No. 142: “Customs Inspection”

No. 142: “Customs Inspection”

No. 142: “Customs Inspection”

Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Nov. 18 1998 3:30 AM

No. 142: “Customs Inspection”

No. 142: "Customs Inspection"

By Randy Cohen


"Traditions in the West are sometimes hard to break, but we find this to be particularly egregious," says Rocky Mountain coordinator Andrea Lococo.

What tradition?


by noon ET Tuesday to e-mail your answer to

Responses to Thursday's question (No. 141)--"Newersweek":


Accepting his new post as editor of Newsweek, Mark Whitaker asked his colleagues, "What can we do to make Newsweek a must-read?" Participants were invited to offer suggestions.

"More shots of Mark Whitaker nude in a bubble bath."--Merrill Markoe

"New subscribers receive free foot rub from Katherine Graham."--Jon Hotchkiss

"Pictorial feature: 'What's Inside Meg Greenfield's ...?' (Handbag, Refrigerator, Pocket, Fist, etc.)"--Meg Wolitzer


"Replace George Will's column with weekly photo of him being punched in the nose."--Rich Harrington

"Next week's cover story: 'Medical Miracle for Cute Babies Is a Hot New Trend and Proof of God's Existence.' "--Daniel Radosh

Click for more responses.

Randy's Wrap-Up


While Newsweek shows an admirable eagerness to improve itself, Time may already have achieved perfection--and not just by stealing Slate features and denaturing them into wan imitations but by being acutely attuned to today's demanding pre-teen reader. At Booker T. Washington Middle School 54, a New York public school, current events assignments are traditionally researched in the New York Times, tough going for most kids. Recently, some 11-year-olds were introduced to Time. "It's so easy!" beamed one sixth-grader who'd struggled with the newspaper's exegesis of the Arab-Israeli peace accords. Told that there was also something called Time for Kids, she replied, "Oh, I know, but nobody reads that. We call it Time for Idiots." Kids can be so cruel. So delightfully, perceptively cruel.

Condensed Quayle: The Art of the Editor Extra

(Below, a tighter version of the former vice president's op-ed piece in Monday's New York Times. Many cuts, no additions, no changes in word order.)

"Kenneth Starr held Antonin Scalia and a derelict. They might be tempted routinely. Fine. High officials should be able to buy their way out of misconduct. How trivial. Let them get off easily without any consequences at all. They are acting in the country's best interest. Departing from the Constitution pays dividends."

Disclaimer: All submissions will become the property of Slate and will be published at Slate's discretion. Slate may publish your name on its site in connection with your submission.