That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
In the wake of Roger Ailes’ op-ed charging that publishers are Bush haters, Slate’s Jack Shafer wonders what that means about Rupert Murdoch. His HarperCollins subsidiary has published several anti-Bush tomes (and even a John Edwards book).
Rob’s Reel: Rob Reiner debuted a new video on HillaryClinton.com, where riffs on overbearing directors by trying to instruct campaign volunteers. It’s amusing — and it comes just a couple weeks after he gave Clinton his endorsement.
Culture Wars: With an election year looming, is Washington once again taking its aim at entertainment? “The old saying goes that the only things certain in life are death and taxes,” the Creative Coalition declared late last week. “To these add one: Washington blaming the American entertainment industry for the coarsening of American culture.”
The Creative Coalition cited the recent House subcommittee hearing on hip hop lyrics, in which music moguls and artists defended lyrics and labeling systems as lawmakers bemoaned stereotypes and degrading images in the music.
While the Coalition was encouraged by the fact that “by and large, committee members called for self-restraint rather than the heavy hand of government,” they express concern over legislation in the House and the Senate that would give the FCC power to levy heavy fines on even single offensive words, i.e. “fleeting expletives.”
Bartlett Bite: Former White House counselor Dan Bartlett had some pretty biting comments about Fred Thompson — and other GOP candidates — in a recent speech before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. From the Washington Post: “Thompson, Bartlett said, was the ‘biggest dud’ because he peaked last spring when he first started talking about running and since then has yet to articulate a compelling vision for why he is running. ‘The biggest liability was whether he had the fire in the belly to run for office in the first place and be president,’ Bartlett said. ‘So what does he do? He waits four months, fires a bunch of staff, has a big staff turnover, has a lot of backbiting, comes out with his big campaign launch and gives a very incoherent and not very concise stump speech for why he’s running for president.’
Bartlett held out little hope that Thompson could win the nomination. ‘Unless they really find a way to crystallize his message for why he’s different than the other candidates, why people should take a second look now, I don’t feel very good that Fred Thompson’s going to be the candidate for my party,’ he said.”
Hillary’s Birthday: In addition to Rob and Michele Reiner’s fund-raiser, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is lining up another event for the senator’s 60th birthday: Elvis Costello will perform on Oct. 25 at New York’s Beacon Theatre. The campaign is using the opportunity for fund-raising, as it has formed a “Hillary’s 60th Birthday Committee.”