Today, Other Magazines reads Newsweek, The New Yorker, New York, and the Weekly Standard to find out what's worth your time—and what's not.
Newsweek examines Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama's promises to make change happen—and how effective reform-minded presidential candidates were in the past. Often, the piece notes, change has less to do with the individual than you might think. "Change rarely has much to do with campaign promises, and everything to do with unexpected events, from Pearl Harbor to 9/11."— J.R.
Best Political Obit
In the Weekly Standard,Dean Barnett lends a personal touch as he mourns the departure of Mitt Romney from the GOP race. Barnett's history with Romney offers a genuine look at the failed candidate whom the media often buried.—C.M.
Best Foreign-Affairs Piece
The New Yorker looks into Israel's largely unexplained bombing of Syria in September of last year. So, was the mysterious attack all about destroying an emerging nuclear reactor or not? Why all the secrecy on both sides? One intelligence expert: "Anytime you bomb another state, that's a big deal. … But where's the outcry, particularly from the concerned states and the U.N.? Something's amiss."—J.R.
Kofi Annan witnessed the horrors of genocide in Srebenica and Rwanda during his time at the United Nations, and today it surges once more in the ethnic cleansing in Kenya. Newsweek speaks with him about why brother-against-brother fratricidal wars seem endemic to Africa.—J.R.
New York delves into the murky circumstances surrounding the death of hedge-fund financier Seth Tobias, who was found by his wife floating in their Florida pool. Tobias' wife has been accused of killing her husband via an Ambien overdose by "a 300-pound gay con man and Internet psychic with a long criminal history." The tabloid-ready story is full of salacious, if unsubstantiated, subplots—a male stripper named Tiger, a Vegas revenge beating, and a marriage of convenience among them.—N.M.
Best Trend Piece
Newsweek chronicles the emergence of "reputation-management services"—companies that take regrettable postings on blogs and other sites and try to sweep them under the rug. Said one company: "We're the next generation of public relations."—J.R.
Best Sports Piece
New York asks Cooper Manning, older brother of Eli and Peyton, what it's like to be the only non-Super Bowl MVP in the family: "So no repressed jealousy, crushed dreams, that kind of stuff?" Nope, swears Manning, who also quips, "There's a lot of pressure on me next year. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do."—N.M.
Best Hollywood Article
Newsweek looks at the Spirit Awards, aka the "anti-Oscars." Although it currently airs only on the Independent Film Channel, the censor- and orchestra-free award show may be on the cusp of making it big.—J.R.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, New York rewinds its Strategist section back to 1968, giving wink-and-a-nod nostalgic "tips" on what to buy (the Kodak Instamatic for $55), where to live (try an Upper West Side apartment for $590 a month) and what new fad food to eat (sushi, "available in only a few Japanese restaurants about the city").—N.M.