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There is no wall to tear down, and “Mr. Gorbachev” is not in a position to do anything if there were.

Nevertheless, German media reports have said the White House is taking no chances on Sen. Barack Obama giving a historic speech before Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate during the presidential campaign. Der Spiegel magazine and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper have both written that the German government isn’t enthusiastic, with the latter reporting that the Bush administration has applied behind-the-scenes pressure to scotch such an idea.

Greg Sargent at TPM Election Central noted the following “odd” comment from spokeswoman Dana Perino: “I’m not going to comment on any conversations. We have no view on the locations of candidates’ speeches or events. Our position is that the candidates have to make their own decisions.”

Was pressure brought to bear? “The German government denied this. But the White House didn’t,” Mr. Sargent wrote.

Trust us, infidels

If a government takes American hostages, calls for wiping Israel off the map, executes gays, hosts Holocaust denial conferences and has an apocalyptic president who wants to end the world to bring about the final imam … all that can lead even to lying.

The Little Green Footballs site showed that a photo of a test-firing of four missiles, released last week by Iran’s Islamist government and disseminated in the West by Agence France-Presse, had been altered. Certain sections of the photo were “cloned” and then pasted in elsewhere in the photo to cover up elements of the image that shows something unwanted - like hypothetically, a missile test fire failing.

“At least one of the photographs released today by Iran and published by an unquestioning Western media is a Photoshop fake,” LGF’s Charles Johnson wrote Wednesday. The next day, he wrote, “here’s another one for my collection.”

From AFP, in attention-grabbing all-caps: “Attn - Editors. Corrective refile adding information about digital alteration to image.” The alert then goes on in conventional lettering: “A handout picture released on the news website and public relations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Sepah News, shows an image apparently digitally altered to show four missiles rising into the air instead of three during a test-firing at an undisclosed location … The 2nd Right missile has apparently been added in digital retouch to cover a grounded missile that may have failed during the test.”

The Revolutionary Guards photo made the front page of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune and was the lead image on the New York Times site for a while Wednesday afternoon. The Washington Times receives the AFP photo service but did not run the photo in any form.

LGF commentor “Silhouette” said, “Bad news: our media are still so bias[ed] that they assume anything our government ‘claims’ is a lie, but will take what genocidal [madmen] say without the [slightest] question. Good news: Iran has to use fauxto-fraud to show their military ‘might.’”

Anti-anti-gay

Fred Barnes last week advised Sen. John McCain to shore up the social-conservative base by making a bigger issue of matters related to homosexuality.

On “Fox News Sunday,” the Weekly Standard pundit said, “Barack Obama is for allowing gays in the military … Gay marriage is another one. These are both issues that I think McCain is gonna have to use.”

Conservative blogger Gay Patriot West replied that “the Barnes Option” would not prevent him from voting for the Arizona Republican but would overall be “counterproductive.”

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