Today's Papers

Biting Commentary

Yes, the New York Times leads today with the demise of the federal welfare state, and yes, today’s Wall Street Journal gives the top spot (that’s column six, top of the page) to a forecast of growth in elderly care companies. And both the NYT and the Los Angeles Times do big pieces on the British handover of Hong Kong. But the Washington Post goes clear across the top of its front page with Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfield, under a banner headline: “Tyson’s Conduct Under Review.” (Which admittedly falls far short of yesterday’s LAT header: “A Lobe Blow.”) And USA TODAY makes Tyson its news section “Cover Story” and even the NYT puts it on the front.

The Post states that the Las Vegas cops are looking at a video tape of the fight and its riotous aftermath, and goes on to report that “a portion of Holyfield’s ear was recovered by Mitch Libonati, a hotel employee. It was rushed to Valley Hospital on ice, ‘but by the time it came in, it was not viable,’ said Julio Garcia, the plastic surgeon who treated Holyfield.” The NYT has Libonati saying to a security guard: “I have something he probably wants.” (Apparently, neither the NYT nor USAT reached Dr. Garcia, because they each say that the body part was lost en route to the hospital.) USAT gets credit for going to novelist and boxing expert Budd Schulberg for some historical perspective, but slips a little in saying that his novel The Harder They Fall inspired the movie “On The Waterfront.” Actually, it inspired the movie “The Harder They Fall.”

The Los Angeles Times reports today that a 1991 trip to Asia, made by the then-Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the late Ron Brown, a trip which has yet to draw the scrutiny of investigators, may have provided the groundwork for the Democrats’ foreign fund-raising from Asian special interests.

Oh, and in case you hadn’t heard, the subhead of that NYT piece on the new welfare programs breaks the news that they’re marked by an “emphasis on work.” Interestingly, the piece belies its own headline proclaiming that the “U.S. Welfare System Dies as State Programs Emerge” with its observation that despite many ongoing attempts at reform around the country, “the states with the three largest welfare populations – California, New York and Texas – have mostly been absent from the trend.”

On the front page above the fold, the Post reports that after two years of study, the Clinton Administration has just decided not to call for new taxes or regulations on business conducted over the Internet. The piece dwells on such issues as the problem of lost sales tax revenue and the export of encryption technologies, and waits until the last paragraph to reveal that this position was reached for the president by Ira Magaziner, who designed his health care plan. The NYT handles this information a little differently in its (inside) story on the development, which it runs under the headline, “Man Behind Doomed Health Plan Wants Minimal Regulation of Net.”