What's new in the Economist, etc.

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Sept. 10 2004 4:36 PM

Spotlight on Beslan

How terrorism is spreading in Russia.

Economist

Economist, Sept. 11 The cover story recounts the recent tragedy in Beslan and provides a broad survey of how the conflict in Chechnya is affecting Russia's entire North Caucasus region. Kabardino-Balkarskaya is now host to Chechen rebels; Ingushtia, a republic once "fairly free of such terror" is no longer. In short, "Chechnya's conflict is sowing seeds elsewhere."... Another article focuses on the politics of the crisis. Recent events may prompt Putin to be still more aggressive in Chechny, but he'll need to "break today's nexus of perverse incentives that do so much to keep the war going," like "the top-to-bottom corruption that makes a joke of existing controls." ... The magazine also analyzes Bush's bounce in the polls. Though Bush is ahead, polls can be misleading: "[P]eople who feel the winds of public opinion shifting in their direction are more confident about telling pollsters what they think than those who don't." (Read William Saletan's analysis of the poll numbers in Slate.)

The New Yorker

The New Yorker, Sept. 13
David Remnick's detailed 14-page profile explores Al Gore as teacher, money-maker, politician, Kerry supporter, introvert, and more, but Gore still won't reveal two key pieces of information. When asked about the 2000 campaign, Gore responds cautiously, "I don't really want to get into a full dialogue ... because at another time and in another venue I may want to treat that fully." And when asked about his biggest mistake in politics, he can't unearth a serious answer. The piece does delve into his transformation post-political spotlight—from wooden candidate with "awkward self-presentation" into a "liberated" "modest, intelligent, and poised" man.... Another nuanced profile of sorts follows President Bush on the trail and examines his savvy style, performance, and delivery: "Bush has created a language of his own—as austere and strange as David Mamet or Samuel Beckett, with whom he shares a taste for speaking spare absolutes that can sound simultaneously profound and absurd."

Weekly Standard

Weekly Standard, Sept. 13 Who will protect the nation, and who will improve domestic policy? One article says these are the "two campaigns" this election. Previously, Bush led in the former; Kerry led in the latter—now Bush is front-runner in both: "The race really is Bush's to win, perhaps comfortably." ... Kerry might be losing the battle, says another piece, but not because of the Republicans—Kerry's impassioned post-Republican Convention self-defense provided "the most persuasive words" about why he "should not be the next president."... And in a staunch defense of Bush, David Gelernter says don't herald the president for his post-9/11 leadership—herald him for his ability "to deal with a still bigger event—the end of the Cold War," which left America with a "moral obligation to overthrow tyrants." He's had it with Bush-bashers of the reactionary left who don't understand this; in fact, he says their "hatred" is akin to racism.

New York Times Magazine
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New York Times Magazine, Sept. 12 A profile about Donald Trump calls him "the emblematic New Yorker" and delves into why he's become a veritable phenomenon: "Trump's meteoric rise from mere superstar to brand name is a testament to the power of television." For example, the article says, Trump's book Trump: The Art of the Deal made him famous and sold 835,000 copies, but The Apprentice boasted more than 40 million viewers last season. Insights into his personality—"Donald Trump is an ego-maniacal, germophobic multi-multi-millionaire, and yet television viewers ... can't get enough of him."—pepper the profile, as well as revelations about Trump's tendency to exaggerate. ... The cover story outlines the argument for and against the inclusion of schoolchildren with disabilities into regular classrooms by chronicling a year in the life of a young boy with cerebral palsy as he's integrated into his New York City public school classroom.

Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report

Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report, Sept. 13
Playing dirty:
All offer their take on the election post-convention— Time columnist Joe Klein compares Zell Miller to Pat Buchanan and calls his speech "the ugliest thing I've ever seen at a convention." For Kerry to win, he'll have to dish it back: "After the G.O.P. assault, Kerry has a right to exaggerate with impunity."... Newsweek notes Kerry has brought in help to revive the campaign: Thomas Vallely is managing the Swift boat crisis; campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, who's been criticized for her guidance, "is likely to survive the turmoil," but Kerry's padded her efforts by "leaning more heavily on another old chum: John Sasso."... U.S. News claims the candidates' stance on national security will decide the election. Short interviews with both candidates accompany that cover story: Bush defends the Iraq war, pointing to Japan as a historical example of enemy-turned-ally; Kerry, meanwhile, denounces Bush's war leadership: "The war, he said, would cost $1 billion—we've spent almost $200 billion."

Religious wars:Time's cover story, "Struggle for the Soul of Islam" takes an in-depth look at how the conflict between radical and moderate Muslims plays out in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan, as well as in Europe and the United States. According to statistics, 13 percent of British Muslims support "further attacks by al-Qaeda or similar organizations on the U.S.A." And in Saudi Arabia, "48.7% sympathizes with the aims of bin Laden." Who might be lured into Islam's radical ways? Education and income have little to do with it, but "the repressive nature of many Arab governments and the sense of aggrievement that has plagued Muslim societies" may play a role....An accompanying article questions whether the Quran permits and pardons some of the acts, such as execution, committed by radical Islamists, and another piece reassures that in the United States, "a quiet tide of Islamic reform is very much underway." 

Heart healthy: Both Time and U.S. News squeeze in a last-minute mention about Clinton's quadruple bypass surgery. Time notes that since the surgery is routine (albeit serious), his "biggest problem at the hospital might be overcrowding: the Emir of Kuwait, also in for treatment, has taken several rooms on the same floor as Clinton." U.S. News also reports on the surgery, and in a Web-only item, says that Clinton is going to add some low-cholesterol, healthy options to the fatty favorites he's planning to serve at the restaurant that's to sit next door to his presidential library and museum, opening this November. ... Time and U.S. News devote small articles to the late-breaking hostage disaster in Russia in the print edition (Newsweek offers a photo and covers the crisis online)—though neither delve into larger national issues, both describe the horrific event in detail.

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