The Magazine Column welcomes Pope John Paul II to the United States.
Your Holiness, watch out! An anti-clerical choler is sweeping this Land of Opportunity, and more and more of those who have heeded the religious calling are finding it necessary to call insurance agents as well.
In August, North Carolina became the 14th state to license malpractice coverage for clerics sued by disgruntled parishioners who claim they got bad pastoral advice.
The basis for all this, according to the October issue of Money, was 1972 suit filed by a Dallas woman who argued that her Episcopal pastor seduced her while he was under satanic influence. Although the Texas Supreme Court threw the case out, the repercussions started members of the cloth searching for protection.
The Carter adminstration has imposed a virtual blackout on photographic coverage of important events, according to David Kennerly, Gerald Ford's official White House photographer.
Kennerly, who has a show of photos opening at the Lunn Gallery on Oct. 12, says that "the American people have been cheated of 2 1/2 years of visual history," and that it is as hard now for photographers to document important White House events "as it was at the height of Richard Nixon's administration."
The Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer says in the October Popular Photography that the handling of the recent Camp David summit conference was "totally inept. Had I been there you would have seen the real honest story and not posed pictures showing Brzezinski playing chess with Begin."
Thank you, David.
Two wonderful new magazines:
Geo, which began publishing in May, is a thick, stately but snappy Time-sized monthly that takes the concept of National Geographic and -- substituting green borders for yellow -- turns it into a much more topical offering.
The November issue of the brilliantly printed, perfect-bound book includes articles on illegal immigration along the Mexican border (with the text of one piece running in large type, superimposed on the photos to create a TV news effect), a scary glimpse at dog fights held for betting purposes in the barns of rural America and a clairvoyant collection of photos by Erich Hartmann illuminating seldom-seen components of modern technology ( $36 annually from Box 2552, Boulder, Colo. 80321).
Science 80 is a thoughtful, well-written blend of Scientific American and Smithsonian, making its bimonthly debut next. The first issue includes articles on topics as recent as the Saturn fly-by, as well as glimpses of the chemistry of human emotions, electronic smog that poses a health threat and an American Stonehenge in New Mexico known as the Anasazi Sun Dagger. There are also brief items on current scientific topics (e.g. a fascinating notice on evidence that young children can grow back parts of severed fingers) and monthly essays (one by Mr. Scientific Motormouth himself. Carl Sagan). All of it is aimed at the layman.
Published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which also puts out the invaluable weekly magazine Science, the new magazine will be aimed at an audience somewhere between Popular Science and Scientific American, according to editor, Allen Hammond. Science 80 already has 300,000 subscribers ($9 for six issues from Box 10790, Des Moines, Iowa 50340).
In other science news:
The October Scientific American provides a comprehensive analysis of the detective work involved in cracking the mysterious 1976 Legionnaire's disease, which was caused by previously unknown bacterium festering in a hotel air-conditioning system.
The Sept. 28 Science reported that James McDonnell, chairman of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace Co., made a half-million dollar grant to Washington University for parapsy-chological studies of psychokinesis and spontaneous occurrences.
And now, two new turkeys:
Media People, the much-bally-hooed monthly that attempts to turn its eye on the press, might do better to look in a mirror. The first 40 pages of this 144-page mistake are snide little items that make Esquire's Dubious Achievement Awards seem clever. Then we have yet another interminable piece on Fred Silverman, a curiously unsigned attempt at humor involving Ted Turner and George Steinbrenner and an inept stab by Ron Nessen at explaining what journalism jargon really means. A reliable source, he says, means someone who "gave me a tip once that was only half wrong" ( $20 annually from Box 994, Farmingdale, N.Y. 11737).
College Papers is a Life-sized, saddle-stitched annual clone of its sister publication, Rolling Stone. Here we get a rehash of Stone's nuke rock coverage, Stone's Gilda Radner interview, Stone's music and book and movie reviews -- with a novel bit of sportswriting thrown in, along with a rating of beers. Bud comes in first place; Budweiser also bought a four-color full-page ad on the inside back cover. In fact, of the 112 pages of College Papers, 65 are ads and six pages were written and photographed by college students ($1.50, on newsstands and campus bookstores only).
Good reads this month:
Jane Kramer's richly detailed profile of an Italian communist in the Sept. 24 New Yorker;
A surprisingly thorough and candid report on condoms, and a rating of instant coffees (best: Brown Gold 100 percent Colombia) in the October Consumer Reports;
William Hart's expose of prison medical care in September's Corrections magazine, ( $18 annually from 801 Second Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017);
Nicholas Lemann's beautifully stylized profile of a 29-year-old Dallas real estate tycoon in the October Texas Monthly, which begins:
"Sherwood E. Blount learned that he wanted money one Saturday morning in the Winter of 1961, when he went into the kitchen of his parents' small, neat white clapboard house in East Dallas and asked his mother for a quarter so he could go to the afternoon double feature at the Arcadia Theater. 'Honey,' she told him. 'I don't have a quarter. Daddy doesn't get paid till Monday. It's not in the budget.' That was when Sherwood decided he wanted not just as much money as his Daddy had -- enough to eat and live in a house -- but enough so he could always go to the movies, enough to buy a Chevrolet, enough to eat at Kip's Big Boy every night, enough to join the Lakewood Country Club and play golf."
Frets, a new magazine on fretted instruments, created by the people who publish Guitar Player, shares the same cover subject with its sister magazine this month: Chet Atkins, who was interviewed by two different reporters for two pieces. The GP interview is quite revealing, including the shock that Mr. Superpicker can't stand country audiences . . . CoEvolutionary Quarterly, published by the Whole Earth Catalog, offers a Whole Sea Catalog on sailing in its fall issue . . . The Washington Journalism Review has been sold to the former chief of protocol for the Nixon and Ford administrations, Henry Catto, and his wife, Jessica, who hope to turn the magazine into a monthly in 1980 . . . And, through Dec. 2, the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington is hanging an exhibition, "The American Magazine 1890 to 1940," with a catalog in the form of a classy little magazine.