The latest from the Political Grapevine:
USA Today: Just Because CBS Did
USA Today has been aggressive in recent coverage of CBS News and those discredited documents. But the paper has published nothing on its own initial handling of the story, which seems to have involved even less checking than CBS did.
The morning after CBS first reported those documents, USA Today, which had them as well, published a story treating them as real and wondered why they had not come out previously since the White House had promised to release everything.
A USA Today spokesman explained the paper had gotten the documents after CBS had aired them and was only reporting them because CBS had. He did acknowledge that USA Today obtained the papers, as did CBS, from longtime Bush antagonist Bill Burkett.
Diana Kerry, in an interview with the newspaper the Australian, was asked if she thought supporting the Bush administration on Iraq had increased the terrorist threat to Australians. She replied, "The most recent attack was on the Australian embassy in Jakarta, I would have to say that."
She also cited the Bali bombing as evidence of increased danger to Australians, though that happened months before the Iraq war.
Moore's Take on Kerry
Liberal activist and filmmaker Michael Moore (search), who has been pushing for the defeat of President Bush, says John Kerry is a, "lousy candidate" and the Democratic Party is, "a bunch of crybabies ... [and] so pathetic."
Moore, in an open online letter to Democrats, also says, "any of us would have run a better, smarter ... campaign, ... but we are not running for president, Kerry is." So, he says, "put away your hankies ... quit complaining and work with what we have."
Fundraising for Recount Efforts
The Kerry-Edwards campaign is already urging supporters to donate money now to, "Help us get a head start funding our recount efforts."
In an email to supporters, campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill (search) says the Gore campaign was outraised in the Florida recount by four to one and, "We can never again be outspent 4-to-1 in such a critical situation," adding, "I urge you to help us raise the maximum for [legal costs]. That way, we can spend our entire general election budget on the things that matter the most."
– FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report