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Rudy Scrutiny

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Rudy Giuliani said on Charlie Rose last night, “The people in this country have a right to find out, 1000%, who I am.” In other words, the press scrutiny is welcome, warts and all and, presumably, even stories about his wife. His statement came just as the New York Times was giving him an extra dose of scrutiny: for his favorable press coverage on Fox. On Wednesday afternoon, They posted a story on Giuliani’s close relationship with Fox News’ Roger Aisles. Aisles was a consultant to Giuliani’s 1989 mayoral campaign.

Giuliani has logged more time on the channel than any other network, and the Times notes that “the relationship between Mr. Ailes and Mr. Giuliani is of the sort that led Mr. Ailes to grouse about CNN during the Clinton administration. Rick Kaplan, the president of CNN at the time, and President Clinton were established friends. Mr. Ailes, asserting the cable channel’s coverage of the president was altogether too warm, called it the “Clinton News Network.” The piece also points to Giuliani’s intervention in a 1996 dispute in which Time Warner refused to let the nascent Fox News on its Manhattan cable system. Apparently it soured a relationship Giuliani had with Time Warner’s Dick Parsons.

YearlyKos: And speaking of Fox, the network will be credentialed to cover the YearlyKos convention, even though the event has been under attack by Bill O’Reilly. The annual gathering of liberal and progressive bloggers in Chicago, led by the website DailyKos.com, is highlighted by the Saturday appearance of the Democratic field of contenders.  There had been some buzz about whether  Fox  would get a pass, but event spokeswoman Mary Rickles says that they will. “We believe in an open forum.” Among the sponsors of the convention is Warner Independent Pictures,  which on Friday is screening Leonard DiCaprio’s “The 11th Hour,” the documnentary “The Chicago 10” and the Iraq-themed “In the Valley of Elah,” directed by Paul Haggis.

HRC Debate: Warning signs that next week’s forum won’t be a cakewalk? Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and lesbian Task Force, was pretty downbeat on the field of presidential candidates. He called on Clinton, Edwards and Obama to stop “parsing their support” of gay issues, citing the lack of bold statements like Bill Clinton did in 1992. He said, “I have a vision for America and you are part of it.” Foreman, however, is not involved in next week’s forum; the Human Rights Campaign is. But his timing in releasing the letter surely was judicious.

Chavez Praises Penn: As Sean Penn visited the country, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez praised the actor for speaking out on the war in Iraq. He called the actor “well-informed about what is happening in the United States and the world, in spite of being in Hollywood.” The two are expected to meet this week. 

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