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The Talk Show Campaigns

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

A day after the news that Hillary Clinton will visit “The Ellen Show” comes word that Barack Obama will drop by “The Tyra Banks Show.” It may all be coincidence, but as the Los Angeles Times’ Top of the Ticket points out, it seems like a teeter-totter as each camp tries to equal the other in exposure. Obama sets an Oprah Winfrey fund-raiser for Sept. 8; Clinton sets one with Magic Johnson (a former talk show host) on Sept. 14.

0_61_101106_schwarzenegger_lenoWhat is murky is whether these daytime talk shows will feel obligated in any way to extend invites to other candidates as well, right on down to Mike Gravel. When Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” last year, Democrats filed a complaint when his challenger Phil Angelides was not given equal airtime. But the FCC dismissed the complaint, apparently on the grounds that Leno’s show was exempt from equal time rules because it fell in the category of a news program, interview show or documentary.

But some talk shows save themselves the agony and invite all contenders, anyway. Ironically, this year “The Tonight Show” has been featuring candidates across the board this year, even longshot Tom Vilsack before he dropped out of the race.

Viacom Donates: The media conglom has chipped in $1 million for the construction of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall. They will be the title sponsor of The Dream Concert on Sept. 18 to raise money for the project.

Rupert’s Revelation: Fortune’s Marc Gunther reports on Rupert Murdoch’s climate crusade.

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