The Democrats didn't spend a lot of time talking about the entertainment industry last week in Los Angeles, but three of the party's most prominent people pointedly mentioned the media.
Early in his acceptance speech, presidential nominee Al Gore said parents have the right to shield their children from offensive material.
"To all the families who are struggling with things that money can't measure, like trying to find a little more time to spend with your children, or protecting your children from entertainment that you think glorifies violence and indecency, I want you to know: I believe we must challenge a culture with too much meanness, and not enough meaning," Gore said.
"And as president, I will stand with you for a goal we all share: to give more power back to the parents, to choose what your own children are exposed to, so you can pass on your family's basic lessons of responsibility and decency. The power should be in your hands. The future should belong to everyone in this land."
On Wednesday, Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Joseph Lieberman mostly left the media-bashing to his one-time partner-in-press-conferences-former Education Secretary William Bennett-while he spent the day preparing his acceptance speech.
In a brief reference to the entertainment industry, Lieberman said: "No parent in America should be forced to compete with popular culture," and went on to praise presidential nominee Al Gore, while taking shots at the Republican Party.
And in President Clinton and the First Lady's Monday night speeches, only Hillary had anything to say about the issue.
"Why can't all of us, including the media, make sure that parents have control over what their children see on TV, in movies and in video games?" asked Rodham Clinton in a short talk that focused on promoting Al Gore.
But Hollywood provided a glittering backdrop for the convention. The Clintons on Monday night attended a party for approximately 10,000 on a Paramount Studios back lot complete with roller coaster. Tuesday night News Corp. and other companies hosted "Dodger Day" at Dodger Stadium. Cast members of NBC's West Wing fraternized with staff members of the real West Wing on the Warner Bros. lot on Sunday night.
Telecommunications companies were among those who put on a huge Mardi Gras celebration for Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana, also on the Paramount Studios back lot.
Several Hollywood stars and executives-including Barbra Streisand, syndication and FOX Family executive Haim Saban and DreamWorks founder David Geffen-held lavish parties in their mansions, while other companies and politicos hosted multitudinous receptions in Staples Center lounges.
The week finished with the "Nomination Celebration" concert at the Shrine Auditorium, where the omnipresent Streisand, Enrique Iglesias, Boys II Men and Babyface performed and Whoopi Goldberg emceed. Ticket prices ranged from $150 to $20,000, reported the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, and the event was expected to raise $2 million for the Democratic National Committee.
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