Ol' Blue Lips
May 13, 1991
Kitty Kelley's achievement is extraordinary. She has provided a reason for sympathy with Nancy Reagan. She has taken one of the shrewdest, coldest, most manipulative women in American politics, a woman who broke new ground in spousal power, and transformed her into a victim. Kelley is a mean and greedy writer, so drunk on sensationalism that she lacks compassion and understanding. Her subject was a mean and greedy First Lady, so drunk on power that she lacked compassion and understanding. Both believe that nothing succeeds like excess and pettiness.
Trouble in Store
July 02, 1990
Following a dispute between a black "customer and a Korean merchant, blacks in a heavily Haitian part of Brooklyn's Flatbush section have been boycotting two Korean produce stores since the end of January. Protesters have kept the flow of customers to a trickle, vowing to drive the merchants from the neighborhood. Each side has made the inevitable Spike Lee allusions. In mid-May, in front of the Family Red Apple grocery store, a boycotter with a megaphone yelled, "Koreans must go. They should not be here in the first place.
July 14, 1986
Guess what, Miss Liberty. Ed Meese has a birthday present for you. On July 3, a few hours before President Reagan flies north to officiate at the centennial celebration of the world's biggest female statue, his attorney general, if all goes as planned, will release the final text of the report of his pornography commission. The resulting fireworks may rival the big show in the sky over New York Harbor.
Age of Celebritics
February 24, 1986
LOS ANGELES—Let’s see. On March 1 we have the Great Peace March. Three thousand people walking from Los Angeles to Washington for nuclear disarmament, starting at a star-studded concert in the L.A. Coliseum. Endorsed by Madonna. Tents provided by North Face. Shoe sponsorship under negotiation. Total cost: $20 million. Arrives in Washington November 15. Meanwhile, on May 25, there’s Hands Across America. A 4,000-mile human chain from Los Angeles to New York to raise $100 million to “combat domestic hunger and homelessness.” Organized by USA for Africa (“We Are the World”).
The Farrakhan Factor
October 27, 1985
Louis Farrakhan has figured out the secret of demagoguery. First the posters announcing his appearance go up—"Power at Last Forever," they say—and alarm bells go off in the city's Jewish community. Then pressure is exerted on black officials, not always subtly, to denounce the Black Muslim minister. Next a press conference is called at which Jews and some but not all black leaders criticize Farrakhan. This gets TV and newspaper coverage, but so do comments by other blacks who either defend Farrakhan or complain about being leaned on to attack him.
The Triumph of Asian-Americans
July 15, 1985
David A. Bell: How one group of immigrants found its place in America.
Addiction à L.A. Mode
July 08, 1985
Los Angeles—In a city that already regards chefs, hairdressers, and lawyers as acceptable playmates, the flowering of yet another exotic social type can’t be regarded as particularly noteworthy. But in Los Angeles this season there’s a new species of personal companion on the rialto that is not only positively orchidaceous but that demonstrates just how chic addiction has become. The hottest companion here is a “disenabler.” A “disenabler” (also known as a “key voice”) is a person who keeps you from doing drugs or from drinking.
Open the Door
March 31, 1985
Chuck Lane: The case for embracing immigration.
June 18, 1984
We have reached a political nadir of some sort if the Democratic Party candidate for the leadership of the free world is chosen on the basis of a casual remark about New Jersey. Yet it seems possible history will record that Gary Hart lost his chance to be President when he stood with his wife, Lee, on a Los Angeles terrace and uttered these fateful words: “The deal is that we campaign separately; that’s the bad news.