Copyright 1995 The Washington Post
The Washington Post
May 02, 1995, Tuesday, Final Edition
SECTION: STYLE; Pg. C03
LENGTH: 882 words
HEADLINE: The Reliable Source
BYLINE: Lois Romano
A New Forum for Elders
If there was any chance that Joycelyn Elders would limp quietly back to Arkansas in defeat, the former surgeon general puts that thought to bed in, of all places, Playboy.
In a wide-ranging interview in the June issue, which will appear on newsstands next week, the outspoken woman who sent some conservatives into a tizzy with her remarks on masturbation takes aim at the religious right in her familiar take-no-prisoners style.
"They are not the Christians I know about. They are the Jerry Falwell-Pat Robertson Christians," she says of the people she disdainfully refers to as the "religious non-Christian right." "They pay homage to religious economists. . . . People who use religion to get money from people who don't know better."
She doesn't mince words when it comes to others like Newt Gingrich, saying of the House speaker, "He's only concerned about building him." She calls Clarence Thomas "an Uncle Tom" and Jesse Helms a "typical white, Southern, male bigot."
It was just this bluntness, coupled with the infamous comment that masturbation is "part of something that perhaps should be taught," that prompted President Clinton to demand her resignation in December. Despite reports to the contrary, Elders insists she got no earlier warnings from Chief of Staff Leon Panetta. "I never talked with Mr. Panetta but once in my life: when he called and asked me to resign. There was this idea that I had been taken to the woodshed and been warned. But he never talked with me."
Elders, who's known Clinton since his Arkansas governor days, professes no ill will toward the president. And she is categorically unapologetic about her views on masturbation: "We've been taught for a long time that you'll go blind, you'll go crazy. . . . I say: Teach children the facts and not the lies we've been espousing."
Condos in this apparently well-located Pennsylvania Avenue building have recently been sold to Rep. Bob Torricelli of New Jersey (top) and Sen. Paul Coverdell of Georgia, for $ 177,900 and $ 158,818, respectively. We hope Bob's is bigger for the extra 19 G's.
We've Heard That . . .
* As further proof that Saturday's White House Correspondents Association dinner fell a bit flat, Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter fled his own post-dinner party to have a drink with ballerina Heather Watts at the Jefferson Hotel.
* In their mutual suck-up Saturday night at the dinner, presidential hopeful Lamar Alexander gushed to Sen. Fred Thompson, "You're the toast of the town!" Thompson shot back: "Well, look at the town."
* Chef Roberto Donna's night suddenly got a lot busier Sunday when, in the middle of his whipping up an 11-course meal for guest Julia Child at his restaurant Galileo, in walked first lady Hillary Clinton and former Texas governor Ann Richards. Donna just doubled up orders on those multiple courses.
* Hot couple Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley, the new Estee Lauder face, will be in town next week for a benefit premiere of the actor's new flick, "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain." The British Embassy reception and screening at the Avalon benefits Sasha Bruce Youthwork, a private nonprofit foundation that helps troubled youths and their families.
* Penthouse and Omni magazine publisher Bob Guccione offered yesterday to publish a lengthy article by the serial bomber dubbed the Unabomber, in order "to save lives." In a letter to the New York Times last week, the terrorist suggested that he would stop sending mail bombs if a "widely read, nationally distributed periodical" published his manuscript. In a letter publicized yesterday, Guccione told the bomber: "I am making one or several of my magazines available to publicize your message. . . . Furthermore, I would dedicate our entire public relations operation to help publicize your message."
* Harper's senior editor and writer Michael Lind will be leaving to join the New Republic any day now. And tomorrow night New Republic Editor Andrew Sullivan hosts a fund-raising party at his home to benefit AIDS research at the Mapplethorpe Laboratory in Boston.
* Rep. Maxine Waters, Sen. Paul Simon, United Negro College Fund President Bill Gray, actor-activist Danny Glover and Digital Equipment Corp. are the first recipients of the Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu Human Rights Awards. Tutu, the South African archbishop, will be in town Thursday for the Ritz-Carlton presentation, timed to coincide with the first anniversary of free elections in his country.
* Joe Eszterhas, the highest-paid scriptwriter in Hollywood ("Basic Instinct"), was forced to take his latest effort out of circulation because of a lack of interest. Variety reports that no big money came forth for "Blaze of Glory," about the life of singer Otis Redding. Eszterhas issued a statement that said: "We had no offers. This is my fourth spec that I have not sold. You win some of these and you lose some."
* Paula Barbieri, O.J. Simpson's main squeeze, is fleeing Los Angeles. The model and actress has put her West L.A. condo up for sale "because she has another home in Florida and intends to make that her primary residence," her attorney tells the Los Angeles Times. Barbieri, 26, is from Florida.
GRAPHIC: Photo; Photo, annalisa kraft for The Washington Post, Grant and Hurley, stopping by. Alexander, left, toasting; Donna, serving; Waters, winning. Elders, not easing up. Eszterhas, top, dealing with rejection; Barbieri, fleeing to Florida.