The Editor's Desk

For 18 months six years ago, Richard Wolffe, then with the Financial Times, spent nearly every day following George W. Bush as the Texas governor ran for president of the United States. And Charles Ommanney was a fixture on Bush's campaign plane, taking pictures for NEWSWEEK. So as President Bush prepared to travel to St. Petersburg for the G8 summit of world leaders several weeks ago, we approached the White House with the idea of allowing Richard and Charles to travel with him and conduct a...

THE EDITOR'S DESK

Was George W. Bush right all this time about how to produce more democracy in the Arab world? That's the question even many critics of the administration have been asking themselves as they've watched the recent moving events in the Middle East. Iraqis casting their first free vote in decades. Palestinians electing a leader who is taking steps to make peace with Israel after the death of Yasir Arafat. Egypt's one-party ruler committing himself to multiparty democracy. And the people of Lebanon...

THE EDITOR'S DESK

Most hours of the working day, Anne Underwood can be found busily toiling away in her NEWSWEEK office, surrounded by Post-it notes and a half-eaten lunch. But every so often, she takes time out to calm herself by lighting a candle, turning on her multicolored mood lamp and listening to recordings of Tibetan gongs and Native American flutes. Chicago correspondent Karen Springen recharges by walking several miles every day and taking bike rides with her young daughters. On a yearlong Knight...

THE EDITOR'S DESK

"Money is the mother's milk of politics." It was true in the 1960s, when those wry words were uttered by Jesse Unruh, the legendary speaker of the California Assembly. And it's even more true today, given the ever-soaring cost of TV political advertising. That's why with each election cycle, we ask our investigative reporters Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball to "follow the money." In the '90s, Mike and Mark broke several major stories about Bill Clinton's questionable fund-raising practices....

The Editor's Desk

Sometimes we know we're on to a great story by the length of time we spend discussing it in our weekly Wednesday cover meeting. Several months ago, Senior Editor David Noonan pitched a project on "Generation Excess"--about how kids today grow up wanting and getting more than ever in history. Half an hour later, staffers at the table were still talking about how they've confronted the materialism issue in their own homes. And as we continued mulling during the following weeks, it dawned on us...

THE EDITOR'S DESK

Every summer, my wife and I take our kids to a little cabin in the Catskill mountains that we purchased as newlyweds almost two decades ago. It's a time for us to relax, see old friends--and hear what people are thinking outside the bubble of New York City. Since our house is near Woodstock, of '60s rock-and-roll fame, we come across a lot of old-fashioned liberals. But I've also made friends with a fair number of conservative Republicans who like to hunt deer in the fall and play golf at the...

From the Editor

When the great black-out of 2003 struck, we knew immediately that we'd be ripping up our cover to crash a special report. But first, we had to worry about how to put out a magazine with no electricity. Like 50 million other Americans, we lost our power shortly after 4 p.m. on Thursday. Staffers calmly made their way down darkened stairwells, heading to hotels or home on foot, and waited for the lights to go back on. But by late morning on Friday, our block on West 57th Street still wasn't back...

The Editor's Desk

On Thursday, Oct. 3, Washington correspondent Pat Wingert was at her desk when cable-TV news started reporting a string of deadly shootings in Montgomery County, Md. A former courts reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, Pat immediately grabbed a notebook and started covering the story. For the next three weeks, she stayed on the case--all the while worrying about the safety of her three kids, two of whom were in "lockdown" at schools near the Maryland border. Last week, when the suspected snipers...

The Editor's Desk

All last week I kept thinking of the summer of 1977. I was a 19-year-old college student working as a summer intern in NEWSWEEK's San Francisco bureau. But I was transfixed by a crime story unfolding 3,000 miles away. For a year, a serial killer wielding a .44-caliber revolver had been gunning down attractive young women around New York City, eluding police while taunting them with bizarre notes saying he was "Sam's Creation." While cops searched in vain, the rest of us tried to figure out who...

