NEWSWEEK MEDIA LEAD SHEET/February 21, 2005 Issue

NEWSWEEK MEDIA LEAD SHEET/February 21, 2005 Issue

COVER: “The Myth of the Perfect Mom” (p. 42). In this week’s cover story, Newsweek examines how today’s perfectionist mothers are driving themselves and their kids crazy with the pressure to be the ideal mother, while still being fit, sociable and sexy. As part of the package, Judith Warner adapts an excerpt from her soon-to-be released book “Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety.” After interviewing mothers across the country and finding they all complain of the same frustration and depression and exhaustion in keeping up with other moms in today’s society, she says there needs to be real change in society now. Warner calls for fewer politicians talking about “family values” and more politically palatable, economically feasible solutions that will give mothers and families a break.

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“The Good Enough Mother” (p. 50). In an essay about her generation, Contributing Editor Anna Quindlen writes that by today’s standards of mothering, her mother would have been considered a bust. But that conclusion, she says, is dead wrong. “My mother was great at what she did,” writes Quindlen. “Don’t misunderstand: she didn’t sit on the floor and help us build with our Erector sets, didn’t haul us from skating rink to piano lessons. She couldn’t even drive. But where she was always felt like a safe place.” She adds that if we create a never-ending spin cycle of “have tos” because we feel guilty about working or not working then the message we send our children is terrible.

INTERNATIONAL: “Nuclear Offense” (p. 22). The one thing North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has going for him is that most of the world fears that he has doomsday weapons. So how should the Bush administration respond to that threat? Its current policy of harsh talk and no inducements seems to have only strengthened hardliners in both North Korea and Iran. And President Bush’s new budget can only spook everyone more, report Senior Editor Michael Hirsh and National Security Correspondent John Barry. He is asking for $18 million through 2007 to resume studying a new nuclear weapon: the “robust nuclear earth penetrator” or bunker buster.

IRAQ: “Winning Isn’t Everything” (p. 28). While Shiites and Kurds turned out in large numbers to vote in the Iraqi elections, Sunni participation was miserably low. But, so far, the big winners have tried to reach out to the Sunnis, report Baghdad Correspondent Babak Dehghanpisheh and Special Correspondent Owen Matthews. The leader of one of the most successful Shia parties met with Sunni leaders last week to assure them they would have a stake in the future government. And the Sunnis are still hoping to nab one of the country’s three top posts. That might help sap the insurgency of popular support.

FAREED ZAKARIA: “Don’t Just Rush to the Exits” (p. 29). The easiest way to ensure a downward spiral in Iraq would be for America to pull up stakes and leave, argues Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria. Leaving Iraq “will create a huge power vacuum; the insurgency will get much stronger; the Shia might retaliate against Sunni violence, setting off a civil war; and the Kurds could be tempted to secede. Iraq would then be exporting terror and instability,” he writes. “[To] advocate a quick exit from Iraq is neither hawkish nor dovish; it’s the foreign policy of an ostrich.”

POLITICS: “King Karl” (p. 30). For much of President Bush’s first term, the administration denied what everyone in the capital knew to be the case: that, on policy, Karl Rove was the man to see. Last week the White House made it official, announcing that Rove would become a deputy chief of staff. Chief Political Correspondent Howard Fineman and Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff report that, as usual in bureaucratic Washington, the real story lay not in the nomenclature but in the real estate: Rove is moving from upstairs to down, just around the corner from the Oval Office.

THE ROYALS: “Now You Ask Me” (p. 34). After a 35-year affair, the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles will finally marry on April 18. But there’s more to the timing of the royal betrothal than the ultimate triumph of true romance, report Senior Editor Barbara Kantrowitz and London Bureau Chief Stryker McGuire. Charles’s finances have been under scrutiny lately from the House of Commons because he’s shelling out more than $500,000. Marriage lowers the heat since supporting your wife is honorable while supporting your lover is not.

BUSINESS: “The Music Stops for a Rock Star” (p. 38). Recently ousted by HP, Carly Fiorina tried to sprinkle Hollywood glitz and rock-star cool on her company, a Silicon Valley pioneer. But in a post-Enron world, style and substance wasn’t enough. San Francisco Correspondent Brad Stone reports that while the company’s dismal financial results provide the easiest explanation for her dismissal, it was more about Fiorina’s style that clashed with the company’s employees and executives.

MUSIC: “The Flip Side of 50 Cent” (p. 56). In an interview with Newsweek, rapper 50 Cent talks about his latest album “The Massacre,” which hits stores next month, success and his brief romance with actress Vivica A. Fox. “At a certain point it really seemed like she was using me to get attention,” he says. When he and Fox attended the 2003 MTV Awards together, the headlines wouldn’t stop, writes National Correspondent Allison Samuels.

THE TIP SHEET: “A Tough Balancing Act (p. 61). In the midst of the diet craze-Atkins vs. South Beach-the government recently weighed in with a chart- filled tome of food guidelines. To help drown out advice you probably won’t follow anyway, Correspondent Anna Kutchment interviewed nutrition experts and came up with the bare minimum: four simple rules that will start you down the path to eating healthier: Have a big breakfast; bring food to work with you; order a salad before each meal; give your TV a dinner break.

PRNewswire — Feb. 13

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