Dean Not Backing Off

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Just days after Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Barney Frank denounced Democratic National chairman Howard Dean as "out of line" for saying House Majority Leader Tom Delay "ought to go back to Houston where he can serve his jail sentence," Dean is refusing to back off. In an interview with the Arizona Republic, Dean insisted, "There's corruption at the highest level of the Republican Party, and they're going to have to face up to that one of these days, because the law is closing in on Tom Delay."

Dean then called Delay "guilty" of violating House ethics rules, and accused him of "manipulat[ing]" elections in Texas.

Membership Made Him So?

One of University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill's main claims to Native American heritage is the associate membership the Keetoowah Band Indians gave him in the early 1990s.

But the Oklahoma-based Indian tribe now says that membership doesn't mean very much, insisting, "[we] would like to make it clear that Mr. Churchill is NOT a member of the Keetoowah Band and was only given an honorary 'associate membership' ... because he could not prove any Cherokee ancestry."

In a statement posted on its Web site, the tribe adds, "[Mr. Churchill's] past, present and future claims or assertions of Keetoowah 'enrollment,' written or spoken, ... are deemed fraudulent by the United Keetoowah Band."

A Rather New Position?

Dan Rather has another new job Wednesday. After stepping down as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" in March, Rather was a regular correspondent on "60 Minutes" Wednesday — the show that, when it was known as "60 Minutes II," ran the ill-fated report on President Bush's National Guard Service.

But CBS has now canceled that show. Executives insist the decision was based on poor ratings, and "not even slightly" on the discredited report. Rather will now contribute stories to the Sunday edition of "60 Minutes."

No Evidence Anybody Did Anything Wrong?

Newsweek magazine appears to believe that while it got the story on Koran desecration wrong, the mistake came about by some miraculous process, in which no one actually did anything wrong.

Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker tells The Washington Post "You can be professional in your reporting and still make mistakes. Everyone here did the right thing." And Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff, who was responsible for the information, tells Newsday, "I believe Newsweek has been clear up the line that they don't see any evidence that anybody, much less me, did anything wrong."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report