Scott McClellan's Choice Words for Former Colleagues' Tell-All Books

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Critics Corner

When the departed Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill co-wrote an unflattering book about his tenure in the Bush administration, the White House spokesman said of the book: "It appears to be more about trying to justify personal views and opinions than it does about looking at the results that we are achieving on behalf of the American people."

And when former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke also published an unflattering book on the Bush White House, the press secretary said: "Why, all of a sudden, if he had all these grave concerns, did he not raise these sooner? This is one-and-a-half years after he left the administration. And now, all of a sudden, he's raising these grave concerns that he claims he had."

The press spokesman who uttered both those comments about those tell-all books was none other than Scott McClellan, who has now written such a book himself.

Mission Accomplished

It has been reported that Iraqi forces were responsible for suppressing Shiite violence during a recent operation in the southern city of Basra. But that news seems to have been lost on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In an interview with the The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board, Pelosi says the military surge did not accomplish its goal and credits Iran with ending the violence in Basra.

"Some of the success of the Surge is that the goodwill of the Iranians — they decided in Basra when the fighting would end. They negotiated that cessation of hostilities — the Iranians."

In fact that cease-fire did not hold and after it broke down, Iraqi forces, with some U.S. assistance, succeeded in driving the Shiite militias which had dominated Basra out of the city or underground.

Media Watch

An analysis of cable news coverage of the presidential election during the first three months of the year indicates FOX News dealt with the three major contenders most equally — with CNN and MSNBC both giving the Democratic candidates far more coverage than the Republican.

But what may surprise you are some of the conclusions in the report by The Project for Excellence in Journalism — a non-partisan research group:

"FOX News was the harshest of the three channels on the presumptive Republican nominee."

FOX News was also said to be more positive in its portrayal of Obama's major personal narrative than either McCain's or Clinton's. And... "FOX News did offer more positive than negative assertions about Clinton."

Bucking Tradition

The administrators of Anglia Ruskin University outside London are asking graduating students not to throw their mortar board hats into the air when celebrating — because they might hurt someone.

A statement on its Web site said: "This not only causes damage to the hats, but it can also cause injury if the corner of the hat hits the graduate or others who may be nearby."

As you can imagine, such a warning has inspired ridicule far and wide. So a new statement on the Web site says that the school has not "banned" hat throwing, but says one student had to be hospitalized after being hit with a hat several years ago.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.