Confab looks at media’s ‘Mixed Messages’

GOOD MORNING: More than ever before, the nation’s eyes will probably be focused on “The Family Reunion (IV): The Family and the Media” conference at the Tenn. Center for the Performing Arts, Sunday and Monday. Vice President Al Gore moderates, as he has since the initial confab when he was state senator. Thus, this is no rebuttal to any recent political barrages by Bob Dole and/or others, but a long-planned, non-political, non-emotional appraisal and study of the subject — which certainly needs this kind of intelligent meeting of minds. After the vice president’s opening remarks, there will be a showing of a 10 -minute collage, “Mixed Messages,” created by UCLA’s Center for Communications Policy director Jeffrey Cole. He told me the clips from TV and movies will include everything from moments on “Roseanne,””I Love Lucy” and “The Cosby Show, ” to “True Lies,””Silence of the Lambs” and “Natural Born Killers.””It will be balanced,” Cole assured me. His UCLA Center also monitors TV sex and violence for the four nets. He reminds, “Our aim is to keep government out (of regulating TV)”… Vice President Gore and wife Tipper invited Tom Selleck to be a speaker and he told me, “I’m a parent and an actor. And I’m a First Amendment absolutist — for free speech.” He said he has no problem with the ratings system for motion pictures and adamantly noted “censorship is not the answer.” He added, “Every time this comes up, Hollywood circles the wagons and yells ‘Censorship!’ We should welcome criticism but we shouldn’t let this become a political issue.” Whether Bob Dole’s motives were political, Selleck said, “We’ll find out. You can’t make just one speech (here in Hollywood) about it. The subject has to be addressed. If it’s political I have no time for it,” Selleck added. (He’s a registered Independent.) “We should be held accountable for the choices we make. Calling Hollywood a name is not the answer — debate is.” Before heading east to join the educators, politicos and showbiz execs, Selleck addresses the Youth Citizenship seminar at Pepperdine today, and attends the TV crix tour in a panel on his TNT movie, “Broken Trust,” whose theme is moral dilemma. And, on July 31, Selleck co-hosts a showing of “Broken Trust” for members of Congress. The show preems Aug. 2.

RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH IS BACK in town (at his longtime favorite stand, the BevHills Hotel) and he’s talking several pic projects he’d direct, “Young Hemingway ” and “The Sailmaker.” He’s also talking (by phone) to Steven Spielberg about long-range plans for the “Jurassic Park” sequel in which Attenborough’d wear his acting chapeau again. Attenborough’s co-producer Diana Hawkins is also here from England … Faye Dunaway, now winding her role in “Albino Alligator” following “Dunston Checks In,” is now paged to play “Catherine the Great” for producer Bob Guccione … Edie and Lew Wasserman celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary at Drai’s restaurant with daughter Lynne, grandson Casey, granddaughter Carole, Suzanne and Tommy Gallagher, the Herb Steinbergs, Michael William Jones, Mickey Ziffren and Dr. Rex Kennemer. They were talking plans for the 75th anni of the MPTVFund events next year. At a nearby table, Sherry Lansing and Billy Friedkin were toasting their fourth anni with friends Ann and Barry Munitz — he’s Chancellor for the Cal State U. system. Sherry told the Wassermans, “We only have 55 to go!”… Jill and Brad Grey welcomed their third child and first girl, Emily Tyler … It’s a boy, Nicholas Taylor, for Denise DiNovi and Christopher Taylor … Saryl and Peter Samuelson are parents of daughter Rebecca … Rhea and Buz Kohan are grandparents for the first time thanks to E.A. and David Kohan, who welcomed daughter Olivia May K. … Showbiz attorney Karl Austen and Rebecca Chambers are honeymooning in Italy after their June 25 wedding here.

THE BELLY ROOM BOASTED ROSEANNE — pleez no jokes — Wednesday night at the Comedy Store for her once-a-week pre-Carnegie Hall gig, while the Store’s Original Room featured sets by Richard Pryor and Pauly Shore. Laughing in the audiences were Andrew Clay, Martin Lawrence and Mark Curry … Merv Griffin celebrated his 70th birthday headlining at his Resorts’ Ballroom, leading a 40 -piece band like he did in the days at the Cocoanut Grove here with Freddie Martin. Griffin birthday-gifted himself with a yacht. Among those on hand for Merv’s bow were Griffin’s longtime sidekicks Jack Sheldon and Mort Lindsay. Also there, Pia Zadora with her two children, and Meshulam Riklis paid a surprise visit to watch ex-wife Pia open at Resorts … Leonard Nimoy hosts the Jewish Short Stories from Eastern Europe debuting Sunday on NPR (KCRW in L.A.). Players include Emmy winners Fyvush Finkel and Alan Alda, Oscar winner Walter Matthau and Jerry Stiller …”Clueless” preems tonight at Malibu’s MTV Beach House with an Along Came Mary supper bash on the beach.