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Political Panorama: The Weekend


Topmast_hillary_1Hillary Adds a Trip: In addition to meetings with fund raisers on Feb. 22 and a gala event on March 24, Hillary Clinton has added another visit to L.A.’s donor pool on March 2. She’ll be at a dinner at the home of Haim Saban, one of her key supporters, to meet with fund raisers who have pledged to raise $25,000 or more at the gala later in the month. Clinton gathered high-dollar fund-raisers, those who commit to collect $250,000 or more this year, at her home Tuesday night and followed that up Wednesday with a meeting at a Washington, D.C. hotel will 200 or so Hillraisers, who commit to bundling $25,000 in contributions. Among those who winged it to D.C. from Los Angeles were Saban, Los Angeles Music Center chairman John Emerson; political consultant Chad Griffin, investment banker Sim Farar, fund-raising consultant Noah Mamet and music executive Clarence Avant.

Foley Folly?: The Entertainment Industries Councilc held its Prism Awards in Washington on Wednesday and more than a few people noticed Mark Foley’s picture appearing all throughout promotional literature. Foley, who chaired the House Entertainment Industry Task Force before he resigned in scandal last October, attended the event a year earlier. The awards are given for the accurate depiction of drug, alcohol and tobacco addiction. An EIC spokesman says it was “not a big deal,” but Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) told the Washington Examiner, “Last year I was standing here next to Mark Foley. And you all know how that worked out.”

More Debates: Add Tavis Smiley and PBS to the growing list of candidate forums. The Dems meet June 28 at Howard University in Washington, and the Republicans go to Baltimore on Sept. 27 at Morgan State University. Smiley also has partnered with Anschutz Entertainment Group for a museum exhibit, day of “national discourse” and an awards show honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Cronkite Bemoans “Political Theater”: Addressing Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Walter Cronkite didn’t exactly inspire optimism to the hearts of the aspiring reporters. He says that media consolidation has resulted in fewer jobs for journalists, and as broadcasters cut budgets for news, “we’re all left with a sound-bite culture that turns political campaigns into political theater.” FCC commissioner Michael Copps echoed Cronkite’s warnings about media consolidation, saying that it has resulted in less local coverage. Said Cronkite, “It’s not just the journalist’s job at risk here. It’s American democracy. It’s freedom.”

Dodd Donors: Barack, Hillary and Edwards get all the attention, but the Hartford Courant reports that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) drew a healthy list of entertainment donors in the last quarter of 2006, including Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Alec Baldwin, Jimmy Buffett, Elisabeth Shue and a smattering of “Saturday Night Live” alumni. Others included Ron Meyer, Bob Iger, Tom Werner and Bernie Brillstein. Also noted: Dodd had a cameo in the 1993 movie “Dave.”

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