America's Drug Habit

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
March 3 2000 9:30 PM

America's Drug Habit

(Continued from Page 1)
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Newsweek, March 6

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A slow week at Newsweek HQ. The cover story hypes the debut of Sony's PlayStation 2 in Japan. The high-resolution console is equipped for audio CDs, movie DVDs, Surround Sound, and Internet access. Sony hopes the "Emotion Engine" will help the company become a Web giant. Twenty-five percent of American households already own PlayStations. An article echoes a favorite newsweekly complaint: The tight labor market is squeezing the supply of quality employees. To attract job applicants, retailers are offering medical benefits to part-timers and broadcasting help-wanted commercials on national TV.

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U.S. News & World Report, March 6

The cover story repeats the alarm newspapers sounded last week: Doctors are overprescribing psycho-pharmaceuticals to kids. The effect of these drugs on developing brains is "largely untested." Why the pill pushing? Insurance companies prod doctors to find quick fixes for kids' problems. An article autopsies Bill Bradley: He "appears to be the wrong man at the wrong place at the wrong time." Al Gore seems certain to lock up the nomination March 7. A piece reveals that drug addiction is skyrocketing among the Hassidim. More than a dozen ultra-Orthodox Jews have been arrested for selling Ecstasy. A rabbi blames the Orthodox for failing to teach that "drugs aren't kosher."

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The New Yorker, March 6

A profile portrays Tipper Gore as a hostage to her husband's ambition and a chronic sufferer of Clinton fatigue. Tipper did not expect Al to pursue political office, but she bowed to his public service "calling." She was outraged by the impeachment crisis and urged Al to distance himself from the president. Tipper is also offended by Hillary's indifference to Al's campaign. An article laments that the Amadou Diallo trial never directly confronted racial profiling. If race remains a proxy for criminality, cops will target (and accidentally kill) innocents. A profile admires Susan Sontag's Madonna-like ability to reinvent herself. Sontag's new novel solidifies her transformation from a critical theorist into a best-selling storyteller.

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Weekly Standard, March 6

A cover package on the GOP duel. A story argues that John McCain can't win the general election. He has alienated his party's base by scorning religious conservatives, attacking supply-side tax cuts, and insulting pro-lifers. Another cover piece concludes that both Republican candidates are doing a lousy job of assembling a winning coalition. George W. Bush must move to the center and "stop referring to his party as a closed corporation." McCain should focus on "core concerns" of Republicans, such as racial quotas. An article claims that Al Sharpton was the only winner in the Democrats' Apollo Theater debate. Sharpton's prominent role at the event—he asked the first question—solidified his transformation from professional agitator to party powerbroker.

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T he Nation, March 13

The cover story calls for a national "care movement." Workers should not have to choose between career advancement and caring for their dependents. Caring is "the most basic form of civic participation." It should be considered a right. An editorial claims John McCain's surge is a sign that 2000 will be the "year of the maverick." The grass roots are longing for a progressive alternative to politics as usual. (Doesn't The Nation see every political happening—most recently the WTO protests—as the genesis of a progressive uprising?)

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