Dispatches > The Buzz

Ups & Downs of the Week

Issue: "Star makers, heartbreakers," Sept. 2, 2000

KISSING DEMOCRATS: Pols once gained votes by kissing babies; we've come to a sorry, post-Clinton time when public wife-kissing is crucial. The three-second Gore liplock at the Democrat convention seems to be helping him in the polls, and the Democrats haven't even started their onslaught of "Don't Stop Kissing Until Tomorrow" ads. KISSING REPUBLICANS: Even though Al Gore is the man from Music City, most country musicians are firmly in the GOP camp. Some of Nashville's biggest acts-Brooks & Dunn, Wynonna Judd, Hank Williams Jr., Loretta Lynn, Travis Tritt, Lorrie Morgan, and the Oak Ridge Boys-are lining up with GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush. SURVIVOR: The 13-week pseudo-reality TV show, ridiculed by critics until it zoomed to No. 1 in the ratings, concluded on Aug. 23 with an estimated 51 million viewers tuning in. The series received enormous publicity, including a Newsweek cover story. The winner of $1 million (for not being voted off the island) was Rich, a 39-year-old corporate trainer and homosexual who-as the Austin American-Statesman put it-"pranced around Pulau Tiga buck naked." BILL CLINTON'S PUBLIC PROFILE: USA Today reported that President Clinton canceled a PR trip to Atlanta and a Rose Garden ceremony to mark the fourth anniversary of the signing into law of welfare reform. The reason? To keep the attention-hungry president from stealing the spotlight. Or as White House spokesman Jake Siewert put it, "So the Gore people have an open field between now and Labor Day."

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