Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
After strong criticism from Jewish organizations, veteran singer Harry Belafonte has (sort of) retracted his controversial comments comparing African-American officials working in the Bush administration, to Jews who worked for Hitler. He said, "Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value."
Now, Belafonte says he "regret[s] the sentence was not structured more accurately," noting that in fact "Jews weren't 'high up." But, he told the Jerusalem Post, that "[some] did have a role ... in the demise and brutal treatment of the Jewish people," adding that current White House policies are — "very much similar to things that were done when Hitler was on the rise."
The NCAA now says it's reconsidering its decision to ban what it calls "hostile or abusive" mascots, including the Florida State University Seminoles, from post-season tournaments. The NCAA says it believed the Seminole Nation in Oklahoma opposed the use of the Seminole image, after receiving letters from David Narcomey, a member of the group's council.
But it turns out Narcomey was not authorized to speak for Oklahoma's Seminole Nation, which now accuses him of "misrepresenting" its views. In fact, according to the St. Petersburg Times, a resolution introduced by Narcomey to condemn the mascot was defeated last month by a vote of 18 to 2.
PETA in the News
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which often accuses others of being insensitive to animals, is now being accused of being insensitive itself, after launching a national tour called, "Are Animals the New Slaves?" The tour in New Haven, Connecticut earlier this week features giant photographs of mostly black Americans being tortured, sold and killed, next to pictures of animals being tortured, sold and killed.
One black resident of New Haven called it "the most racist thing I've ever seen [around here]." Another said, "You can't compare me to a freaking cow." PETA is standing by its display, which is now on tour.
Speaking of PETA, the organization is condemning a sushi fundraiser for the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, which is to be held at the aquarium. PETA says serving sushi in the presence of live fish is just wrong, insisting, "That's like serving poodle burgers at a dog show." An aquarium spokeswoman defends the fundraiser, telling the Tampa Tribune that it brings in lots of people, and "more people equals more education."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report