New Republic, March 20
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Also in Time, an article argues that John McCain miscalibrated his attack on the religious right. McCain thought speaking out against intolerance-mongers would keep George W. Bush on the defensive and energize independents, but he went too far. … A piece heaps scorn on Al Gore for "playing kissy-face with the vanquished" by praising Bill Bradley in their last debate. Bradleyites utterly disdain Gore, and his staffers refer to the Veep as a "joke" in meetings.
U.S. News warns that after-hours trading is too risky for unsophisticated, small investors. Night trading is plagued by price swings because the after-hours market is low volume, and 24-hour traders are thrill-seekers. … An article reports that the relationship between intelligence and sexual activity in teen-agers is mapped by a bell curve. Mediocre teens get much more action than their smartest and dumbest classmates.
Newsweek, March 13
The cover story laments that the 6-year-old who shot his classmate slipped through the system. Guns, drugs, and disarray enveloped the elementary-school shooter. He was suspended for fighting four times, and he was scheduled to begin "anger-management" therapy in a couple of weeks. … An analysis predicts that independents will skip the November election if Al Gore and George W. Bush emerge as their parties' nominees. John McCain's campaign transformed the GOP. From now on, reformist Republicans will be known as McCainites. … An article examines Hollywood's glass ceiling. Actress Julia Roberts is breaking into the $20 million-per-picture boys' club, but only 5 percent of directing and 13 percent of screenwriting is done by women.
The New Yorker, March 13
An article argues that the men who invented the Pill inadvertently damaged women's health in order to mollify the Catholic Church. In a vain effort to make oral contraceptives seem natural to the church, the makers of the Pill choose to trigger a period every 28 days by interspersing the hormone pills with placebos. The more-frequent menstruation made Pill-takers more vulnerable to ovarian cancer. … A profile crowns Simpsons writer George Meyer the funniest man in Hollywood. The "tyranny of live audiences" assures that live-action sitcoms aim for the lowest common guffaw. The "long gestation" period of animated series allows Meyer to pack The Simpsons with brilliant touches, such as naming the local beauty parlor Perm Bank. … An item applauds the uproar over Bob Jones University's interracial dating ban. Nobody spoke out in defense of the ban, demonstrating "a tectonic change in American attitudes toward race."
The Nation, March 20
The cover story condemns the lead industry for covering up the damage done by leaded gas and suppressing the development of safer anti-knock additives. Lead permanently poisons the environment and causes neurological problems in kids. The United States finally outlawed lead additives in 1986, but leaded gasoline is still damaging developing countries such as Egypt. … An editorial argues that the WTO showdown in Seattle has accelerated the globalization of the AFL-CIO. Labor's "new internationalism" will inspire workers to join hands with infant overseas unions and create a transnational counterpoint to corporate globalization.
Weekly Standard, March 13
The cover story predicts that George W. Bush will be remembered as the Republican Michael Dukakis: a governor who was defeated by a sitting vice president because his party could not see that its message was outmoded. To reassemble a governing coalition, Republicans must embrace John McCain's platform of patriotic reform: campaign-finance control, fiscal conservatism, and social moderation. … An article advises Bush to pick a Catholic running mate to defuse the Bob Jones controversy. Drawing Catholic voters back to the GOP is "a key to winning the White House in 2000."