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Ben Stein Story on Page One?

February 11, 1988

The world according to Ben Stein is a strange place indeed. Kind of reminds me of an old "Saturday Night Live" routine about a planet where everything is backward. Stein writes a slash piece about Joan Rivers following the death of her husband and then says that his family and friends are being "chewed up by Rivers' publicity machine." Huh?

To prove what a swell human being he really is, Stein invokes the civil rights movement ("I love to sing, by the way"), his friendships with the waiters at Morton's ("I don't look upon them as servants"), and the fact that some of his family members were in the armed services. The only time Stein's world doesn't seem topsy-turvy is when he compares himself to the war heroes in his family and concludes that, " . . . compared to those people, what I'm doing is nothing! Nothing!"

Or maybe that's not so true after all. What Stein has done isn't "nothing." There is a word for it, but I don't think the Los Angeles Times would print it.

JUDY STEARNS

Los Angeles

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