The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, June 22, 2004  

Items in the News
June 22, 2004

More on Kakutani
For more on New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani’s Sunday hatchet job on President Bill Clinton, see “Her Life,” by Michael Tomasky a web exclusive at the American Prospect’s web site, appropriate subtitled “Why Michiko Kakutani’s review of Bill Clinton tells us more about reviewer than reviewee.”

Bradbury Gets Cranky
Seemingly unfamiliar with the meaning of the term “homage,” Ray Bradbury, author of the classic Fahrenheit 451, is miffed Michael Moore didn’t ask permission before naming his new film, “Fahrenheit 9/11.” According to a report in the Boston Globe, “The author said he won’t sue ‘if [Moore] will shake hands with me and give me back my book and title.’”

[Post-publication addendum (June 23): See also Fred Clark, writing at Slacktivist, “Something Petty This Way Comes.”]

Lining Up for the Big Dog
My Life by former President Bill Clinton debuts in bookstores nationwide today and big crowds are expected at signings in New York and elsewhere. Here’s a perceptive quote from Patrick Moriarty, a chap waiting to see President Clinton in midtown Manhattan: “It’s not every day that you’re able to get within a couple of feet of one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times offers readers the first chapter of My Life.

World’s Greatest Athlete
Martina Navratilova may not be the world’s greatest athlete (I don’t follow sports closely enough to judge), but she’s got to rank right up there. Top-seeded Roger Federer may agree. According to the New York Times (“Navratilova Wins and Aims Volleys at Critics,” by Christopher Clarey): “Federer . . . was asked whom he considered the greatest athletes of all time. ‘Michael Jordan, Michael Schumacher,’ he answered, before pausing for a long time, searching for one last name before walking out the door. He finally found it, ‘Navratilova.’”

The same article includes a nice quip from Navratilova: “My only ambition was to be the youngest; it wasn’t to be the oldest in something. But that’s how it worked out, so I’m not complaining.”

World’s Greatest Pundit
Here’s New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Attorney General John Ashcroft‘s willful neglect of a domestic terrorist threat (“Noonday in the Shade“): “Writing about John Ashcroft poses the same difficulties as writing about the Bush administration in general, only more so: the truth about his malfeasance is so extreme that it’s hard to avoid sounding shrill. . . . After my last piece on Mr. Ashcroft, some readers questioned whether he is really the worst attorney general ever. It’s true that he has some stiff competition from the likes of John Mitchell, who served under Richard Nixon. But once the full record of his misdeeds in office is revealed, I think Mr. Ashcroft will stand head and shoulders below the rest.”

Wal-Mart Facing Class Action
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation’s largest retailer and employer, today can lay claim to being the biggest something else: The defendant in the largest private civil rights case in American history. A federal judge this morning approved class-action status for a sex-discrimination lawsuit that, according to the Associated Press, “could represent as many as 1.6 million current and former female employees of the retailing giant.”

More on Rowland
For more on the resignation of Gov. John G. Rowland (R-Conn.), see: “Rowland Remains Unapologetic,” by Mark Pazniokas and Christopher Keating, the Hartford Courant; “Broken Promise,” by Lisa Chedekel, the Hartford Courant; “Rowland’s Woes Far From Over,” by Edmund H. Mahoney, the Hartford Courant; “No Shaking Off This Scandal,” by Dave Altimari, the Hartford Courant; “Under Pressure, Rowland Resigns Governor’s Post,” by William Yardley, the New York Times; “A Governor Resigns in Disgrace,” editorial, the New York Times; and “Connecticut Governor Resigns,” by Michael Powell, the Washington Post.

[Note: Items may be added to PP&T after initial publication.]

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