The Editor's Desk

After months of heated debate, our leading public-health officials made a startling announcement last week. The bioterror threat brought home by September 11, and the looming showdown with Iraq, have led them to favor eventually giving all Americans the option to be vaccinated against smallpox. It was only two decades ago that we thought this horrific disease had been eradicated forever, and 30 years since kids stopped receiving routine inoculations. But now the top doctors are recommending a...

The Editor's Desk

Teenagers are moody. They like to keep their bedroom doors shut. They often don't want to talk at the family dinner table. They can take temporary setbacks very hard. And all that's normal--even healthy. After all, they're learning emotional independence, all while wrestling with the pressures of schoolwork, friends and sexual development. So how are kids, and their parents, to know when the expected ups and downs of adolescence give way to the chronic lows of depression?As Barbara Kantrowitz...

The Editor's Desk

How smart does George W. Bush have to be? Remember that debate during the 2000 election? Supporters said he only had to be shrewd enough to run a "CEO presidency"--to appoint strong advisers, lay out a vision and delegate details. Critics argued that governing was more complicated. History shows, they noted, that aides inevitably end up disagreeing, particularly on the most fateful decisions. It's then that a president must rely on his own intelligence and judgment to mediate, to choose and to...

The Editor's Desk

For months, there were hints that something awful had happened. In early December, as Taliban prisoners who surrendered at the battle of Konduz were arriving at Sheberghan prison in northern Afghanistan, a New York Times correspondent reported that dozens had died en route. Then U.N. and human-rights officials showed up to investigate, but their findings were never released. Next a British documentary shown in Europe alleged that U.S.-backed Afghan forces had deliberately killed many of the...

The Editor's Desk

You may think you know Jane Bryant Quinn. If you're a longtime subscriber to NEWSWEEK, you've followed her wise financial advice for 25 years. You've read her syndicated columns and seen her ageless picture (she really is that ageless) in papers across the country. You've watched her on TV, from her appearances on morning shows to the days when she was a contributor to the "CBS Evening News." And if you follow business journalism, you know about her many awards: the two John Hancocks, the...

The Editor's Desk

We don't do "Hollywood covers" very often, and we don't always get them right. In retrospect, we've done some that were pretty silly. ("Can a Movie Help Make a President?" was our line for the 1983 astronaut epic, "The Right Stuff." Within months the candidate in question, John Glenn, withdrew from the race.) We've also lived to regret putting a movie our reviewers didn't like on the cover because we thought it would have big box-office--and newsstand-- sales. (Remember "Pearl Harbor"?...

Whites V. Blacks

IT WAS JUST AFTER 1 P.M. EAST COAST time last Tuesday, the moment when America stopped. At a small midtown Manhattan law firm, the managing, partner had invited the entire office to the conference room to watch the O. J. Simpson verdict. Delaying lunches, holding calls, some 50 lawyers and 25 support staff gathered around the TV. About a dozen of them were blacks or other minorities, but it was the kind of place where people thought that skin color wasn't a big deal. One attorney had conducted...

Malcolm X

X ... X ... X ... X ... X / Now that Malcolm's dead ... / We all love Malcolm; / Malcolm's alive ... / Though His body's been Dead / Damn near Thirty Years Now ... / Yes ... I"m sure Malcolm loves / His name scrawled all over / Drug peddlers backs / X ... X ... X marks the spot/ X ... Gang Violence/ X ... Babies having babies / X ... literacy is kool / I'm sure Brother Malcolm loves / The way his philosophy / Is held in those young black fists / Delivering fiery resolve / To trivial issues ......

A Crisis Of Shattered Dreams

Decades of racial progress have given way to growing resentment on both sides of the color line. A look at what divides blacks and whites--and what might be done to bridge the gapOn a Wednesday evening in early April, more than 100 blacks and Jews gathered at the Union United Methodist Church in Boston for an unusual Passover celebration. With a moving mixture of Hebrew readings and black spirituals, they retold the story of the Jewish Exodus out of slavery in Egypt. It was a heartening...

Free!

In a high-stakes wager, de Klerk releases Mandela. Now the president and the prisoner face a tough negotiation for South Africa's future.