When Patrick J. Buchanan went to work at the White House, he released the sad news that he was making a salary sacrifice from the $400,000 he made as a journalist in 1984. That any journalist was making that kind of money came as a surprise, especially to other journalists. Of course, much of the income was from other sources, mostly speaking engagements. It is those speaking engagements that make so many celebrated Washington journalists what Jacob Weisberg describes in the upcoming New Republic magazine as the "buckrakers."

The thesis is that these journalists are "striking it rich" on the lecture circuit. Not surprisingly, the broadcast journalists make the most, with Walter Cronkite and Eric Sevareid getting $25,000 a speech, and others such as Sam Donaldson, Ted Koppel and Dan Rather bringing in the smaller fee of $20,000 each. Among the writers: William Safire, $18,000; George Will, $12,000 to $15,000; Art Buchwald, $15,000; and Robert Novak, $6,000.

The same issue of the New Republic has one of the last pieces written by syndicated columnist Joseph Kraft, who died Friday. Kraft, a cerebral, respected journalist, was writing about one of the most intellectual figures of American journalism, the late Walter Lippmann, a man Kraft often was compared to. End Notes

Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti is to be honored today in Los Angeles. Actor Kirk Douglas will present him with the Anti-Defamation League's Champion of Liberty Award at ceremonies in the Sheraton Premiere Hotel . . .

Who said there isn't life after the United States Senate? Former majority leader Howard Baker has just successfully argued a case in U.S. District Court in Greeneville, Tenn. "It wasn't long before I remembered why I enjoy practicing law so much," Baker said afterward. Wonder if he'll say that the first time he loses . . . or if he gets a real shot at running for president . . .

Another contender for the Republican nomination for president, George Bush, may soon increase his national recognizability. Since Bush is the head of a drug-smuggling task force working to prevent entry of narcotics into the United States, the producers of the hit television show "Miami Vice" are reportedly considering a Bush staff member's suggestion that they use the vice president in a role on the show. Bush's press secretary said this weekend that the vice president hasn't been told about the idea or the producers' interest yet. But just picture Bush in the "Miami Vice" look. Maybe if the colors are in preppy pink and green, he'll feel comfortable . . .

Singer Luther Vandross is listed in fair condition after the car he was driving crashed into two other cars yesterday, killing a woman in his car and injuring four others, police said. He was treated for broken ribs at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. Police have recommended to the district attorney's office that Vandross be charged with manslaughter . . .

On the sick list: Singer Kate Smith had her right leg amputated yesterday because of circulatory complications of diabetes. "Everything has gone well so far," her doctor said . . . Actress Geraldine Page, suffering from exhaustion and hypertension, is in stable condition in a New York hospital, where she is undergoing tests . . . Actress Jane Wyman, the president's first wife, is recovering from surgery to remove scar tissue in Santa Monica, Calif., and is expected to remain in the hospital another week . . . Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace returned home Saturday from a weeklong stay in the hospital, where he was treated for a urinary tract infection, a common ailment among paraplegics . . .

Musician Ike Turner, the former husband and partner of pop star Tina Turner, was jailed for possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. He was stopped by police Saturday for a routine traffic check in West Hollywood, Calif., when police discovered the drugs . .