Jewish World Review Oct. 31, 2003 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764
The straight dope on hate, drugs, Jon Stewart
You want a serious and troubling adult cover story?
Try "The New Anti-Semitism," the lengthy, impassioned opinion piece by JWR's Mort Zuckerman appears as the cover story in U.S. News & World Report, which he owns and that argues that Jews are the targets of a new, nasty strain of bigotry that is chiefly directed "against the Jewish collective, the modern State of Israel."
Zuckerman, who owns U.S. News, says this new anti-Semitism "transcends boundaries, nationalities, politics and social systems" and has made Israel "the object of envy and resentment in much the same way that the individual Jew was once the object of envy and resentment."
Because of this new anti-Zionism, he argues, Israel is "held to higher standards when it comes to fighting terrorism" and is unfairly criticized by the United Nations and others for committing acts of aggression when it is merely defending itself.
You want a cover story that is frivolous and hardly worth reading?
Try Entertainment Weekly's profile of Jon Stewart, the namesake and, according to ET, the near-genius-host of Comedy Central's hip-and-popular fake-news program, "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."
OK, so everyone agrees Stewart is funny, not really a knee-jerk liberal and good at mocking the idiotic pretensions of politics. And it's nice to learn that Stewart is the son of a physicist.
But somehow, ET's puffy piece doesn't contain very much proof that Stewart is as funny as it says he is. What's really funny is that ET is apparently the last serious magazine on earth that thinks winning one of the annual 2,000 Emmys -- in any category -- still means anything.
You want a cover story that is important, surprising and definitely not a bummer?
Try "Inside Dope," Forbes magazine's in-depth report on what has become our increasingly naughty neighbor to the north's No. 1 agricultural product -- marijuana.
According to Forbes, while our federal drug-busters are cracking down on dangerous thugs such as Internet bong-pusher Tommy Chong, Canada is swarming with thousands of small, high-tech, indoor marijuana growers who have little to fear.
Canada's estimated $4 billion to $7 billion marijuana trade, which Forbes' Quentin Hardy explains in great detail, is sophisticated and specialized.
It includes seed-growing specialists, back-packing smugglers and "smokeasies" near the U.S. borders, where authorities pay no attention to the middle-class folks puffing the powerful, well-bred dope that brings its growers about $1,000 a pound -- and profit margins of 55 percent to 90 percent -- and fetches wholesale prices of $2,700 per pound.
The growers are "ordinary people," and Forbes says they are well dispersed, decentralized, entrepreneurial and virtually undetectable.
Canada's production is still nothing compared to Mexico's, or even California's, but its borders are long and porous -- which makes its lax policy on dope a moral and logistical nightmare for America's drug warriors.
Our diehard prohibitionists might not want to hear it. But marijuana is a "rich, expanding and unstoppable" business, says Forbes, a conservative publication that is refreshingly nonjudgmental and unbothered by the fact Canada has essentially decriminalized the growing and smoking of pot.
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JWR contributor Bill Steigerwald is an associate editor and columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Comment by clicking here.
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07/22/03: Title IX's original intent … Ten minutes with Eric Pearson
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11/05/02: The bloody consequences of a broken INS: Ten minutes with … Michelle Malkin
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08/28/02: Baseball, broken, can be fixed: 15 minutes with George Will
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06/21/02: 9/11 report unearths good, bad and ugly
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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
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03/12/02: 10 minutes with … Ken Adelman
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02/26/02: 10 minutes with ... Tony Snow
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© 2002, Bill Steigerwald