In the papers, as in life, new deaths crowd in on the old. So we have USA Today dedicating its entire front to Diana, with a cover story about the global village funeral to come, and anchored by a huge head shot of the princess, but we have the Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times leading with the news of yet another suicide bombing in Jerusalem.
This time it was three scumbags, a record number apparently, killing themselves and others in a popular public place with bombs spewing nuts and bolts. The Hamas wing that claimed the last bombing, of a crowded Jerusalem market in July, claimed this one too. The group issued a deadline for freeing all Arab prisoners held by Israel–Sept. 14. The coverage is similar from paper to paper, although the NYT more clearly communicates the pent-up anger felt by Israeli officials. And the Post goes in for the most grit, repeating AP dispatches about one terrorist’s spine flying through a shop window and a severed head laying in the street.
What is the sound of one hand shredding? The LAT, the WP, and the NYT each have front-pagers about the testimony at yesterday’s fund-raising hearings by three Buddhist nuns involved in an Election ‘96 Gore fund-raiser held at their California temple. The nuns had identical bright robes, glasses, and shaved heads, and were each less than five feet tall, so the papers go more for laughs than they otherwise might. But it’s a natural tendency: after all, the hearing room featured nearly life-sized blowup photos from the event, of the nuns and of Gore making a Buddhist gesture. Also, according to the NYT, the nun who identified herself as the temple treasurer said that when she oversaw the collection from nuns of checks made out to the “DNC” totaling $55,000, she didn’t know what “DNC” stood for.
The WP, which has been spearheading another story also posing trouble for Gore, namely, that of his White House rainmaking phone calls, sees the story a bit more gravely than the others. Its headline reads, “Nuns Tell of Panic about Fund-Raiser,” and it puts their admissions yesterday of covering up the evening’s financial tracks by altering and destroying documents right into the sub-headline. And it’s the Post that calls the day’s hearings “perhaps the most striking testimony” yet presented. The Wall Street Journal “Washington Wire” today carries a completely different unseemly tale about the VP and fund solicitations. The heat on Gore is definitely turning up.
The Diana media oil slick continues to spread. The NYT and LAT each run front-page meta pieces about the significance of the royals’ behavior in the wake of her death. And the LAT also throws in a meta-meta front-pager on how the English people read so much into the behavior of the royals. (And American journalists don’t?) And the Post reports that by early next week, Pocket Books will have 850,000 copies of various Diana books in stores, even one by her astrologer (if he didn’t tell her not to get in the car, what good is he?). The WP also reveals that gossip bio queen Kitty Kelley’s long-in-the-works book on the royals is done but couldn’t be rushed out in time for the current Dianamania.
Remember that first joint Mexico-U.S. study of illegal immigration that the NYT wrote about last weekend? The Times, you’ll recall, saw the study as proof that conservatives were overstating the problem of illegal immigration. Well, the WP does its piece on the study today–under the headline “Illegal Immigration Hurts U.S. and Mexico, Study Finds.”
Rarely able to resist a cheap shot at the president, the WSJ says he was disappointed that Diana wasn’t granted a state funeral, because if she had, he could have made the trip.