Q. WHEN DOES A LOCAL story become a national story?
A. When the New York Times says it does.
SHE WAS BEYOND MAD. SHE WAS RIGHTEOUS. “IN RESPONSE TO the Years of Brutal Abusive Reviews in your Publication,” she wrote in salutation. Then the letter began: “There has always been a certain amount of pathos within artists who leave their sacred bountiful homes of birth for the benefit of preserving their own belief in their art—especially in cases such as my own where my native soil that I have so championed around this globe has done its best to choke whatever dignity I carried within me.”
Luann Williams, the editor and publisher of Pop Culture Press, isn’t the type who waits for opportunity to knock. “In the mid-eighties I was working at a Memphis record store and loved music magazines,” says the thirtysomething Tennessee native. “I was looking at a couple, and I thought, ‘You know, there’s nothing like this published here. Let’s do one.’” Since relocating to indie-music mecca Austin in 1987, Williams has grown PCP’s circulation to three thousand, with many readers coming from outside the U.S.
JANUARY 28, 1998, 8:01 EST. Lisa McRee, co-anchor of Good Morning America, is navigating what will be the news story of the year. It is the day after the president’s State of the Union address amid the breaking Monica Lewinsky scandal and rampant impeachment talk, and the Fort Worth native is at the White House to interview a crisis-mode Hillary Rodham Clinton. McRee lobs a few polite questions before she asks if—to put it plainly—Mrs.
WHEN BILL CLINTON ASKED TOM JOYNER if he’d like to take his show on the road and accompany him on an official visit to South Africa in March, the Dallas radio personality was flattered. But he didn’t let it go to his head. “I know why he’s calling me,” says the 47-year-old Joyner. “It ain’t like I can get him on the phone and say, ‘Hey, Bill, what’s going on?’ I know why people invite me to things like that.”
JOHN ROMERO IS THE REIGNING BAD BOY of computer gaming, an image he cultivates with his flowing black hair, devilish smile, passion for fast cars (he’s a self-described “maniac” behind the wheel of his Ferrari Testarossa), and thirst for bloody fights to the death—on-screen, of course. At thirty, he’s also one of the few recognized stars in the business for designing Quake and Doom, complex three-dimensional games that take players into macabre worlds filled with fantastic monsters and lots of gore.
INCONGRUOUS IS THE ONLY WAY to describe the figure Debby Krenek cuts at the New York Daily News on this June afternoon. Blond, petite, and wholesome looking, the 41-year-old editor in chief is wearing a frilly black skirt, strappy shoes, and a red, gold, and purple blouse as she stands in the tabloid’s vast newsroom. By contrast, the deputies who surround her are grizzled, big-bellied men, bleary veterans of the city’s newspaper wars, and their clothes are standard office-drab.
In a summer of hot media scandals (the ousting of non-nonfiction writers Stephen Glass of The New Republic and Patricia Smith of the Boston Globe, the retraction of CNN and Time’s nerve gas story), the media’s repeated bungling of a politician’s name seems more like a misdemeanor than a felony—if that.
POLITICS ISN’T ABOUT LEFT VERSUS RIGHT. It’s about top versus bottom.”
“Sure, Wall Street’s whizzing. It’s whizzing on you and me.”
“NAFTA, do we hafta?”
“Saddam Hussein: Is he insane or just jerking our chain?”