Today's Papers

High Fidel-ity Television

USA Today

and the Los Angeles Times lead with the growing economic crisis in Asia. The New York Times leads with the Justice Department’s decision to oversee finances for the Teamsters. The Washington Post leads with the possible resignation of the D.C. Police Chief: The chief was caught leasing a luxury apartment for less than half its fair price (his roommate, another officer, told the landlord they needed the space for an undercover operation).

The USAT and LAT leads center on President Clinton’s statements that Japan must stabilize its economy to keep the whole region out of crisis. After previously terming Asia’s economic woes “a few little glitches in the road,” Clinton now says Asian market volatility should be taken “very seriously.” USAT was the only paper to lead with the collapse of the Yamaichi brokerage yesterday, but today all the papers give front-page play to its aftermath: a 4.5% plummet in the Tokyo stock market. The WP runs two front-page stories–one on the Tokyo market, another reappraising the Japanese economic model. In the first piece, the WP has the detail that Yamaichi’s president wept openly on television in announcing his firm’s collapse. The emotional display, especially rare in Japan, underscored the starkness of the situation. In the WP’s second piece, free-market advocates crow over Japan’s recent setbacks, claiming victory for the U.S. system. The NYT’s front-page piece is more specific on Clinton’s words to Japan: He suggests deregulation, avoiding cheap exports as a solution, and strong governmental support for the banks.

The NYT’s lead says the Justice Department will again oversee the Teamsters’ spending practices–a setback for the union. The government had begun supervising the Teamsters in 1989, but ceased in 1992, soon after Ron Carey was elected as a purported reformer. Recent scandals necessitate renewed scrutiny. The LAT and USAT put the story in small, front-page boxes; the WP sends it back to the business section.

A piece in the Wall Street Journal Workweek section says Canada’s becoming a farm team for female executives. Canada’s economy, a microcosm of America’s, makes it a good “test-bed” for execs. Women currently head the Canadian units of Ford, General Motors, Xerox, and Kraft. (No comment is offered on why women need a foreign “test-bed” while men can stay in the U.S.)

USAT and the LAT run front-page stories on the FDA’s approval of a new diet drug, sibutramine, just two months after having banned diet drugs Redux and Pondimin (Pondimin is one half of fen-phen). The WP puts the story on page A3. Among sibutramine’s side effects: headaches, dry mouth, and possibly physical addiction.

The WSJ has a story on TV Marti, the U.S. government propaganda station that’s beamed at Cuba’s televisions. TV Marti journalists say the job would be great if not for one thing: Since Fidel Castro blocks reception in Cuba, very nearly no one is watching. This column suddenly appreciates its readers in a far more profound manner.