Even before he takes oath, Clintons get own magazines

January 20, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

"Ten Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should be Grateful for the Gennifer Flowers Story."

A headline from the National Enquirer? Nope. It comes from the first issue of the Hillary Clinton Quarterly (HCQ), one of a number of new publications taking aim to chronicle, lampoon or lambaste the new administration.

Gone is the Quayle Quarterly, a newsletter whose final lead story, "Get A Job," concluded: "George Bush stayed healthy for four years. We're a lucky country."

In its place have risen the HCQ, Clinton Chronicle and Slick Times, three very different newsletters -- ranging from the serious to the sophomoric -- with their sights locked on the Clinton clan.

"Our mission," says HCQ editor Frank Marafiote, a marketing consultant from Concord, N.H., "is to represent the diversity of viewpoints and opinions about Hillary Clinton, our first baby-boomer First Lady."

A mix of puff and spoof, sober analysis and inside poop, HCQ celebrates Hillary in verse, and invites kids to send drawings and nTC photos for a Socks look-alike contest. It reviews Hillary's liberal philosophy using her own quotes and shows she has benefited from a linguistic make-over as the nasty old names for her ("ideologue") make way for flattering new ones ("advocate").

Mr. Marafiote, 41, a 1973 Villanova graduate, says he has sold about 1,000 subscriptions at $15 a year.

The Clinton Chronicle takes a tougher line.

"Watch Out America!" screams the first issue, which warns we're in for trouble if Mr. Clinton does for America what he did for Arkansas. Bashing away, the 16-page issue calls Vice President-elect Al Gore "the epitome of an enviro-maniac politician" and looks at the first lady in "Hillary Reveals Disorder: Feminism."

Editor and publisher Bob McCarty, 31, of Enid, Okla., says his monthly publication "will satisfy the needs of the people who did not vote for Bill Clinton and Al Gore, which is about 57 percent of the country . . ."

Clinton Chronicle subscriptions cost $19.95 a year and, so far, he has sold almost 200 subscriptions, he said.

The idea for the satirical Slick Times emerged when a group of friends sat around a kitchen drinking cold Molsons a day after the election, said Michael Dalton Johnson, a 46-year-old computing magazine publisher from Valley Center, Calif.

"Everyone in the room agreed Clinton spoke with forked tongue," he said. "He got in because there was no place else to go."

Mr. Johnson, a Republican who says he didn't vote for president as a protest, said he and his friends saw amazing potential in Mr. Clinton. "He's kind of a walking, talking, living cartoon caricature of a double-talking politician . . . I think he's going to be a comedy gold mine."

And Mr. Gore, he added, "was a great choice for VP because he's so lifelike."

More than 3,200 subscriptions have been sold for the $17-a-year newsletter, whose first issue is arriving in mailboxes today.

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