New Republic, July 19
The cover story unveils GOP strategist Ed Gillespie, the “the most important operative you’ve never heard of in the Bush presidency.” As an aide to Rep. Dick Armey, R-Texas, the media guru became a key player in the Gingrich Revolution, pushing his boss into the House GOP leadership and even authoring portions of the Contract With America. When that fizzled in the late ‘90s, Gillespie transferred seamlessly to Team Bush, crafting the governor’s presidential campaign rhetoric and helping to stage the Republican convention. It’s the presence of Gillespie, the author suggests, that accounts for why Bush “has turned out to be so much more conservative than the media—and his own rhetoric—implied during the campaign.” This time he’s staging the conservative revolution from the inside.—B.C.
Economist, July 21 The cover article worries that American plans for a “limited” missile-defense system may be a stalking-horse for a giant “astrodome” over the whole country. If Bush would forswear such a massive space-based shield, a limited defense capable of swatting down rogue missiles might face less international hostility. … An article explains how the financial troubles of Turkey and Argentina could become contagious. Crises in a few countries can cause investors to look more discriminatingly at similar problems in other emerging markets or to simply lose their appetite for risk altogether.— J.F.
New York Times Magazine, July 22
The cover story proclaims that Big Coal is back. Thanks to rolling blackouts, skyrocketing natural gas prices, and an amenable Bush administration, the once-struggling industry has undergone a boom. But coal comes at an enormous environmental cost, and rather than clean up its act, the industry has found it more profitable to continue running old, heavily polluting plants and fight the lawsuits as they come. … A piece profiles Boris Jordan, a Long Island, N.Y., native and former investment banker who heads NTV, Russia’s last independent news network. Jordan acquired the station in a hostile takeover aided by Russia’s state-controlled energy giant Gazprom. Now he is accused of converting NTV from a combative opponent of Vladimir Putin into an organ of the Kremlin.— J.F.
Harper’s, August 2001 An essay assails those who believe America can do no wrong. In a sardonic tone, the author lays into the so-called divine right of American imperialism and “those who think the phrase ‘world’s only superpower’ is a Homeric epithet.”… A piece looks into the cost-analysis procedures employed by insurance claims adjusters. It’s their job to calculate settlements in wrongful-death cases based on the expected value of jury verdicts. The guess-work requires a dose of sociological intuition, a bit of detective work, and a lot of cold-heartedness. … A piece worries that if the Chicago Cubs go all the way this year “they will lose a treasure more valuable than any World Series ring: … an enduring, dependable, nearly mystical relationship with loss.”— J.F.
Time, July 23
The cover package on “The Dawn of Man” showcases the recent discovery of the earliest known human ancestor: “a chimp-size creature that lived in the Ethiopian forests between 5.8 million and 5.2 million years ago—nearly a million and a half years earlier than the previous record holder.” The first humans didn’t live in grasslands but in a well-forested environment. … An article warns that you may contract a “badly upset stomach or a scary-looking rash” from your swimming pool. Before diving in, watch out for cloudy, foamy, or bubbling water; keep your mouth shut after you take the plunge; be wary of diapered babies sharing your pool; and make sure to test your pool’s chlorine at least once a day.—A.F.
Newsweek, July 23 Newsweek dubs the search for missing D.C. intern Chandra Levy both a “frenzy” and a “battle.” The cover package rehashes the latest Chandra Levy-Gary Condit news. (Click here for Time’s take and here for U.S. News’; scroll down for the Weekly Standard’s. For Slate’s complete rundown on the case, click here.) Jonathan Alter claims in his commentary that “Washington has no Hollywood-style casting couch, but after a softball game and a few beers … hubba hubba.”… MTV turns 20 on Aug. 1, gushes an article, which quotes Britney Spears in praise of the pop culture institution: “I owe a lot of my success to MTV. I was really a nobody and they were playing my video like I was the most popular thing in the world. It was really, really sweet.”… An exclusive reveals that the cover-up of a massacre at the Kosovar village of Suva Reka was directed, it appears, by Slobodan Milosevic—evidence that may aid the case of Milosevic’s prosecutors in The Hague.—A.F.
U.S. News & World Report, July 23 The “America’s Best Hospitals”issue puts Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, and Mass General as the top three in its honor roll. … An article examines Venezuela’s obsession with beauty pageants. The country uses “industrial-type efficiency to turning out beauty queens.” Calling Venezuela “a nation without a feminist movement,” the magazine reports that even a satirical art exhibit backfired, and visitors “looked at the crowns and gowns as if they were religious relics.”— A.F.
The New Yorker, July 23 An article summarizes the last 20 years of research into neurogenesis. Scientists have found evidence—at least in birds, rodents, and some primates—that adults can, in fact, generate new brain cells. The findings, which have upset long-standing beliefs, may have important implications for treating a number of human neurological disorders. … A piece describes New York’s New Burlesque scene. Part ironic pastiche, part lascivious provocation, the New Burlesque has stepped in to fill the void left by the departed acts of 42nd Street. Though women still get naked, the show is more artistic and more intelligent: “a joke about stripping in which the punch line is stripping.”— J.F.
Weekly Standard, July 23 The cover package weighs in on the Condit-Levy scandal. One piece wonders why the congressman’s colleagues have been hesitant to reprove his behavior. Another pooh-poohs Levy’s aunt and confidant for not being more judgmental when she found out about her niece’s relationship. And a third piece criticizes Abbe Lowell’s occasionally untruthful on-air statements and says efforts to save his client’s reputation by demonizing the media have come too late. … Michael Barone takes a globetrotter’s look at the most recent series of national elections in North America and Europe. He concludes that, globally, big government is out and free markets are in.—J.F.