Speaking Too Soon?

And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the political grapevine:

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Speaking Too Soon?

One month after touting his leadership team of 34 'great folks behind me' in Iowa, Presidential Candidate and Democratic Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt (search) has now had to take the names of those 34 supporters off his Iowa campaign web site. Seven of them say they never intended to be counted as Gephardt supporters to begin with, and another 11 say they are either undecided or are actively supporting one of Gephardt's rivals. Gephardt's campaign, however, tells the St. Louis Post Dispatch that this many defections is just, 'par for the course.'

Crumbling Confidence

Amid continued accusations that the BBC's war coverage is slanted, a new poll out today reflects a sharp drop in public confidence in the BBC. The poll, conducted by the Mori market research company, shows that while 92 percent of Britons 9 months ago said they trusted the BBC's main news channel, 59 percent now say that about the BBC. London's Guardian, which is no enemy of the BBC , says this is the lowest level of trust ever for the BBC.

Mistaking Millions

Treasury Secretary John Snow (search) got an indignant letter the other day from the top dogs on the Senate Finance Committee, chairman Sen. Charles Grassley (search), R-Iowa and senior Democrat Sen. Max Baucus (search), D-Mont. They demanded an explanation why an IRS program that cost $56 million to collect taxes from offshore tax evaders had produced a mere $750,000. Such tax cheaters, the Senators thundered, were costing the treasury billions. Trouble was the correct amount the program had recovered was not $750,000 but 75 million. The two Senators admitted that the next day but, according to the Washington Post , said they needed to keep working on the matter anyway.

School Daze

From the wonderful world of education, the school superintendent in Lawrence, Massachusetts…who recently put 24 teachers on unpaid administrative leave for failing a Basic English test…has himself now failed a required literacy test... for the third time. Wilfredo Laboy, quoted by the Associated Press, says he failed the 'stupid test' because he wasn't prepared, couldn't concentrate and didn't learn English as his first language. He calls his test results, 'frustrating' and 'emotional.' Meanwhile, the State Education Commissioner says Laboy has done an excellent job as superintendent but 'he's going to have to pass.'

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report