07/28/2007 08:01 am ET Updated May 25, 2011


It has only been in the last few years that I realize that there probably is no tooth fairy, and that Santa Klaus had retired to Miami Beach many years ago, given up his wife, and was "shaking up" in a retirement home with a new lady.

I have also realized that Attorney General Gonzales is an enigma to me in that he cannot be nearly as stupid as he comes across, and I hope to be around if and when the truth comes out about his actions in support of the President. These "administration" guys are indeed many things, but high up on the list is their disingenuousness, duplicity, and dishonesty.

At one time, I believed that all motion picture and television companies were honest, and behaved ethically and held the interests of their shareholders, producers and employees above their own self interest. What I am now going to relate has not one teeny weenie thing to do with what I plan on writing about here, however I somehow feel compelled to do a big time digression.
About thirty years ago, the COO of Columbia Pictures, without informing me, instructed one of my salesmen to accept a deal that I had rejected knowing that it could be improved in a few weeks by about four million dollars. I had been responsible for Television sales for the company at that time for about ten years, but alas, he was my "boss."

The COO asserted that he needed the income to meet our "quarterly budget" and that no division reporting to him would EVER fail to meet its numbers. The COO was mortified when I told him that most of the income he wanted to report belonged to our producer, and his desire to meet HIS OWN needs cost the producer almost three million dollars, and us the balance, and that the producer was aware of what we were doing, and would probably sue us.

I will now return to the point of the piece, and try to have no further digressions, not an easy thing for me to do.

I do know at least a little about television having worked in that business for over 50 years, and I believe that ALL publicity is good for you, even if they do not "spell your name right." Selling soap, movies, television, and politicians is all the same. It is about exposure, exposure, exposure. Of course it is a better thing if you happen to be on the "right" side of an issue, but it matters little in the long run.

Now at last, I am prepared to come to the point. The "battle" for the Democratic nomination for the presidency is being contested by a host of competitors. Most of them suffer from a lack of recognition, in addition to a few other things. For most of them it is a "who are these guys?"
It has been reported over and over again that there is a big deal conflict between Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. It is purportedly turning ugly, with Clinton criticizing Obama as inexperienced on national security and Obama responding as to what he called a "fabricated controversy." The two senators are continuing am argument that started during the CNN You Tube debate.

The "conflict" started Monday at the CNN/YouTube debate, in which a viewer asked candidates if they would be willing to meet with leaders of Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea -- whom the United States (Or our beloved President) has called "rogue leaders."

Both campaigns issued memorandums the next day highlighting talking points on the exchange and criticizing the other. That was followed by dueling interviews carried by Iowa's Quad-City Times, among so many other places.

It was very perceptive of Charles Kupchan, associated with the Council on Foreign Relations, when he said that Obama and Clinton were essentially saying the same thing, which is that dialogue is important. "Talking face to face with a head of state, even if that state is a 'rogue' nation, doesn't mean that you give any ground," Kupchan said. "It is simply a way of opening the corridors of communication."
As a "television studio executive," my first impression when anything like this happens is to suspect that "something fishy, contrived, or funny is going on.
Would it be inconceivable to think that these two candidates realize the value of the publicity generated by this "non controversial controversy" that allows them both to appear day after day defending their essentially similar positions.

If you are old enough to remember, this is like Mohammad Ali in one of his pre fight promotional "rants." He would do "silly stuff" and get a huge amount of free publicity.

Obama and Clinton know that the "enemy" of all Democrats is our President George W Bush and his fellow conspirators and violators of our Constitution, and NOT EACH OTHER.

It was in the early seventies that I met an Australian Senator. He made a series of speeches condemning Television, and received huge press coverage. When I asked him if he was sincere about all of the things he said, and he replied "Norman, look at all of the coverage and publicity I received. That is how I get ahead politically."

It would be great if the Democratic candidates would limit themselves to criticizing Bush and not one another but it serves them to do exactly what they are doing.

Norman Horowitz
One Time Seller of Starsky and Hutch