Long Live the Internauts

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
March 10 2000 9:30 PM

Long Live the Internauts

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New Republic, March 20

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A cover story predicts that John McCain's insurgency will cement the cleavage between neoconseratives and theoconservatives. Evangelicals like Pat Robertson always discomfited Jewish Republicans like Bill Kristol. The Kristolites embrace McCain's "secular religion: patriotism." Neocons might create a think tank to promote McCain Republicanism. An article explains why Gary Bauer supported McCain: Bauer wants to address the concerns of working-class Christians. He supports campaign-finance reform and rejects entitlement privatization. Pat Buchanan might succeed where Bauer failed by dividing the right between country-club conservatives and pitchfork revivalists. A piece rehabilitates managed care. HMOs are reining in medical inflation and rationing care in a rational way. Despite dire predictions, medical innovation has flourished, waiting lists are rare, and public health is improving.

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Economist, March 17

A cantankerous cover editorial castigates George W. Bush and Al Gore for conducting "politics as usual." The nomination battle leaves Gore beholden to unions and Bush indebted to "agents of intolerance." Like every other magazine, the Economist believes that whichever candidate can capture McCain independents will win the election. … The long survey predicts that immigration will reshape the United States by pulling the population south and west and reinvigorating service unions. Technology and cheap travel enable immigrants to maintain stable bilingual communities and close ties to their homeland. An article mocks the Académie Française's latest attempt to roll back the panzer force of popular culture: The Académie wants the French to refer to e-mail as la messagerie électronique and to call Web surfers internauts.

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New York Times Magazine, March 12

The cover story hails Stephen Sondheim's contributions to Broadway. West Side Story—he was its lyricist—"upended the genteel conventions" of musical theater. Unfortunately, tourist spectacles such as Disney's The Lion King swamp sophisticated Sondheim musicals such as Sweeney Todd.  An essay says George W. Bush has not been criticized enough for his Bob Jones University speech. A double standard exists that excuses the intolerance of evangelical Protestants. Louis Farrakhan has accused Jews of Satanism and dual loyalty. The Bob Jones Web site makes identical claims about Catholics. The "bigotry of Bob Jones is morally indistinguishable from that of the Nation of Islam." (Timothy Noah's " Chatterbox" explores BJU's equivocations on interracial dating.) An article warns that overpatenting will inhibit the growth of the digital economy. The government is issuing patents for business methods, such as Amazon's one-click purchasing and Ask Jeeves' natural-language queries. Patenting ideas will restrain trade and boost prices.

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Forbes, March 20

The cover story ranks the most powerful celebrities according to income and fame. Julia Roberts tops the list, though she banked only $50 million last year. George Lucas' $400 million income earns him second place. The bronze goes to Oprah Winfrey, who made $150 million. Verne Troyer places 92nd, even though he earned a mere $300,000 as Austin Powers' Mini-Me. …  An article slams celebrities for using their so-called charitable foundations to make money and win favorable publicity. Puffy Combs' foundation pays him a $50,000 salary. Evander Holyfield claims that 86 percent of his charity's revenues are eaten up by overhead.

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Time and U.S. News & World Report, March 13

Diseases of the week on the cover. Colon cancer in Time, heart disease in U.S. News. Time joins Katie Couric's crusade against the disease that killed her husband. Colon cancer afflicts 130,000 Americans a year, including other celebrities such as Charles Schulz, Audrey Hepburn, and the Bewitched witch, Elizabeth Montgomery. In the "We really, really don't need to see this" department: Couric will broadcast footage taken inside her own colon.  U.S. News oversells a story about incremental improvements in heart treatment. Laser incisions might relieve angina, ultrasound probes can find heart-attack-inducing plaque, and radiation therapy may supplement angioplasty, but there is no cure-all for coronary disease. 

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