CyberAlert -- 08/19/1996 -- Rather & Clinton

Three items today:

1) The Republican Party has been "captured by the extremists" and "Don't you get mad" when the First Lady is criticized, just two of Dan Rather's statements and questions to Bill Clinton for 60 Minutes on Sunday night.

2) For a former Washington Post reporter the Republican convention reminded her of slaughtered Indians and of Reagan's mean policies.

3) Just about everyone in Hollywood showed up at or served as host for President Clinton's 50th birthday bash Sunday night. One major celebrity shouted that "Dole sucks!"

1) Sunday afternoon Dan Rather interviewed President Clinton for that night's 60 Minutes. Dan Rather started out by asking: "Some of your staff members, not by name, have been saying, 'yes the President thinks Bob Dole is a nice person and has been a pretty good leader in some ways, but, say they, he's been captured by the extremists in the Republican Party, the radical part of the Republican Party, including Newt Gingrich. Is that what you think?"

Rather showed Clinton video of criticisms from Bob Dole and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison at the Republican convention. Almost apologetic, Rather noted, "You said your hope is it can be fought out on the issues, but one more thing from the convention, then I'll give you a chance to respond to it. As you must know, whether you watched the convention or not, the Republicans fired a number of shots at the First Lady. Some samples. Former President Bush said, quote, 'Mrs. Bush upheld the honor of the White House, and did it with class and style and caring and love.'....I don't know of anyone in the convention who didn't take that as a difference of the present First Lady and the former First Lady."

After Clinton responded, Rather implored: "Don't you get mad, Mr. President, when this sort of thing happens?"

2) And before you forget the media's animosity toward the Republican convention, here's a portion of a commentary piece in Friday's USA Today by Jill Nelson, a former Washington Post reporter:

"I found it hard not to cringe. I was embarrassed by the specter of everyone's favorite black man, Colin Powell, lecturing us on why he became a Republican and referring to a divine providence that gave us this land.' Tell that to the Native Americans who were slaughtered in the name of 'divine providence.' I felt manipulated, not moved, by Nancy Reagan's tribute to her Ronnie as some sort of caring everyman, considering that under Reagan the rich got richer, the national debt skyrocketed, and working Americans were left holding the bag."

3 ) Sunday night the Democratic Party held a series of birthday parties in New York City and around the country for President Clinton. The Washington Post's Lloyd Grove reported Monday that in addition to emcee Whoopi Goldberg that attending celebrities included Tony Bennett, Carly Simon, Jon Bon Jovi, Aretha Franklin, and James Earl Jones.

Monday's New York Post added these names to the celebrity list: Leslie Nielsen, Tim Conway, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen. The New York Post's Cindy Adams reported: "The party was beamed around the country by satellite so other celebs could get a chance to host a shindig of their very own: In L.A., Nicolas Cage and his wife, Patricia Arquette, played host. In San Francisco it was Michael Keaton, who has never, ever done anything political before. In Baltimore, it was Valerie Harper; in Boston, Judy Collins; in Nashville, L.L. Cool J; in Denver, C.C. Wayans...."

The Washington Post's Grove relayed that at one of the NYC bashes, "Comedian and morning television host Rosie O'Donnell entertained the crowd by shouting, 'Dole sucks!'"

A very inclusionary and tolerant message.