Other Magazines

Passing on the Torch

New Republic, May 7
An article outlines New Jersey Sen. Bob Torricelli’s personality problem. For years, he turned off pols with his pushiness. Now, as a campaign-finance investigation threatens his career, Democrats aren’t exactly rushing to defend him. (Click here to read Slate’s “Ballot Box” on the Torch’s flame out.) The cover story blames the Cincinnati riots on gentrification. Cincy revived its depressed neighborhoods by bringing in hordes of white police officers who can’t get along with the leftover black residents. A piece argues that globalization killed Quebec’s independence movement. With its economy roaring, Quebecois realized that secession is bad business: It might plunge the province into economic turmoil, stifle the high-tech boom, or, worse, cost it a cherished spot in NAFTA.—B.C.

Economist, April 28
A piece claims the West thinks its old allies in the Balkans are now troublemakers. When Milosevic tyrannized Serbia, NATO countries supported ethnic Albanian rebels and Montenegrin independence. But now that Serbia is relatively stable, they want to rein in the secessionists and the guerrillas to maintain the fragile peace in the region. An article says the Palestinians won’t agree to a cease-fire until Israel freezes its settlement activities. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Israeli population in the West Bank and Gaza has almost doubled. Although the recent violence has hurt real estate sales in the territories, Israel continues to build new apartments there at a breakneck pace. An article argues that despite a few nice gestures by Microsoft, “the heart of an incorrigible monopolist beats still.” True, it opened most of its source code and began working with standard Web services. But it still uses the dominant Windows operating system to drive other companies out of business while its products suck up market share.—J.D.

New York Times Magazine, April 29 The cover story investigates former Sen. Bob Kerrey’s role in a Vietnam massacre. This much we know: In 1969, his team of Navy SEALs killed at least 13 unarmed women and children. But team members give conflicting accounts of how it happened. Kerrey says the civilians were accidentally killed in a late-night gun battle. Another SEAL claims the team, acting on Kerrey’s orders, executed them at close range. A contrite Kerrey explains, “I thought dying for your country was the worst thing that could happen to you, and I don’t think it is. I think killing for your country can be a lot worse.” (Click here for more about Kerrey’s admission, and here for an explanation of the rules of war.)— B.C.

Time, April 30
The cover package on baby geniuses cites an NIH study finding that the more time children spend away from their mothers, the more “defiant, aggressive and disobedient” they’re likely to be. The good news? Day-care kids have better language and memory skills. A portrait of Bush’s strategist in chief Karl Rove reveals the president’s lesser-known nickname for Rove, his top damage-control specialist (and a burgeoning Beltway celeb): “Turd Blossom.” (Newsweek also runs a Web exclusive on Rove.) The American Medical Association’s latest word on Saint Johnswort is that it doesn’t help in treating major depression. A larger, three-year study is on the way from the NIH.—A.F.

Newsweek, April 30 The cover package on jobs of the future takes a tour of “High-Tech Havens” like Akron, Ohio, and Tulsa, Okla., among others. While “Omaha is definitely not hip” compared to Silicon Valley or Alley, it’s home to six national fiber-optic networks, 20 million toll-free calls a day—not to mention a sushi bar in a former IHOP. Newsweek catches up with international literary phenom Haruki Murakami, whose novel Norwegian Wood sold 4 million copies in his native Japan alone. Murakami’s latest (and first nonfiction book), Underground, is an oral history of the 1995 terrorist gas attack on the Tokyo subway. Calling her “the love child of Jerry Springer and Eva Peron,” a portrait of Peruvian talk show host Laura Bozzo says Telemundo’s Laura en America is so hot, it even beats Oprah in Miami.—A.F.

U.S. News & World Report, April 30 The cover package paints first lady Laura Bush as “the ballast that keeps the her husband steady,” just before it revisits some campaign skeletons (Texas Monthly covered similar ground earlier this month). The mag surveys Laura Bush’s recent media treatments and touches on her political agenda. The president on his wife: “If I get a little obstreperous, she’ll put me in my place.” As Japan speculates about the possible pregnancy of Crown Princess Masako, the empire is trying to quell the media frenzy. When the princess miscarried 16 months ago, many blamed the public scrutiny. If the princess and her husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, don’t produce a male heir, Japan’s 2,000-year-old Chrysanthemum Throne could be left vacant. A piece ventures that the racial discrimination in baseball-card pricing may be on the decline.—A.F.

The Nation, May 7 The cover story, by Bill Moyers, celebrates the possibility of journalism. Investigative reporters are supposed to tell regular people what powerful people are hiding from them. But in recent years, the powerful and the media have become one and the same, and journalism no longer tackles the tough stories. A piece decries recrudescent fascism in Italy. The new right wing has nothing on Mussolini (its conservatism is manifest in a “fondness for order” and a “hostility to outsiders”), but to justify their proposals, neo-fascists have begun to recast the history of the 1930s, to make the inevitable historical comparisons more palatable. An article blasts the United States for its “sexual schizophrenia.” On the one hand, teens have access to unlimited information about all manner of sexual subjects (in magazines and online). On the other, Congress gets ready to dole out millions for abstinence education.—J.D.

Weekly Standard, April 30 The cover story eviscerates the Army, which abandoned its Spartan culture for a touchy-feely marketing scheme. While the Marines is still a haven for the tough men among us, the Army, in an effort to spur recruitment, has minted a new, self-serving slogan (Army of One) that is antithetical to its core values of teamwork. Women are such a part of the force now that the training regimen has been compromised. According to new regulations, the drill sergeants sound like New Age inspirational speakers, not the hard-asses they should be. A piece claims that black America has two distinct cultures—one is female and religious, the other is young, male, and violent—but only one liberal politics. But compassionate conservatives can lead the religious black culture to a new politics that is not reflexively Democratic. An editorial says that if the United States refuses to sell Taiwan the weapons it needs (including the Aegis system), then it will reward China’s brinksmanship by further endangering democracy in Taiwan—J.D.