Smithsonian and Philanthropy - Art and Politics

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The Smithsonian--one of America's most beloved public assets--is in the midst of a culture war over private donations that come with strings attached. The New York Times warns that "commercial and corporate influence" threaten "priorities and professionalism," an LA Times columnist is blunter: "the Smithsonian is up for sale." Today, we'll hear that one millionaire donor wants Oprah Winfrey and Stephen Spielberg in the history museum. Natural history buildings will bear the name of a real estate developer who hunts and kills endangered species. Defenders of the Smithsonian's new management say it's all part of the great tradition.
  • Newsmaker: Tony Blair's Labor Party Dominates Elections In the aftermath of yesterday's crushing defeat by Tony Blair's Labor Party, William Hague resigned today as Britain's Conservative leader. It was Blair's second landslide-but it may add up to less than it seems. We talk with David Manasian, Senior Editor at the Economist magazine in London.
  • Reporter's Notebook: LA Councilman Moves Up To National Arts Foundation Joel Wachs is a familiar face in Los Angeles, where he's been a city councilman for 30 years and an unsuccessful candidate in this year's primary race for Mayor. He has not been a public figure nationwide, but that may be about to change as Wachs takes over an arts foundation in New York City-a job that may take him to Washington, too.



Warren Olney