Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Feb. 28, 2003 / 26 Adar I, 5763

Bill Steigerwald

Bill Steigerwald
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

America takes time out for swimsuits | You can tell it's almost spring.

SUVs are as useless as snow blowers again. Flocks of fundamentalist baseball fans are migrating South for spring training. And across the land, newsstands are festooned with bronze young girls posing and prancing in criminally skimpy swimsuits.

Spring, unfortunately, is also a cool time for America to go to war in the desert. Everyone but Saddam Hussein and 40 million Frenchmen seems to know that "change regime in Iraq" has been on President Bush's to-do list for March 2003 since the morning of Sept. 12, 2001.

Saddam still could choose exile or do the world a favor and throw a mass Kool-Aid party in Baghdad, a la Jonestown, but this week could be our last chance for a while to dwell on important domestic issues.

Let's start with them swimsuits - eh, boys? Although National Geographic recently got big laughs for joining the parade of shameless magazines who've put out swimsuit issues, Sports Illustrated, the magazine that founded the concept in 1964, is still the champ.

Although Vanity Fair's first 50 pages of fashion ads usually contain as much square feet of bare skin, male and female, and often are more revealing, SI's $6 stand-alone issue is the single most widely circulated magazine on Earth (50 million adult Americans alone reputedly will paw and skim its highly profitable - albeit increasingly silly and contrived - 242 pages).

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated's regular weekly issue - the one containing actual sports - is full of the usual well-written stuff and only one blond Swede in a two-piece.

Michael Bamberger's "A Woman Among Men" is a sharp, clear-eyed profile of Annika Sorenstam, the world's best female golfer, who plans to play against the men of the PGA Tour in May at the Bank of America Colonial.

Sorenstam is pictured swinging a driver in an athletic "bikini," but not for salacious reasons. It's to show how she has bulked up in order to get the distance off the tee she'll need.

For itchy baseball fans, SI also offers "Hope Springs Eternal." It's written by Tom Verducci, who welcomes the start of spring training season with fine words and, considering the state of the once-great game he loves so blindly, way too much hope.

Whether you're praying for spring or waiting for war, there's plenty to read. The January Smithsonian is uncharacteristically rich, thanks in part to eight never-seen-before black-and-white photos from the Great Depression, including one of kids playing in a swimming pool in Pittsburgh in 1938.

And there's always Atlantic Monthly, America's best magazine still without an annual swimsuit issue. Its March issue includes a scary two-page glossary of politically incorrect words banned from our children's schoolbooks by the idiot language police - Founding Fathers (sexist), yacht (elitist) and Middle East (eurocentric) are a few that'll make rational people scream.

But only masochists might be able to endure reading Atlantic's cover package, a pair of overly long, counter-balancing articles about Bill Clinton's post-presidential career from Clinton-praiser James Fallows and Clinton-ridiculer P.J. O'Rourke.

O'Rourke wins on points, but his withering scrutiny of Clinton's serial bragging and truth-stretching on the lecture circuit should have been stopped by the ref after five pages.

At least there were no bathing suit photos.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Bill Steigerwald is an associate editor and columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Comment by clicking here.

