> 3) The
February 27 CyberAlert listed some Hollywood stars
and network executives who stayed overnight at the White House
with Bill Clinton. A couple of articles since then have provided
information how much some of these guests gave to the Democrats.
-- Leslie Moonves, President of CBS Entertainment, maxed out
to the Clinton-Gore campaign, Washington Post reporter Howard
Kurtz wrote on February 27. Moonves gave $1,000 to the campaign
committee and another $5,000 to the Democratic National Committee
-- Kurtz also put a date on Richard Kaplan's overnight stay.
Kaplan, now Executive Producer of special projects for ABC, was
Executive Producer of World News Tonight when he "stayed at the
White House with his wife in the summer of 1993."
So, is there anything wrong with a man in charge of a news
show accepting an invitation from Clinton, whom Kaplan calls a
longtime "friend"? Not as long as you keep it secret. Kurtz
summarized: "Kaplan said his visit did not create an appearance
problem because it was never made public until now. He said his
ties to Clinton had no impact on his work..."
Talk about image over substance. Kaplan's a perfect Clinton
friend: It doesn't matter what you do as long as no one finds out
The March 10 Newsweek listed donation amounts to Clinton-Gore
'96 and the DNC from the more famous overnight guests:
-- Barbra Streisand: $61,000
-- Ted Danson: $1,000
-- Mary Steenburgen: $1,000
-- Richard Dreyfuss: $1,500
-- Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason: $2,000
-- Kate Capshaw: $1,000
Walter Cronkite signed a fundraising direct mail letter
for The Interfaith Alliance (TIA), a group established in 1984 to
counter "religious political extremists." The letter was sent last
week, a March 5 AP dispatch noted. Associated Press reporter Kevin
Galvin explained that Cronkite "singled out the Christian
Coalition's Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed for 'wrapping their harsh
right wing views in the banner of religious faith.'"
Cronkite told Galvin by telephone: "My principal thrust here
is to try to help establish that they do not speak for what I
believe is the majority of Christians in the country."
Galvin reported that in the letter Cronkite praises TIA for
being "as diverse as America" and "standing up to the Christian
The letter urges recipients to give $50 to $500 and asks:
"Will you take a stand? Will you help TIA in saying No to religion
as a political cover? No to Pat Robertson, No to Ralph Reed, No to
It's hardly news that Cronkite is a passionate liberal and
it's not the first time he's lent his name to help raise money for
a liberal cause. In 1988, for instance, he addressed a People for
the American Way banquet. As quoted in the December 5, 1988
Newsweek, Cronkite thundered:
"I know liberalism isn't dead in the country. It simply has,
temporarily we hope, lost its voice...We know that unilateral
action in Grenada and Tripoli was wrong. We know that Star Wars
means uncontrollable escalation of the arms race. We know that the
real threat to democracy is the half of the nation in poverty. We
know that no one should tell a woman she has to bear an unwanted
child...Gawd Almighty, we've got to shout these truths in which we
believe from the housetops..."
In his Interfaith Alliance polemic Cronkite insisted that
while a journalist he often had strong opinions but, "I tried not
to communicate them to my audience." Anyone who has seen his
recent Discovery Channel shows knows he didn't try hard enough.