Policy made plain.
April 27 1997 3:30 AM

The Curse of Slate


Last Friday, April 18, was a good-news, bad-news kind of day for Dean Buntrock. The good news was that he and his wife were No. 1 on the Slate 60 Quarterly Update. That is, as of the end of March, they had donated more money to charity in 1997 than any other Americans that we could find out about: $26 million, to be exact, to St. Olaf College in Minnesota. But no good deed goes unpunished. That same day, a stockholder rebellion more or less forced Buntrock to offer to step aside as head of WMX Corp. (formerly known as Waste Management Inc.), a company he founded and has run for decades. We trust he takes comfort in the thought that his beneficiaries appreciate him even if his stockholders don't.

Meanwhile, friends of Lewis and Dorothy Cullman, No. 3 on the list with a $10 million gift to Yale and another $10 million to the New York Public Library, were quick to note that they did not recognize Lewis Cullman in our alleged photograph of the generous couple. We did have a photograph of the Cullmans, posing with the president of the library, Paul LeClerc. We then made the classic error of cropping out the wrong man. We hope nobody saw Dorothy Cullman with the library president and thought: "Poor Mr. Cullman. This is the thanks he gets for his $10 million." In any event, through the magic of Internet technology (i.e., the ability to erase your mistakes), we have restored Dorothy to the arms of her husband. Our apologies to all three.

Fray of Hope

Slate's Fraymistress, Pavia Rosati, has been on leave the past few weeks and will be out of "The Fray" for a few more weeks. During her absence, two of our earliest and most energetic "Fraygrants" have been filling in. CoHost Nedfagan is the handle of Ned Fagan, and CoHost IrvSnod is also known as Irving Snodgrass. Both of them lead rich nonvirtual lives in faraway locales, so we appreciate their involvement in and dedication to Slate's community bulletin board. If you haven't yet entered the Fray, please give it a try. You must register in order to post a message (it's easy and free), but you can "lurk"--i.e., read what other people are saying--without registering.


--Michael Kinsley

Michael Kinsley is a columnist, and the founding editor of Slate.