Call it 'bribery'


Saying that qualification for public office "is no longer the ability to govern but the ability to raise money"-chiefly to pay for TV time- 60 Minutes creator and Executive Producer Don Hewitt said it is time to do something about it. In Washington to accept the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation First Amendment Leadership Award, he said the marriage of TV and politics began at WBBM-TV Chicago at the first Nixon-Kennedy debate. "I was there. ... [The politicians] married for love; we married for money."

He suggested, though, that, instead of airtime, candidates be given news time "when they do something newsworthy." He also said that, if campaign finance were called by its real name, "bribery," things would change "faster than you can say McCain-Feingold," referring to the campaign-finance-reform bill.