VANITY Fair, Rolling Stone, Life -- move over. "Bubba...

Salmagundi

March 22, 1993

VANITY Fair, Rolling Stone, Life -- move over. "Bubba Magazine," which says it will define the culture President Clinton will foster, has hit the racks. One article highlights notable places along the Little Rock-to-Washington corridor; another profiles first mother Virginia Kelley. Editor Dean King says the 300,000-copy first issue sold out in many bookstores around the country.

No word, however, on frequency of publication.

* * *

WHAT does this tell us about American society? Of the 10 most-watched television programs in broadcast history, eight of them are football games -- the Superbowl contests of 1993, 1991, 1989, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1983 and 1982.

The only non-sports events on the list are the finale, concluding tearjerker episodes of the soap opera "Dallas" and long-running comedy, "M*A*S*H," which pulled in the biggest TV audience of all time -- 50.1 million households.

Apparently, Americans' favorite kind of culture tends to be low-brow.

* * *

PETE Williams, the former Defense Department spokesman who became a familiar face in televised briefings during the Persian Gulf war, recently described to the Boston Globe one of those awkward moments that afflicts civilians who work closely with the military. When introduced to someone in uniform, many civilians are taken aback when they get a salute.

As Mr. Williams describes it, "You approach a person, you stick your hand out to shake his hand, but he salutes you. So you, thinking you have made a mistake, salute him. You get into this thing that begins to look like a Jerry Lewis routine."

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