And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine:
Pulling the Plug
Country music star Charlie Daniels has pulled out of a Fourth of July appearance on PBS after the network rejected his song, The Last Fallen Hero, written for the victims of Sept. 11. The lyrics in question? Asked about the incident on FOX News earlier today, Daniels didn't seem mad at PBS for changing his Fourth of July plans. "If they feel that way, that's fine. I'm going down to Atlanta, Ga., where I can do any dad-blame thing I want to on the Fourth of July." The news comes on the heels of country-crooner Toby Keith canceling an ABC Fourth of July appearance after network execs there objected to the defiant lyrics in his song Angry American that read, "You'll be sorry you messed with the U.S. of A, 'cause we'll put a boot in your ass, that's the American way."
Peace Mission to the Subcontinent
Not to be outdone by Jesse Jackson's trip to the Mideast earlier this month, the Rev. Al Sharpton says he's planning a peace mission to India and Pakistan. Sharpton says he's motivated by his hero, Mahatma Gandhi, the late Indian leader who promoted passive resistance to overthrow British rule. Sharpton said, "We cannot sit by and see the threat of nuclear war without all of us trying to do what we can to avert that and remind them of what Ghandi taught the world and that is non-violence."
A Speedy Recovery
And finally it looks like Speedy Gonzalez has outrun his critics. The fastest mouse in Mexico was taken off the Cartoon Network in 1999, after critics complained that Speedy and his band of hard-drinking, lazy Mexican mice-pals projected an offensive stereotype. But diehard Speedy fans complained, lobbying to get him back in the rotation with an online petition and the League of United Latin American Citizens, the nation's oldest Hispanic-American rights organization, joined the movement, calling the network's decision to ban little Speedy, "political correctness run amok." The Cartoon Network says fans can see him roaming the airwaves once again throughout late June and July.