Today's Papers

Queen for a Day

All five newspapers lead with the same story: Monica Lewinsky met with representatives from Starr’s office on Monday. The purpose of the face-to-face meeting–the first in six months between Starr’s camp and Lewinsky–was, of course, to discuss testimony she might give in return for an immunity deal. And what, exactly, is Lewinsky offering? USA Today and the Wall Street Journal say Lewinsky promised Starr she’ll testify to a sexual relationship. The Washington Post hedges, saying that as of last Friday Lewinsky was willing to admit to sex, but wouldn’t say she was encouraged to lie. The New York Times and Los Angeles Times give no details at all on what Lewinsky offered.

The NYT calls the meeting a “development fraught with danger for the president,” while the LAT describes it as “a special legal session known as ‘Queen for a Day,’.” Would the LAT care to explain what on earth this means? Nine paragraphs later, non-lawyers learn that in a “queen for a day” session, nothing a (female?) defendant says can be used against her.

A second bit of news mentioned in all four of the Clinton-is-in-hot-water lead stories: a District court ruled that Clinton confidant Bruce Lindsey cannot claim attorney-client privilege in a criminal investigation because he is a government attorney. (A private attorney could claim the privilege.) Lindsey can either appeal this ruling or head back into the grand jury room. All papers also report that the White House and Starr continue to spar over the terms of Clinton’s testimony. According to the WSJ, Clinton’s attorney would like “to sit in on Mr. Clinton’s testimony, have it take place at the White House, know in advance what it will concern and have limits on its scope.” Starr, reportedly, is considering the offer.

All papers but the LAT have page one stories on the proposed merger between Bell Atlantic and GTE. The creation of what the WSJ rather slobberingly calls a “telecommunications colossus for the 21st century” may be tripped up by regulators, say all the papers. The merger of the two firms is just one more instance of a trend towards consolidation in the industry.

The NYT carries a front page story chronicling the immense success of firms relying on sweepstakes mailings to foist unwanted magazine subscriptions on the elderly. Seniors succumb because they are 1) lonely; 2) desirous of excitement and 3) from a generation easily convinced that a mailing is “official.” Just three weeks ago the NYT ran another front-page story (different author) explaining that casinos were fleecing seniors because seniors are 1) lonely; 2) desirous of excitement and 3) from a generation with a fondness for get-rich-quick schemes.

The WSJ’s Work Week column features the headline “Hispanic workers show strong dedication to their jobs.” The evidence: a Hispanic worker and her boss both say she works hard, another Hispanic worker and another boss agree that Hispanics work admirably hard. Also, a polling firm finds that 94% of Hispanic workers claim to “work hard at coming out on top” while only 64% of non-Hispanic adults say the same. From the same Work Week column we learn that “A House committee votes to allow Amish 14 to 17 years old to work in sawmills; the Labor Department bars such work under age 18.”