Security Council authorization."

News reports also failed to note that IBC's co-founder and principal researcher has written for a self-described "leftist newsletter," and many contributors are members of left-leaning anti-war groups.

Hunting for Homosexuals?

An extraordinary story has emerged involving former Lyndon Johnson aide and now PBS commentator Bill Moyers (search). The story was told in The Wall Street Journal by retired federal appeals judge Laurence Silberman, who reports that when he was acting attorney general under President Ford a memo written by Moyers to the FBI came to light in the press.

The memo, which dated from the 1964 campaign between President Johnson and Barry Goldwater, directed FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover to investigate the Goldwater campaign for evidence of homosexual activity. It came after Johnson aide Walter Jenkins had been arrested in a Washington men's room.

Silberman reports that Moyers called him and claimed that the memo was a phony planted by the CIA. Silberman says he told Moyers he would investigate the matter and, if he was right, he would exonerate him publicly.

At that point, Silberman says Moyers backed off saying, "I was very young. How will I ever explain this to my children." Moyers could not be reached for comment.

New Meaning to 'Pro-American'

Southwest Airlines (search) is planning more direct flights out of its home base at Love Field in Dallas. But the popular carrier may be forced to close up shop there if Senator James Inhofe (search) gets his way.

The Oklahoma Republican wants to end commercial flights at Love Field, moving all the traffic to the larger, more modern Dallas-Fort Worth airport outside the city — despite complaints about the airport's layout.

Inhofe says the bill will protect DFW-based American Airlines, which employs thousands in his home state. A spokesman for Southwest calls the proposal a "scare tactic."

Silly Statute?

The city of Toronto barred this year's Miss Universe — a Canadian — from opening a local festival, citing city laws prohibiting "activities which degrade... women through sexual stereotyping."

Officials told Natalie Glebova (search) she could only participate in the ceremony if she removed her sash and tiara and if organizers dropped all references to Miss Universe, instead calling Glebova "an individual of note contributing to our community." Glebova reluctantly agreed to the terms.

Toronto's mayor has since apologized, calling the incident "silly," but added that the law should not be rewritten.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report