- The Washington Times - Friday, September 14, 2001

Teen mag market

"The teen magazine market has undergone a small revolution in the last three years, as magazines for grown-ups have given birth to spinoffs for their nascent teen audiences. People magazine was the first to realize that a huge, pop-culture-crazed high school market was primed for magazines that were a tad more adult than Tiger Beat, but still tailored for their tastes.

"Teen People merely regurgitated People's formula of celebrity fluff and feel-good profiles of "real people" for the teen-age market (i.e., Britney instead of Whitney, Julia Stiles instead of Julia Roberts), and the plan worked: A million teen-agers now read the magazine every month.

"The second to market was Cosmopolitan's CosmoGIRL! CosmoGIRL!, now a million readers strong, was followed by Teen Vogue, a quarterly that currently boasts about 500,000 readers.

"By virtue of their ancestry, these new magazines are an odd and somewhat confused lot whose traditional brand images are unaffordable and unattainable chic, but whose teen versions also address the age and interests of their market — boys 'n' Britney 'n' girl power! They are a breeding ground for little Lolitas, a mishmash of adult imagery and naively youthful concerns, part celeb fanzine and part sophisticated fashion education."

—Janelle Brown, writing on "Trash mags with training wheels," Monday in Salon at www.salon.com


Who is 'we'?

"Ronald Reagan's willingness to stand up for a foreign policy based on principle won the Cold War. —

"It did not take long after the fall of the Berlin Wall before everyone in Washington began claiming to have been 'on the right side' of the battle for freedom and that back then 'we all agreed' on the need to confront and defeat Soviet communism.

"Hogwash. The liberals howled when Ronald Reagan declared the Soviet Union an 'Evil Empire.' Their blood curdled when he declared his intention to leave communism on the 'ash heap of history.' They fought him every step of the way.

"As always, President Reagan himself put it best. In 1992, when he addressed the Republican National Convention for the last time, he said: 'I heard those speakers at that other convention saying, "We won the Cold War." And I couldn't help wondering just who exactly do they mean by "we"?'"

—Sen. Jesse Helms, North Carolina Republican, from his new book, "Empire for Liberty"


More harm?

"Sloppy intelligence, mistaken targets and the missed aims that marked the Clinton administration's response to earlier attacks on Americans by Osama bin Laden must be seen for the dangerous errors that they were.

"Evidence is again rapidly accumulating against bin Laden, the well-organized Saudi dissident now sheltered by Afghanistan. Action against him is imperative; and there can be no question merely of bombing more tents in his Kandahar hideout.

"President Bush has rightly said that America will make no distinction between the perpetrators of these terrorist atrocities and the governments that give them shelter.

"Washington should treat Taleban denials of bin Laden's involvement with deep suspicion; if anything, given the evidence already in America's possession, they should be taken as a sign of complicity. Yet there is a problem in expending American firepower on a country already reduced to rubble by war and appalling misgovernment. A people whose rulers have already driven them to the stone age may little notice being bombed back a little further.

"Unless an attack killed bin Laden and the great majority of his followers, it could do more harm than good.

"America's foes do not always recognize it, but the United States has ever been pacific to a fault. It is a giant that seeks to go about its business undisturbed. Only in great national emergencies is it stirred. It is stirred now."

from "Still the Enemy," in yesterday's Times of London





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