1. Only Time gave any space to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of taxpayer-funded military planes in her Senate race. But all three news magazines published articles focusing on opponent Rudy Giuliani’s comments on a New York police shooting.
2. New allegations and investigations of White House e-mails hidden from congressional subpoenas inspired only two paragraphs in
U.S. News, and one in Time. As for the criminal investigation of Gore campaign boss Tony Coelho’s Portugal dealings,
U.S. News managed two paragraphs, as did Time.
3. Instead of covering scandals, Newsweek celebrated Clinton’s trip to India and Pakistan, as Michael Hirsh explained "the President has become known...as a leader with ‘a healing touch.’"
4. U.S. News graded Al Gore and George Bush in a story headlined "Who’s the Dimmest Dim Bulb? A Tale of Two Mediocre Collegiate Careers." A contemptuous Gore nearly spewed soda in laughter when asked if Bush was "too dumb" to be President.
On the covers of this week’s news magazines: Time featured a Special Report on "The Pope in the Holy Land." Newsweek splashes baby-boomer Garry Trudeau art work on the front with "The New Middle Age: A Boomer’s Guide to Health, Wealth & Happiness." U.S. News & World Report studied stock trends in "New Rules for the New Market." U.S. News columnist John Leo explored Hollywood politics, noting the pro-abortion film The Cider House Rules "could never be made in reverse, with an abortionist developing moral qualms and stopping."
Only Time gave any space to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of taxpayer-funded military planes in her Senate race. But all three news magazines focused on opponent Rudy Giuliani’s comments on a New York police shooting of unarmed Patrick
Giuliani took some heavy lumps. Time declared him a loser in "Winners & Losers," summarizing: "Disses unarmed victim of cop shooting. Will Nyers develop ‘zero tolerance’ for his antics?" Newsweek’s "Conventional Wisdom Watch" sneered: "NYC mayor launches demented attack on dead victim of cop shooting. How senatorial."
Newsweek ran the shortest article. Howard Fineman and Victoria Scanlan Stefanakos highlighted personal attacks by Giuliani enemies Ed Koch (who compared him to Caligula) and Jesse Jackson (who questioned his sanity). They added: "A former prosecutor, Giuliani thnks of himself as Batman in Gotham, a heroic defender of order. But his furious attacks on the reputation of yet another unamred black man who died at the hands of city cops has left even his supporters wondering if there isn’t a politically self-destructive alter ego inside the
U.S. News reporter Kit R. Roane explored the Dorismond controversy, but also the machinations of third parties in the race, including Green Party candidate Al "Grandpa Munster" Lewis, who took four percent of the vote in a recent Zogby poll.
Time’s reporter on the beat was the celebrated Hillary masher Margaret Carlson, who began: "Last week Hillary Clinton was a better mayor of New York City than the man who holds the job." She added: "Dorismond was ‘no altar boy,’ Giuliani reported, as if all non-altar boys are subject to summary execution on the sidewalks of New York." Carlson also marshaled Congressman Peter King, who seems always available to criticize fellow Republicans. Unlike the other magazine writers, Carlson did note "the irony that police killings of civilians are down dramatically from what they were during the administration of his Democratic predecessor, David
On Friday, a House Appropriations subcommittee released a report showing that Hillary Rodham Clinton’s trips to New York on military aircraft last year for her Senate campaign cost more than $ 182,000 over a seven-month period, with taxpayers footing 80 percent of the bills. In a separate study that counted more trips over a longer period of time, the Republican National Committee found flights by "Mrs. Clinton and her entourage" into and around New York cost a lot more -- $ 905,000 -- with taxpayers getting back only about 3 cents on the dollar.
But the only mention of this came in the second-to-last paragraph of Carlson’s article: "Last week, after a complaint by Giuliani, Congress launched an inquiry into whether Clinton is violating campaign rules by paying only first-class fare rather than the full cost of the military charters the Secret Service insists she take. In the absence of any precedent for a sitting First Lady, she is following the usual practice of presidential candidates."
New allegations and investigations of White House e-mails hidden from congressional subpoenas inspired only two paragraphs in U.S. News, and one in Time. In U.S. News, Roger Simon reported: "According to court papers filed last week, the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into whether the White House prevented thousands of E-mails from being searched in response to subpoenas. And, more worrisome, prosecutors ‘intend to investigate whether persons were in fact threatened with retaliation’ if they revealed the existence of the missing E-mail to Justice investigators. Prosecutors will begin interviewing those people next week and hope to finish within 60 to 90 days."