02/26/03: 'We shall be seen as liberators' .... 10 minutes with noted Brit commentator David Pryce-Jones
02/21/03: Terrorism one of many losing battles
02/14/03: Editors planning for the day after Gulf War II
02/12/03: The 'religiosity' of Ronald Reagan 10 minutes with author Paul Kengor
02/10/03: Should the shuttle crash be the end of NASA?
02/06/03: Dear Joan ...
01/31/03: Newsweek, Nation ponder pros, cons of Gulf War II
01/24/03: 'Original' ideas follow New Deal philosophy
01/22/03: When handicapping 2004, watch the economy: Ten minutes with Charlie Cook
01/17/03: New Republic fans hatred for SUVs
01/14/03: 10 minutes with Santorum on ... taxes, steel and Lott
01/10/03: Newsweeklies move on to latest menace
01/07/03: The best of the Q&As
12/30/02: Rosie's demise tops list of 2002 highlights
12/23/02: GOP must stick to its principles: 10 questions for ... Bill Kristol
12/20/02: Lott fiasco uncovers bigger problem
12/18/02: Free markets king in Sweden, at least for a day: Ten minutes with . Donald Boudreaux
12/13/02: Corruption of Indian casinos no surprise
12/06/02: Giving credit to young philanthropists
12/02/02: Ten minutes with . Chris Matthews
11/26/02: It's critical to memorialize communism's victims: 10 minutes with Lee Edwards
11/22/02: JFK's secret health woes are revealed
11/19/02: “It's best to contain Saddam”: Ten minutes with Col. David Hackworth
11/15/02: Brushing up on the affairs of a wild world
11/12/02: Make Dems filibuster 10 minutes with Robert L. Bartley
11/08/02: National Geographic: Urban overpopulation is good
11/05/02: The bloody consequences of a broken INS: Ten minutes with Michelle Malkin
11/01/02: Going to pot; thank heaven for media overkill
10/29/02: It's all about federalism: Ten minutes with Jonah Goldberg
10/25/02: Frank Sinatra, Kurt Cobain, Mad Magazine will never die
10/22/02: Here's why Orwell matters: Ten minutes with Christopher Hitchens
10/18/02: The sniper knocks Iraq off the covers
10/15/02: Iraq, oil and war: 10 minutes with ... economist/historian Daniel Yergin
10/11/02: England's gun-control experiment has backfired
10/04/02: Buchanan the media baron?
09/27/02: Analyzing Esquire, GQ is not for the squeamish
09/20/02: CEOs: The rise and fall of American heroes
09/13/02: Skeptics remind U.S. to calm down
09/10/02: 'A failure to recognize a failure': 15 minutes with ... Bill Gertz
09/06/02: Rating the 9-11 mags
08/30/02: Bad trains, bad planes, and bad automobiles
08/28/02: Baseball, broken, can be fixed: 15 minutes with George Will
08/16/02: 9-11 overload has already begun
08/13/02: Tell us what you really think, Ann Coulter
08/09/02: A funny take on a new kind of suburb
08/02/02: It's not the humidity, it's the (media) heat wave; the death of American cities
07/12/02: Colombia's drug lords are all business
07/09/02: If capitalism is 'soulless' then show me something better: 10 minutes with Alan Reynolds
06/25/02: Origins of a scandal: 10 minutes with Michael Rose
06/21/02: 9/11 report unearths good, bad and ugly
06/18/02: The FBI is rebounding 10 Minutes with Ronald Kessler
06/14/02: U.S. News opens closet of Secret Service
06/11/02: 10 minutes with William Lind: Can America survive in this 'fourth-generation' world?
06/07/02: America, warts and all
05/30/02: FBI saga gets more depressing
05/13/02: The magazine industry's annual exercise in self-puffery
04/30/02: 10 Minutes with ... The New York Sun's Seth Lipsky
04/26/02: Will the American Taliban go free?
04/23/02: 10 minutes with ... Dinesh D'Souza
04/19/02: Saddam starting to show his age
04/12/02: Newsweek puts suicide bombing in perspective
04/09/02: How polls distort the news, change the outcome of elections and encourage legislation that undermines the foundations of the republic
04/05/02: Looking into the state of American greatness
03/25/02: The American President and the Peruvian Shoeshine Boys
03/22/02: Troublemaking intellectual puts Churchill in spotlight
03/20/02: 10 minutes with ... Bill Bennett
03/18/02: Suddenly, it's cool again to be a man
03/12/02: 10 minutes with Ken Adelman
03/08/02: TIME asks the nation a scary question
03/05/02: 10 minutes with ... Rich Lowry
02/26/02: 10 minutes with ... Tony Snow
02/12/02: Has Soldier of Fortune gone soft?

© 2002, Bill Steigerwald