What Digital Divide?

What Digital Divide?

What Digital Divide?

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Feb. 4 2000 9:00 PM

What Digital Divide?

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New Republic, Feb. 14

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An editorial warns against inflating the importance of the New Hampshire primary, which always shakes front-runners because the Granite State is "politically weird." Its citizens are less ideological, better educated, and richer than most Americans. The cover story spins the sad tale of Leon Smith, a NBA rookie who recently attempted suicide. Smith grew up in orphanages, but when word of his talent spread, the neglected youth was surrounded by greedy courtiers. He couldn't handle the crush of expectations. A piece deflates hysteria over the digital divide. As broadband makes the Web "less a medium of education, and more a medium of entertainment," the poor will need less encouragement to get online.

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Economist, Feb. 10

An article explains how Bill Clinton changed American politics. Balanced budgets and a booming economy broke "the automatic association of Democrats with profligacy." Micro-initiatives and devolving power to the states quelled hostility toward government. The cover editorial hopes that John McCain, the "knight-errant of American politics," will succeed in moving his party toward the center. 

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Brill's Content, March 2000

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The cover story applauds the TV drama West Wing for presenting "a truer, more human picture of the people behind the headlines" than Washington journalism does. An article exposes how misreporting ignited Gore-bashing. When Al Gore mentioned that a kid's letter about a Tennessee toxic dump prompted him to hold hearings on Love Canal, New York Times reporter Katharine Q. Seelye incorrectly claimed that Gore asserted: "I was the one who started it all." Many journalists cited Seelye's misquote as evidence of the vice president's mendaciousness. A piece argues that the Western press presents a one-sided view of the war in Chechnya. The Russian attack is a response to rebel terrorism and the invasion of Dagestan.

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New York Times Magazine, Feb. 6

The cover story applauds "the computer-game playing, New Economy-minded" King of Jordan. Abdullah II intends to transform Amman into the Internet capital of the Middle East. The American-educated ex-wrestler is so "fluent in the language of American pop culture" that he expresses his distaste for Jordan's bureaucracy by referring to an episode of Dharma & Greg. An article predicts the comeback of bacteriophages as an incredible weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The microscopic predators were discovered in the diarrhea of locusts and developed in Stalin's Soviet Union. Whoever patents them will become a billionaire. A profile of National Book Award-winning novelist Ha Jin marvels at the yawning gulf between the Chinese émigré's marvelous written English and his shaky spoken English. 

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GQ, February 2000

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The magazine asks, "Which candidate would make the best-dressed president?" Pat Buchanan's "saucy-riverboat-gambler look" suits his rhetorical flamboyance; George W. Bush's padded shoulders complement his corporate image; John McCain's wraparound shades symbolize his maverick nature; and Al Gore's three-button suits ameliorate "his tendency toward huskiness, a hallmark of the Clinton administration." An article champions the anti-circumcision movement and its radical "foreskin restoration" wing. (It involves rubber bands. Don't ask.) "Anti-circers" assert that shedding the foreskin is not a hygienic necessity and that women prefer sex with uncircumcised gents.  

 

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Time, Feb. 7

The cover story argues that the little guy gets screwed by a campaign-finance system that trades contributions for influence. A related investigation claims that $5.5 million in campaign contributions by Chiquita, its CEO, and his family members convinced Congress and the Clinton administration to retaliate against European banana quotas. The resulting 100 percent tariff on lithographs and bath products is destroying some small American importers. An article reveals that George W. Bush is refraining from negative attacks in New Hampshire because he's convinced that he'll crush John McCain in South Carolina and easily win the nomination. A piece hypes The Sims, a computer game that allows geeks to play God by creating virtual families. 

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Newsweek, Feb. 7

The cover story, trailing other magazines by months, salutes the World Wrestling Federation. The WWF, valued at over $1 billion, produces cable's highest-rated programs, and two wrestler autobiographies top the New York Times' best-seller list. Vince McMahon transformed the WWF into a "raunchier version of the Disney kingdom" by creating ongoing melodramas. An article applauds our " 'Goldilocks economy' (not too hot, not too cold)." Whether America's longest sustained economic boom will continue depends on the fiscal policies of President Clinton's successor. A piece  argues that the religion of presidential candidates sheds little light on how they would govern. Faith is an imperfect proxy for ethics. After all, Clinton is a Bible-thumper.

 

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U.S. News & World Report, Feb. 7

The cover story claims that love can be explained by evolutionary biology. Men find curvaceous chicks attractive because zaftig women are well-suited to childbearing. Women prefer John Wayne-type guys because big chins signify robust health and high testosterone levels. A piece predicts that 2000 will be "the year of the clone." So far this year, the Japanese have produced the first clone-of-a-clone, and the British granted an American company the first patent for cloning humans.  An article says computer products are organized crime's latest profit center. Pirated software and counterfeit mice are being peddled by "digital dons" from Russian and Asian crime syndicates.

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The New Yorker, Feb. 7

A profile of Jerry Lewis recoils at the King of Schmaltz's crass narcissism. Lewis, basking in the resurgence of his brand of physical comedy, fondly recalls when he would "knock off four broads in an afternoon" and boasts that he has an IQ of 174.  A piece argues that Hillary Clinton's "haze of good intentions" and "genius for gestures of empathy" can't conceal that her campaign for Senate is predicated on personal ambition.  An article applauds a young entrepreneur's efforts find to a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease. Jamie Heywood never took a biology course, but when his little brother was diagnosed with the fatal illness, Heywood researched the disease and designed an experimental genetic treatment. His crusade injected new energy into efforts to find a cure.

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Weekly Standard, Feb. 7

The cover story laments feminism's latest perversion: the conversion of the "desire to look pretty for menfolk" into the need "to look fit and taut as a symbol of strength, power, and mastery." The "Cult-of-the-Body era" is a boon for health clubs and plastic surgeons. An article razzes President Clinton's State of the Union address. His laundry list of feel-good proposals reflects classic Clintonian "policy bedlam."  An editorial argues that Clinton's address ignored the need to increase defense spending. In an era of surpluses, national security deserves "as much attention as the long-term needs of the Social Security and Medicare programs."

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The Nation, Feb. 14

The cover story claims Clinton's "third way" is "a cul-de-sac" for the Democratic Party. Clinton did little—besides increasing the minimum wage, the top tax rate, and the Earned Income Tax Credit—to correct the "maldistribution of wealth." Clintonites failed Democrats by not securing ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and "by not taking on the military-industrial complex." An editorial condemns South Carolinians who cling to the Confederate battle flag. When South Carolina seceded, it cited preservation of slavery as its primary goal. The state first flew the flag over its capitol in the '60s to symbolize resistance against the civil rights movement.

 

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Business Week, Feb. 7

The cover story skeptically assesses for-profit education. So far, students in the nation's 200 for-profit schools are faring poorly. Some schools cut back on extracurricular activities and turn away severely disabled students. Few for-profits are profitable. An article exposes online drug dealers. More than 400 e-pharmacies are peddling pills through the Web. Many sites advertise the easy availability of drugs with slogans such as "No prescription? No problem. ..." The FDA is planning a crackdown.