Turner blasts Bush administration


LITTLE ROCK -- Media mogul and CNN founder Ted Turner told a roomful of fellow philanthropists on Monday to "give until it hurts" but said they should keep some extra cash on hand -- or, at least what he considers spare change.

"Keep a few hundred million at least, because you never know," Turner told a crowd of about 300 people at the Clinton Presidential Library here. "Things could get really tough."

Turner took some shots at President Bush and called for more private-sector help in nuclear disarmament as he addressed a conference on philanthropy, hosted by the online magazine Slate.

Turner said he was happy to be joined by fellow philanthropists.

"I'd rather be here than with a bunch of Nazis planning to kill people or at the Pentagon figuring who they're going to bomb next, Afghanistan or Iraq," Turner said during his talk, presented as a conversation with Slate editor Jacob Weisberg. "At least we're bombing people with funds and good will. If our country used some of the same philosophy in this room, it would be a ... better world than we're living in now."

Turner helped create the United Nations foundation in 1998 as a way to distribute $1 billion he pledged to the organization.

"I go around making friends with everybody through CNN and China and North Korea and Russia and the United States and this administration goes around making enemies with everybody we've worked ... to make friends with," Turner said. "It seems like we're going backwards."

When Turner said he wished last week's midterm election had been a presidential election, Weisberg reminded him he was at a "nonpartisan gathering."

"I'm not a member of either party," Turner said. "The only party I belong to is the smart party."