Jackson No 'Thriller' for John Roberts

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

His True Feelings

Newly released documents have uncovered what may be John Roberts' true feelings about singer Michael Jackson (search). It turns out that in 1984 when Jackson was at the height of his career his manager wrote the White House asking for a letter from President Reagan thanking Jackson for coming to an event at the White House. Reagan's staff put together a draft, which began, "Dear Michael, your visit to the White House was a real 'thriller' for all of us here in the nation's capital. In fact, the White House staff are still humming 'Beat It' and 'Billy Jean.'"

But Roberts, then in the White House counsel's office, stepped in calling Jackson's visit a "calculated commercial decision," and telling staffers in a memo, "I find the obsequious attitude of some ... White House staff toward Mr. Jackson's attendants, and the fawning posture they would have the president ... adopt, more than a little embarrassing."

Plus, Roberts noted, Bruce Springsteen (search) didn't get a letter when he came to Washington.

Post Pulling Out

The Washington Post will no longer be a sponsor for a Pentagon event next month to commemorate victims of 9/11. The paper was going to donate public service advertising space to help promote Freedom Walk (search), which will feature country music star Clint Black (search), singer of the tune "I Raq and Roll." But Monday, Post representatives at the Newspaper Guild passed a resolution saying, "…the Post undermines [its stated goal of honoring veterans] by lending its support to a political event that links the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to the war in Iraq — a link that the Post, in its reporting, has shown to be false."

It is not clear what the Guild sees as the link between Iraq and 9/11 in the celebration, other than Clint Black's appearance. Nevertheless, the Post did decide to back out of the celebration, saying it wants to "avoid activities that might lead readers to question [our] objectivity." So, instead, it will now make a donation to the Pentagon Memorial Fund.

‘A Dream Scenario’ for Lance

You may have already heard what Lance Armstrong (search) thinks about his planned bike ride with President Bush this weekend in Texas. Armstrong says the outing with the president is "a dream scenario for me." President Bush admires the Texas Tour de France (search) champion, and calls him "an incredible inspiration," but there are limits. Asked if he was going to wear those tight biker shorts, Mr. Bush drew the line, saying, "There are certain things that age brings with it, and not wearing the form-fitting Lycra shorts is one of them, if you know what I mean."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report