Meeting Madness

The latest from the Political Grapevine:

Nader Not Leaving
A meeting at the Capitol between Ralph Nader (search) and the Congressional Black Caucus turned ugly after the Independent presidential candidate refused to withdraw from the race. According to The Hill newspaper Michigan Democrat Carolyn Kilpatrick told Nader, "Get your ass out," and one woman — heard through the wall — shouted, "You can't win." After many participants left the meeting early in frustration, Maryland Congressman Albert Wynn said of Nader, "The guy's got a Messiah complex."

Intel on Iraq
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the other day that after Sept. 11, Russian intelligence alerted the United States that Iraq was preparing terror attacks against this country. But the Media Research Center reports that the CBS Evening News never mentioned the story on Friday night. Neither did NBC's Nightly News, though both broadcasts ran stories critiquing the Bush administration's claim of a tie between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Meanwhile, Saturday's New York Times buried the story at the bottom of inside pages.

Far From a Free Ride
The coverage of President Ronald Reagan after his death led some to recall him as "the Teflon president," who got a free ride in the press. But the Center for Media and Public Affairs, in a new study, finds that President Reagan received intensely negative coverage. The Center says it was two to one negative overall in his first year, with his policies doing even worse — three to one negative. The Center also found Reagan's coverage more than 90 percent negative in his re-election year of 1984, while his Democratic challenger Walter Mondale's press was 56 percent positive. As for his second term, the Center found that Mikhail Gorbachev did much better in the U.S. press and that even as he was leaving office, Reagan's press was two to one negative.

Market for 'My Life'
Customers lined up in Washington and New York to buy President Clinton's new autobiography, and the publisher claimed record sales. But bookstores across the country seemed not to be sharing in the demand. The San Francisco Examiner reported only a "smattering of people" in bookstores there, while one Palm Beach, Fla., bookseller complained about what he called a "real slow day." Meanwhile, bookstores in Houston, Virginia Beach, Tucson, San Antonio, Sacramento, Cincinnati and elsewhere reported modest sales of "My Life" — and no lines.

FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report