Slowly Keeping a Promise

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

A Matter of Form

Four months after he promised to release all his military records by signing what's known as "Form 180," Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (search) now says, "I have signed it." But when asked by journalists when he did so and when his records would be made public, Kerry declined to answer.

Well, a Kerry spokesman has filled in some of the blanks, telling The Boston Globe that Kerry signed the form last Friday, but has yet to send it in to the Navy. The spokesman says that's "the next step," insisting "[It] will happen in the next few days. The Navy will then send out the records."

Now Says He Dropped The Ball

Nearly a week after Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff (search), who was responsible for that now-retracted story on alleged Koran desecration at Guantanamo Bay, said no one did anything wrong, he now says he dropped the ball by failing to properly corroborate his anonymous source. And, in an interview with PBS' Charlie Rose (search), Isikoff says the violence in Muslim countries after his report was "terrible," adding, "Even if it was just a little bit that we contributed to the violence ... that was awful."

Isikoff also says, "I think it has clearly done some temporary damage [to Newsweek]. It's thrown us off our game for a little bit." But, he says, "I think this will end up being a blip."

A ‘Repressive Regime’?

A coalition of mainstream media outlets — including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the AP, and CNN — says Maryland Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich's (search) order barring state employees from speaking to two Baltimore Sun reporters is "characteristic of repressive regimes."

A U.S. District Court Judge ruled in February that reporters have no constitutional right to have government officials talk to them, and that The Sun was "seeking special access beyond what is granted to the general public." But, in an amicus brief supporting an appeal by The Sun, the coalition of news outlets accuses Ehrlich of "seek[ing] to coerce journalists into providing coverage that is pleasing to him," adding, "This kind of official control of the press ... is alien to nations founded on principles of free speech and free press. It is abhorrent to our Constitution."

A Sign of Insensitivity?

Muslims in Forest City, North Carolina, are outraged after a local Baptist church put up a sign saying, "The Koran (search) needs to be flushed." The church pastor is making no apologies, telling the Daily Courier newspaper: "it is a statement supporting the word of God ... [and] any other religious book that does not teach Christ as savior ... is wrong." Muslims, however, insist the sign is threatening and inconsiderate, with one local Muslim saying, "That sign doesn't really reflect what I think this country is about."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report