New Republic, July 2
The cover story is a review of David McCullough’s new book John Adams. McCullough, author of Truman, hails from the school of uncritical biographers who are more interested in celebrating their subject’s character than assessing his ideas. Such is the case with Adams: McCullough swoons over the man’s earthiness and frugality, while all but exonerating him for endorsing the Alien and Sedition Acts. “By giving us the admirable Adams,” the author writes, “McCullough has written merely another valentine.”… An article wonders if Education Secretary Rod Paige will ever play a key role in the Bush administration. After Paige fumbled his way through an early TV interview, the Bushies exiled him from policy-writing process. Now he’s the public face of an education plan he doesn’t even fully grasp.— B.C.
New York Times Magazine, June 24
The cover story takes stock of Fox News Channel, the Wunderkind of cable news stations. In the last three years, FNC has seen its viewership increase 430 percent, while competitor CNN’s fell 28 percent. CEO Roger Ailes, a former Republican consultant, built the network to counteract what he views as a liberal bias in the media. He claims the station’s reporting is “fair and balanced.” But it’s not. “On an average news day,” the author writes, “Fox leans to the right just as CNN leans to the left.” (Slate’s David Plotz covered similar territory last year in this“Assessment.”) … A piece examines Harvard University’s riches. Thanks to lucrative investing and relentless fund raising, the school has built an endowment of nearly $19 billion. But while other schools use their endowments to boost scholarship money or expand overseas, Harvard just pockets it. Says Alan Dershowitz, a professor at the law school, “Harvard’s goal is to die with the most amount of money.”—B.C.
Time, June 25
The cover package speculates on how the universe will end. By the time it is 1 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years old, stars and planets will bind together to form “atoms” larger than today’s entire universe. “Eventually, even these will decay, leaving a featureless, infinitely large void.”… An article calls director Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, “A love story, a prophecy and a fairy tale (Pinocchio, to be exact) in the guise of a science-fiction film.” Starring Haley Joel Osment as the boy robot, A.I. is a collaboration between Spielberg and now-deceased filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, whose work on the project spanned more than 15 years. … An article on Bush’s European tour says that NATO’s “drab offices” is the only place where the United States still enjoys “an unrivaled position of leadership” on the continent. (Click here for U.S. News’ take on Bush’s tour.)— A.F.
Newsweek, June 25 The cover package illustrates the future of cardiac medicine: an artificial heart made of titanium, plastic, and epoxy that is completely self-contained within the body (the old fake hearts were powered by a large external pump). Within the next few weeks, five critically ill patients will be the first to receive these new artificial hearts. … A doom-and-gloomer says that layoffs are affecting the higher rungs of the corporate ladder as well as the lower ones. Still, the article ends on hopeful note by quoting Alan Greenspan: Our economy is “experiencing only a pause.” Unemployment remains historically low at 4.4 percent. … An article describes last week’s decision by a federal judge that held that a Washington state drugstore chain must cover birth control. While women’s groups heralded the ruling as victory, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce complained about the added cost for employers. — A.F.
U.S. News & World Report, June 25 The cover package on diabetes features a Q and A with a New York chef-restaurateur whose son has diabetes. Michel Nischan offers tips for cutting fat (e.g., fry in grape seed or canola oil then add a slim pat of butter at the end for taste) and how to get kids on a healthy diet (put an apron on them). … An article explains how the 130-foot freighter Aurora, owned by Dutch abortion-rights group Women on Waves, is challenging Ireland’s ban on abortion. Moored in international waters, a medical team will provide birth-control counseling, contraceptives, and abortions to Irish women before sailing on to another country where abortions are prohibited or restricted.— A.F.