17. The 1998 story that will catch the New York media completely by surprise will be that (a) Geraldine Ferraro will not run for anything; (b) far-reaching convictions in the transit police union trial, to which the dailies haven't bothered to send reporters; (c) Betsy McCaughey Ross will win the Democratic gubernatorial primary; (d) Time Warner will announce major reductions in cable rates; (e) a court will declare Rudy Giuliani's handling of the Civilian Complaint Review Board to be unconstitutional.
19. The biggest effect of Mort Zuckerman's hiring of Harry Evans will be (a) beefing up the Daily News's investigative staff; (b) paring down the News's investigative staff; (c) fewer New Yorker writers getting Random House book contracts; (d) a surprise overhaul of the Atlantic Monthly.
20. The most talked-about magazine launch of the year will be (a) Bob Guccione Jr.'s Gear; (b) Steven Brill's Content; (c) ESPN Magazine; (d) an as-yet-unnamed Hearst title focusing on the massive country-music market.
A couple of weeks back, I came down harshly on rookie Times reporter Jim Yardley for some glaring errors in a story about Bill Clinton's NYC visit; this past Sunday, Yardley was a day ahead of the pack with a story about an investigation into possible police involvement in a reported suicide of a Brooklyn gym teacher... Of the major national newspapers, The Wall Street Journal's coverage of the massacre of 45 unarmed peasants in southern Mexico has been by far the best. Bizarrely, the Times has done everything it can to trumpet the ruling party's denial of involvement--almost as if they fear being sued again by the Mexican government (even though that suit was dropped)....Three weeks ago, I noted that the mainstream press had ignored the trial in U.S. court against Radovan Karadzic; prompted by that dig, Adam Miller of the Fox News website (www.foxnews.com) and Cynthia Cotts of the New York Law Journal have both written exemplary stories.