Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Car Carrying Member of Gas Guzzlers?
After gathering at a Capitol Hill gas station yesterday to condemn President Bush for rising gas prices — some Democratic senators hopped into cars for the one-block trip back to their offices. According to The Washington Post, California's Barbara Boxer got into a Chrysler LHS, and New York's Chuck Schumer hopped into a Hyundai Elantra.
Similarly after voting on the Senate floor yesterday — Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Evan Bayh of Indiana, and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts all got into cars for the trip back to their offices — across the street.
And, after some of the same Senate votes, Republicans John Sununu of New Hampshire, Richard Lugar of Indiana and Jim DeMint of South Carolina used their cars for the same trip. Indeed, the Post found after a quick survey of the cars, that the Democrats got a bit better mileage than the GOP vehicles.
Can't Handle FOX News?
One day after Tony Snow of FOX News was announced as the president's new press secretary, White House correspondents — led by Jim Vandehei of The Washington Post — demanded that the TVs in the press compartment of Air Force One be changed from FOX News to CNN.
At a briefing with outgoing spokesman Scott McClellan, one reporter insisted, "There's been requests ... to turn these TVs onto a station other than Fox, and ... those have been denied." One wondered, "Is there a White House policy that all government TVs have to be tuned to FOX?"
And one insisted, "[I'm] officially complaining about it."
McClellan denied any such policy, and said the matter had never been brought to his attention before. But a short time later, he announced the change had been made.
Greatest Threat to Journalists?
New York Times executive editor Bill Keller is urging journalists to wake up to what he says is now one of their greatest threats: The Bush White House. In an e-mail to National Journal, Keller says:
"I'm not sure journalists fully appreciate the threat confronting us ... Some officials in this administration ... seem to have a special animus towards reporters doing their jobs. There's sometimes a vindictive tone in [the] way they talk about dragging reporters before grand juries and in the hints that reporters who look too hard into the public's business risk being branded traitors."
Keller concludes: "Some days it sounds like the administration is declaring war at home on the values they profess to be promoting abroad."
Professor Encouraged Vandalism
Remember the Northern Kentucky University professor we told you about last week — who encouraged her students to vandalize an anti-abortion display on campus, by uprooting hundreds of crosses from the ground? Well, professor Sally Jacobsen and six students have now been charged, with criminal mischief and theft by unlawful taking. Also, Jacobsen has been put on leave pending her retirement at the end of the semester.
— FOX News' Mike Levine contributed to this report.