Bennett Hits Lieberman on Hollywood
By Michael Powell, The Washington Post,
Thursday 21 September 2000, A18
CLEVELAND, Sept. 20 -- Former education secretary William Bennett
today accused Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph I. Lieberman
of soft-pedaling cultural criticism in pursuit of Hollywood dollars.
"I'm saddened that my friend Senator Lieberman's powerful, direct
criticism became sotto voce," said Bennett, a frequent ally with
Lieberman on cultural issues. Bennett said in a statement that he is
reconsidering his praise of Vice President Gore for selecting
Lieberman as a running mate.
"Recent events have caused me to re-evaluate my opinion."
The Connecticut senator expressed surprise at the criticism, noting
that only a week ago he went before a Senate committee and laced into
the entertainment elite for marketing adult content to children.
He suggested that perhaps Bennett had been pressured into making the
comments: "I wonder whether this is a sign of a campaign that's
faltering or kind of anxiously trying to regain the momentum."
Lieberman told reporters that he and the vice president have
consistently criticized their Hollywood friends. And he suggested the
Republican presidential ticket do the same.
"Part of leadership is being willing to challenge friends and
supporters to do better," Lieberman said. "I'm looking forward
to the day that Dick Cheney and George W. Bush stand up to their
supporters in the oil industry . . . and the NRA."