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Thursday, 14 December, 2000, 12:58 GMT
Hollywood split over Bush
Hollywood hills
Hollywood is not threatened by a Bush administration
Hollywood's industry moguls have approved of George W Bush's electoral victory, but stars such as Barbra Streisand are deeply saddened at the news.

Hollywood's top lobbyist, Jack Valenti, felt confident that a Bush administration "will be as supportive as all other Republican and Democratic administrations have been," according to Variety magazine.

But singer and actress Barbra Streisand told Variety: "It's a very sad occasion, and one that could set a terrible legal precedent.

"Al Gore isn't the only loser. It's democracy and the American people as well.''

Barbra Streisand:
Barbra Streisand: "A very sad occasion"
And film director Rob Reiner, best-known for This is Spinal Tap and When Harry Met Sally, was inconsolable.

"I almost started crying,'' said Reiner during a speech for the Family Resource Center in Washington.

Reiner is a staunch supporter of current Vice-President Al Gore, hosting fundraisers at his home and joining other celebrity supporters during the campaign.

"He was unbelievably graceful, a rock of Gibraltar. We are all devastated," he said.

President-elect George W Bush
Bush: Sizeable donations from entertainment industry
But Valenti, the president of the Motion Picture Association of America, and top studio lobbyists said a Bush victory did not concern them.

Many pressing concerns on violence or copyright could not be broken along party lines, and so a Bush victory did not concern them, they said.

Gore and running mate Senator Joseph Lieberman had warned the movie industry it would have six months to clean up its act over issues such as on-screen violence if the Democrats took the White House.

But Bush has remained virtually silent on the issue.

Al Gore
Al Gore: Conceded defeat
Gore's concession speech on Wednesday confirmed the end of the Democrats' eight-year rule, and also brought the current administration's close relationship with Hollywood to a close.

But since Republicans took control of the US Senate and House of Representatives in 1994, many entertainment players have developed strong bonds with the party, Variety reports.

And the result is that television and music industries are making larger donations to the Republicans.

During this year's election campaign they gave $28m (19.1m) to national candidates, and of that 42% went to Republicans.

The Center for Responsive Politics reports this as an all-time high and says that 10 years ago, only 24% of total contributions from these industries went to Republicans.

Gore supporter
Gore supporters had been holding prayer vigils
A Bush administration was generally welcomed by the television industry.

His party is seen to believe largely in letting the marketplace dominate rather than regulation.

National Cable Television Association president-CEO Robert Sachs told Variety: "There does not seem to be a fervour in Washington to regulate competitive businesses.

"With a Republican administration, there will be an even greater commitment to market solutions."

The magazine also reports that during the past five weeks, cable news networks have reaped record blockbuster ratings from the contested election.

Highest election TV ratings
CNN: 4.27 million
MSNBC: 3.10 million
Fox News: 2.10 million
They were at their highest on Tuesday night from 10-11pm US time, as Americans tuned in for the Supreme Court's decision to stop the recount in the contested state of Florida.

Variety also reports that Bush will have a direct impact on the telecommunications industry when installing new captains at the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission.

Regulations that limit broadcasters' reach to 35% of the national audience and prevent broadcasters from purchasing newspapers "are unlikely to survive an FCC selected by Bush", it says.

Bush advisers also have indicated that they are willing to consider giving broadcasters the right to sell the channels they were given to switch to digital television.

And on other critical issues such as copyright protection and trade, it reports Bush is likely to continue strong support for the entertainment industry.

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See also:

14 Dec 00 | Americas
It's Bush for president - finally
13 Dec 00 | Americas
US Supreme Court: How they ruled
13 Dec 00 | Americas
Analysis: What the ruling means
14 Dec 00 | Americas
Bush to lead a nation divided
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