New York

Christian Rights
July 07, 1997

On a recent afternoon in Washington, D.C., a group of Christian evangelicals and social activists met at the offices of the conservative Family Research Council to watch a short home movie. The twenty-minute film, smuggled out of the People’s Republic of China, depicted Chinese Christians involved in the illegal faith known as the home church movement. The audience watched scenes of hundreds of worshipers at passionate prayer— swaying, chanting—in the caves and fields where they secretly meet.

Hud Sucker Proxy
June 23, 1997

Upon hearing that I was planning to write about the proposed changes in federal housing policy, a press secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development graciously offered me an interview with the secretary, Andrew Cuomo. This was slightly odd. It's usually the reporter's job in these matters to solicit access to the Cabinet secretary and the flack's job to deny it. And I am the sort of reporter who quite properly would be denied; the story I wanted to write, examining public policy, didn't require access to anyone so grand as a member of the Cabinet.

The Numbers Game
May 19, 1997

During the blustery first week of March, New York was talking of nothing but riches. No matter that the stock market was slipping from its dizzying perch, New Yorkers were spending fortunes in their heads. "I would buy a big house and get lots of maids so I never have to clean again," one young woman told a local reporter. "If I win, I want to take my family to see Howard Stern’s movie this weekend," William Boutilette told the New York Post. Boutilette had come from New Jersey for a shot at the jackpot. The hopeful stood in endless lines, swarmed through newsstands at the rate of over 8,000

Out of Order
May 05, 1997

When renowned conservative radio talk-show host Armstrong Williams offered Stephen Gregory a job as his personal trainer in 1994, Gregory assumed his new boss was simply interested in shaping up. But when Gregory later became a producer for the radio program, occasionally traveling to speaking engagements with Williams, Williams allegedly began showing an interest that Gregory took as more than merely professional. In a complaint filed on April 10 in D.C.

The Bloods and the Crits
December 09, 1996

During the past decade, an academic movement called critical race theory has gained increasing currency in the legal academy. Rejecting the achievements of the civil rights movement of the 1960s as epiphenomenal, critical race scholars argue that the dismantling of the apparatus of formal segregation failed to purge American society of its endemic racism, or to improve the social status of African Americans in discernible or lasting ways. The claim that these scholars make is not only political; it is also epistemological.

Freedom's Smoke
November 03, 1996

The Runaway Jury by John Grisham (Doubleday, 401 pp., $26.95) Smokescreen: The Truth Behind the Tobacco Industry Cover-up by Philip J.

The Quarterback
October 14, 1996

Then Jackie Kemp came on and we seemed to collapse, offensively and defensively. The final score was 50-20. It was the most humiliating moment of my life. I had never lost a game by that kind of score, even in high school. --O.J. Simpson, The Education of a Rich Rookie (1970)     September 23 & 24: I am in Jack Kemp's press pool today mainly because no one else wants to be; no one else wants to be because tagging along with the running mate of a presidential candidate who trails by sixteen points with forty-three days to go is not journalism but a death watch.

Pale Imitation
October 14, 1996

The price of the September 14 elections in Bosnia was not simply that ethnic cleansers were legitimized; it was, more mundanely, that ethnic cleansers were elected. Though Radovan Karadzic was not voted into office (indicted war criminals were not permitted to run), his ideas were. All three ruling parties--Serb, Croat and Muslim--spent the election "campaign" cracking down on opposition candidates, obstructing the media, stomping out free expression and blocking refugee repatriation. As a result, the vote proved empowering only to those who already held power.

Here We Go Again
August 19, 1996

"G children, and of the United States," the Russian-born political scientist Moisei Ostrogorski remarked in 1902, on the subject of our presidential nominating procedures. Ostrogorski, like many high-minded reformers of the Progressive era, thought America's boss-ridden, coalition- based, two-party system drained the country of responsible and principled leadership.

What Right to Die?
June 24, 1996

It's hard not to be moved by emotional accounts of how laws prohibiting assisted suicide can drive pain-wracked people to desperate ends. A year ago, in The New Yorker, Andrew Solomon wrote eloquently about how he and his brother helped their mother take sleeping pills to spare her the final agonies of ovarian cancer, an ordeal made even more harrowing by the fear of prosecution. All of the jurors who acquitted Dr. Jack Kevorkian in May similarly said they were influenced by videotapes in which two women suffering from chronic pain described their anguish and pleaded to be allowed to die.

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