McCain's Hollywood ties (and an arrest)

Sen. John McCain "has been relatively aggressive when it comes to tapping into the pool of Hollywood donors who, like their counterparts on the Democratic side, often give over concerns on larger issues like the war in Iraq and national security rather than because of entertainment industry-related issues," say Variety's Ted Johnson and William Triplett.

By contrast, President Bush has all but shunned the business, save for a brief period after 9/11 when top industry brass met with Karl Rove to discuss what they could do together to promote American interests. But the effort was short-lived.

McCain's candidacy has activated a new sense of visibility among Hollywood Republicans, who last week held a fund-raiser for the candidate at the Beverly Hilton, drawing such notables as Robert Duvall, James Caan, Jon Voight, Dean Cain, Patricia Heaton, Lionel Chetwynd and Gary Sinise.

If elected, McCain is expected to tap such contacts, as well as those on the other side of the aisle. McCain taped a special message for close friend Warren Beatty when the longtime liberal Democrat was feted in June by the American Film Institute.

There may have to be a cooling off period should McCain win, after a campaign that already has seen his campaign make an indirect swipe at Hollywood by attacking his opponent's celebrity. And there will also be plenty of crushed Obama supporters around.

Through the end of July, Obama raised $4.8 million from the entertainment industry to McCain's $889,259, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Story. Johnson also blogs that he was arrested at the latest demonstration in St. Paul, along with other media reporters:

I'm a little embarrassed for not being able to recognize when it is time to leave, as I am sure journalists who are more experienced at these things can sense. I'm also a bit miffed, as I was covering the protest as a credentialed member of the media, and not a participant, a fact apparently lost by authorities. I still do not have my camera, which was seized at the scene.

It was chaotic, and I simply can't judge whether the police were in the right or protesters were in the wrong. As is the case in these situations, there were conflicting reports. But I do want my camera back, and I now have a misdemeanor citation of unlawful assembly.

What I can say is I never heard any kind of call to disburse or face arrest, either on any of the streets or on the Marion Street Bridge. There was just an announcement that we were all arrested.

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