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The Fat Hits the Fire Over Cholesterol

September 07, 1989|GARRY ABRAMS | Times Staff Writer

"All I can say is Mother Jones scooped the world on Newt Gingrich," the magazine quotes Jackie Gingrich as saying in its latest profile of the Georgia Representative in the October issue.

The former Mrs. Gingrich was referring to a five-year-old Mother Jones article that portrayed Gingrich as "a candidate who ran a 'family values campaign' while cheating on his first wife, Jackie, then appeared at her hospital bedside as she recovered from surgery to negotiate a divorce."

This time around the magazine isn't solely reliving former glories, however. Citing two former Gingrich staffers, the October profile charges that almost from the beginning of his career on Capitol Hill Gingrich violated ethical guidelines governing campaign work by congressional staffers. Neither staffer has been quoted previously in media stories about Gingrich, who himself is under fire for receiving royalties from his book, "Window of Opportunity," in an alleged scheme similar to the one that helped unseat Wright.

Targeting Drugs

Federal drug czar William Bennett doesn't have a moral problem with beheading drug dealers.

This reminder that "the drug problem brings out the animal in all of us" comes in the Sept. 11 issue of The New Republic, keyed to the rising tempo of anti-drug policy developments that culminated with President Bush's speech Tuesday outlining his war-on-drugs strategy.

As its kickoff, the editorial quotes the transcript of a television call-in program during which Bennett told a caller that "morally I don't have any problem" with beheading drug leaders instead of sending them to prison.

While the editorial was written before Bush's speech, editor Michael Kinsley said it was intended as the magazine's riposte to Bush's long-awaited speech in which the President outlined a plan for stepping up drug enforcement, treatment and prevention.

"We've had a long record of skepticism about drug hysteria," Kinsley said, conceding that drugs are indeed a serious problem but maintaining that current concern is overblown.

In its unsigned editorial, the magazine maintained that "Ivy League college students and suburban stockbrokers who smoke marijuana or snort cocaine on weekends do not represent a national emergency. Yes, some upper-class drug users are seriously damaging their lives, and many are in some measure reducing their own, and therefore the nation's, productivity. But people also sacrifice productivity by watching too much TV. . . . "

The real problem, the editorial argued, is the complex social tangle that makes inner-city drug dealing so profitable--and so threatening to society at large.

To be effective, government anti-drug programs ought to be aimed at "the growing disparity between haves and have-nots, in particular the crystallization of a discrete, disproportionately black class of poor people who have virtually no hope of escaping poverty. It is here, in the vicinity of the underclass, that most drug headlines are made, and here that the brunt of the federal drug program should be felt."

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