That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
Fox’s “Family Guy” on Sunday linked the McCain campaign to Nazis — naturally stirring the folks over at sister News Corp. entity Fox News, which was quick to point out that the show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane, is an Obama supporter who even spoke at a recent rally in Ohio. A rep for the show called it “an equal opportunity offender.”
Obama’s Team: Jeffrey Ressner of the Politico looks at one of the bedrocks of Barack Obama’s fund-raising operation: California. He cites Obama’s team, finance consultants Jeremy Bernard and Rufus Gifford, and Southern California co-chairs Nicole Avant and Charles Rivkin. “In addition, Obama has a strong following among the entertainment community, with such studio execs as Michael Lynton, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Tom Rothman serving as big-money bundlers, in addition to William Morris Agency chief Jim Wiatt, director James Mangold, political consultant Andy Spahn, and producers Lawrence Bender, Paula Weinstein and Mike Medavoy.”
Buffett’s Night: Adding to the haul was an event for Barack Obama at the Century Plaza featuring Warren Buffett. More than $1 million was raised from a dinner for about 60 people and a roundtable with the investment guru that drew about 500. Among those there: Barbra Streisand. Those I talked to were particularly impressed by Buffett’s humility and down-to-earth wisdom. He arrived, by the way, not in a Limousine but a Volvo compact.
Palin and Fey: Lorne Michaels answers the question of why Sarah Palin and Tina Fey didn’t share much screen time on last weekend’s “Saturday Night Live.” He tells Entertainment Weekly, “Any dialogue would’ve been a letdown. That’s not to say that if they talked as themselves it would’ve been a letdown. When someone’s doing somebody’s voice exactly, it’s an impression. So their talking wouldn’t have had the same power as them passing each other by. I thought it was the most powerful way [to do the opening skit].”
Michaels insists they talked off camera, too. “They talked. You’d have to ask them how it went. There was no kicking and screaming. We know how to behave.”
Signs that Fey is getting on Palin’s nerves? People magazine asks Palin in an interview about Fey’s portrayal of her as “bubble-headed.” “That’s funny. I play her bubble headed too when I imitate her,” Palin bites back.
Rumors are flying that Barack Obama will appear on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.
Shopping Spree: The Politico reports that the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 for Palin’s fashion — clothes and beauty. The McCain campaign says the clothes will eventually be donated to charity. But one notable expense was a $75,000 shopping trip to Nieman Marcus in Minneapolis. Surely that is the most activity that that Nieman’s had all month — it’s not exactly jammed in most parts of the year.
The Celebrity Effect, Part One: A Washington State University study suggests that there is value to the flood of celebrity get-out-the-vote pitches in recent weeks. From the AP: The survey found that get-out-the-vote pitches by celebrities in the 2004 election cycle helped lead to an 11 percent increase in voting by people between the ages of 18-24, compared to the 2000 election.
“It suggests that we can make use of celebrity culture to get students engaged,” said Erica Austin, a co-author of the study and dean of the school. “They want to be like celebrities.”
The research centered on Beyonce Knowles, Christina Aquilera and P. Diddy in “get-out-the-vote” campaigns during the 2004 presidential campaign.
The Celebrity Effect, Part Two: There’s good reason Barack Obama broke from his campaign schedule yesterday to tape an appearance on “The Ellen Show.” The Syndicated Network Television Assn. says that new research shows she is the second most trustworthy syndicated daytime talk show host behind Oprah and the third most influential daytime talk host behind Oprah and Dr. Phil. Cable talk show host Chris Matthews scored just above DeGeneres in the influential index.
Ellen on Sarah Palin: Ellen DeGeneres offers a response to Palin’s support of a federal ban on same-sex marriage.