Today's Papers

Hearing Impaired

The Senate’s political fundraising hearings continue to play big. The Los Angeles Times leads with the report that at the hearings, “the Democratic Party’s former finance director [Richard Sullivan] testifies that top Clinton aides helped install the central figure in the controversy, John Huang, as a top party fundraiser; Clinton, attending a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, acknowledges that he may have helped play a role in Huang’s hiring.” The Wall Street Journal puts this same story at the top of its “World-Wide” news column. The New York Times also leads with the hearings, but prefers to stress that members of the investigating committee have learned that Attorney General Janet Reno is opposed to giving Huang immunity from prosecution. But there is a little variety today: USA Today leads with a likely change in airline security procedures, and the Washington Post goes with a likely change in the TV rating system.

The NYT’s hearing coverage has Sullivan giving the following testimony about a memo apparently describing a schedule of fund-raising coffees at the White House, even though these are barred by law from being conducted on federal property: “Senator, the coffees helped us with our fund-raising. I was the fund-raising director. But they were not fund-raisers. They were not fund-raisers.” Instead, Sullivan explained, the “coffees were a tool in helping us motivate and energize the people that we needed to motivate and energize to help us raise the $130 million that we wanted to raise.”

USAT, the NYT, the WP, and the LAT each give above-the-fold coverage to yesterday’s decision by Nevada boxing authorities to fine Mike Tyson nearly $3 million and to revoke his boxing license for at least one year as punishment for biting Evander Holyfield on both ears during their championship fight last week. The papers indulge in much speculation about whether or not this means the end of Tyson’s career. The bald, brawling boxer known as “Butterbean” tells USAT that he’s willing to fight Tyson, “if I could put duct tape on my ears.”

There’s also a lot of coverage of yesterday’s change at the top at Apple Computer: the departure of CEO Gilbert Amelio. All the stories agree the development means an expanded role at Apple for co-founder Steve Jobs, who recently rejoined its management team after being forced out in 1985. But they don’t all agree about what actually happened. The NYT says Amelio stepped down. The WSJ says he was ousted. The USAT headline says he quit, but its text says he was ousted. The LAT headline says he was ousted, but its text says he quit.

The WP carries a story deep inside that’s sure to move up at least a little in the days ahead. Seems that at the Madrid NATO meetings, while Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien was kept waiting for a tardy President Clinton, he vented a bit about Clinton to some European leaders, and a television network’s audio system picked up his comments. “Take the quarrel over whether to admit the Baltic states,” Chretien said, in remarks that were aired by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. “That has nothing to do with world security. It’s because in Chicago, Mayor [Richard] Daley controls lots of votes for the [Democratic] nomination.”

Today’s NYT op-ed page continues a disturbing trend. Earlier in the week, Alec Baldwin got prime space on the page to co-author a rehash defense of the National Endowment for the Arts. Today, it’s Steve Martin with a piece about how the Mars probe discovers kittens there that are just like earth kittens except that they remain kittens forever and can parse sentences in the newspaper. Really. Jeez, when Anthony Lewis wants a change of pace, he doesn’t get a part in “Father of the Bride.”