Simon added: "But when will the White House be able to reconstruct the E-mails? Long after Election Day. The White House says it will take one to two years and cost $1.8 million to $3 million. Which will not discourage the Bush campaign from vigorously pursuing the matter on the campaign trail from now until November: ‘So many scandals,’ Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer says, ‘and so little time.’"
As for the criminal investigation of Gore campaign boss Tony Coelho’s Portugal dealings, U.S. News managed two paragraphs, and Time two. Simon explained: "When George W. Bush began last week by strongly questioning Al Gore’s honesty and integrity, it raised a few smiles down at Gore headquarters in Nashville. ‘If the Bush staff has demonstrated anything,’ says one Gore adviser, ‘it's that they are very conventional thinkers.’ The Republicans have tried the character issue in election after election to no avail. The issue simply did not seem to have any traction with voters."
Simon continued: "By the end of the week, however, the smiles from the Gore camp had turned upside down. National Journal, a Washington policy magazine, turned a spotlight on a criminal probe of Gore campaign chairman Tony Coelho for what the State Department's Office of Inspector General calls numerous financial irregularities when Coelho was head of the U.S. exhibition at the World's Fair in Portugal in 1998. Coelho, who in his financial disclosure form with the State Department listed 85 sources of income and a net worth of more than $10 million, leased an $18,000-a-month apartment at U.S. taxpayer expense and hired his niece as a $2,500-a-month assistant to his deputy."
Time’s three scandal paragraphs appeared up front in the "Notebook" section under the headline "Gore’s Top Campaign Guy Doubly Investigated."
Instead of covering scandals, Newsweek celebrated Clinton’s trip to India and Pakistan. Michael Hirsh observed Clinton’s charms, proclaiming Clinton was ‘working it’ overseas. "Moreover, squabbling countries that once might have resisted U.S. intervention today seem eager to invite the lone superpower in as a referee. And they want to be on its good side: Syria's Assad, for instance, would like to make peace with America almost as much as with Israel. Clinton has found himself totally at home in the role of arbiter in chief. From Northern Ireland to the Middle East, the president has become known, as Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar said last week, as a leader with ‘a healing touch.’ He was working it hard last week."
Not to be outdone, Newsweek contributor Fareed Zakaria began a mostly critical column by observing, "That great philosopher Mel Brooks once noted profoundly, ‘It's good to be the king.’ Anyone watching Bill Clinton's tour of the Subcontinent last week would have to admit, it may be even better to be president of the United States. Clinton swept through India in the style of a Roman emperor."
After detailing some of the security concerns around Clinton’s trip, U.S. News and World Report White House correspondent Kenneth T. Walsh concluded Clinton’s trip was almost heroic. "But as the first president to visit India since Jimmy Carter, in 1978, Clinton proved once again how deft he is at using the powers of the White House to generate positive publicity both for his hosts and for the United States...Clinton told aides this is how he wants to spend his last year in office–traveling on missions of goodwill and, possibly, helping to make peace around the world."
In a second article in this week’s issue, U.S. News reporter Roger Simon graded Al Gore and George Bush in a story headlined "Who’s the Dimmest Dim Bulb? A Tale of Two Mediocre Collegiate Careers." Professor Simon compared Bush and Gore’s academic records: "Got mediocre grades in college even though you took easy courses? Coasted through those four years drinking and smoking and acting like a jock, even though it was costing your parents a small fortune? Wonder what you can say to make it up to them today? Well, tell them you can still become . . . president of the United States! It now seems clear that no matter whether George W. Bush or Al Gore wins this November, America is going to get an underachiever at its helm."
Simon noted both men’s somewhat disappointing grades at Harvard and Yale, and recycled recent Bush manglings of the English language. But Simon didn’t let Gore go unscathed:
"Gore was recently asked by the Associated Press if he believes Bush is "too dumb" to be president. ‘Gore convulsed in laughter while taking a drink of Diet Coke,’ the AP reported. ‘He grabbed a towel to hold against his mouth then, finally swallowing, insisted the tape recorder be stopped for an off-the-record observation.’ We do not know what that observation was, but Bush might point out that he, at least, is capable of drinking a Diet Coke without carrying a towel around with him."
At least Gore only has Diet Coke stains to worry about cleaning up.
-- Geoffrey Dickens