News & Review

Issue: "Passing of a peacemaker," Feb. 20, 1999

Going cold turkey on scandal coverage
Passing time after the trial
Admitting you have a problem is the first and most difficult step. So go ahead-it's nothing to be ashamed of. We're all experiencing a little post-impeachment depression. To help you through this difficult time, World has compiled a list of things you can do to fill every Starr-less night of the week.

  • Search for the lies and duplicity in James Carville's latest book. It's got to be there-Cajun Cooking with my Mamma is probably filled with inaccuracies and misrepresentations. One tsp. of cayenne pepper, indeed.
  • Surf the hot new political Web sites. Just as the Gulf War made CNN a permanent presence in our lives, the late Monicagate has willed us the Web. There's no turning back now, just because the news is less titillating. Check out the hot topics at Town Hall, such as the new paper titled, "Time to Supersize the Federal Ed-Flex Program" (http://www.heritage.org/library/execmemo/em571.html ).
  • Bask in the knowledge that Geraldo has to move on. That's right-no more obsessing about a single, stale story, night after night after night. It's over. So tune in to Rivera Live tonight on CNBC for an update on the JonBenet Ramsey murder case.
  • Tune in to CourtTV. There are plenty of other trials of the century; just last week, for example, you could have caught former child actor Gary Coleman's trial for assault (California vs. Coleman), the Murdered Mistress trial (Delaware vs. Capano) and the Depression Drug Murder Trial (Florida vs. Brancaccio).
  • Return your Matt Drudge fedora. It's old hat, so to speak. And while you're at it, hide that black beret. The new must-have fashion accessories are the Cheryl Mills blazer and the Larry Flynt trench coat. These can be worn while walking your new basset hound (the one you've named David Kendall).
  • Look for more Monica. She's coming back! Soon, her book (co-authored by Princess Diana biographer Andrew Morton) will be published (Barnes and Noble says the big day is Feb. 21, but the publisher has not confirmed that). And her big interview with Barbara Walters on 20/20 will run as soon as the book is available. After that, who knows? Ms. Walters, who says she speaks to Monica regularly, seems quite taken with the new feminist heroine.
  • Write notes of encouragement to Rep. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.), and Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.). They deserve it. Cards (and flowers, if you want, but not candy, because Mr. Hyde is looking a little heavy lately) can be sent to: The Honorable Lindsey Graham, 1429 Longworth House Office Building; The Honorable Asa Hutchinson, 1535 Longworth House Office Building; The Honorable Henry Hyde, 2110 Rayburn House Office Building. All the addresses are Washington, D.C. 20515. The Academy Awards
    An international look
    While Saving Private Ryan won its expected Oscar nomination for best picture, Academy Award voters made a list of nominees with an international flair. Most noticeable is Life Is Beautiful, a bittersweet Italian comedy about the Holocaust, which was a surprise addition. Other best picture picks included another battle-scarred tale, The Thin Red Line, and two upscale movies about Renaissance England: Shakespeare in Love (which led the movie pack with 13 nominations) and Elizabeth. Shakespeare in Love (rated R for sexuality) fantasizes that the great playwright-slaving away over his next hit "Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter"-gets writer's block. The bard (played by Joseph Fiennes, the Queen's love interest in Elizabeth) gets the poetry flowing again when he falls in love with a young noblewoman, and drama fan, Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow). As the plot thickens, it starts to resemble that of "Romeo & Juliet," which the playwright-drawing from his own life and feelings-ends up writing. Meanwhile, the well-praised Truman Show was overlooked, although Ed Harris got a best supporting actor nomination for his role in that film. The winners will be announced March 21.

ABA flip-flops on Independent Counsel
Shooting Starr
Back in the 1970s, the American Bar Association helped concoct the independent counsel law. ABA officials claimed the law would restore public confidence after the Watergate scandal. But now that Kenneth Starr holds the job they helped create, they've quit supporting the statute. The ABA's House of Delegates voted 384-49 on Feb. 8 to turn against the law. The concept deteriorated into "a pursuit of the hunted" and has become "a Jean Valjean nightmare," said Benjamin Civiletti, attorney general under President Carter. Some conservative critics say the independent counsel law was unconstitutional from the start-and the ABA is abandoning it now only because Bill Clinton fell into a trap built for Republican presidents. The 400,000-member group officially claims this is not a referendum on the Clinton impeachment, even though one ABA leader said that Kenneth Starr "is certainly the poster boy for reform of the independent counsel act." The independent counsel law will expire in June unless Congress decides to retain it. Tyson goes to jail again
Technical knockout
Mike Tyson may have knocked himself out of the boxing ring for the last time. He was sentenced last week to a year in jail for kicking one man and striking another after a fender bender last August. And Iron Mike is still on probation for his 1992 rape conviction. "I think he's pretty much history," veteran promoter Bob Arum said of the heavyweight who will probably spend his 33rd birthday in jail. Now Nevada boxing authorities must fight embarrassment: Last October they gave back Mr. Tyson's license, after revoking it (supposedly for life) when the ex-champ bit off chunks of Evander Holyfield's ears. But Tyson handlers still want him to make the big Las Vegas bucks. "Anytime at this point that he would be taken out of the ring would be a real death sentence," said Shelly Finkel, Mr. Tyson's manager. The no-comment Zone

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