Unabomber News History

Copyright 1995 Daily News, L.P.

Daily News (New York)

April 28, 1995, Friday

SECTION: Gossip Pg. 23

LENGTH: 904 words




There's more than meets the eye in Madonna's new music video, claim some of her fans.

While others are simply seeing flowers, syrup, and space junk in "Bedtime Stories," discerning viewers perceive heroin imagery.

It doesn't help that Madonna repeatedly intones "Let's Get Unconscious" throughout the 41/2-minute video.

Madonna's spokeswoman at Warner Bros. Records blasted the notion that there was a drug message in any of the singer's work. But one source offered this body of evidence:

"The basic theme of the whole video is to get access to this dream-world unconscious, which is what people want to do on many drugs, including heroin."

The potent images in the video include a pot of opium buds, Madonna's hand in a skeleton's lap, drops of a syrupy clear liquid and a 3-D nail floating against a computerized background.

In the junkie's lexicon, hypodermic needles have in the past been called nails.

In a recent study of 50,000 American teenagers, the Institute for Social Research blamed drug messages in music videos for an increase in teenage drug use, according to a recent article in Spin magazine.

"I bet they see heroin imagery in everything," said Madonna's spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg.

"Madonna's inspiration was three female surrealist painters. It's just a futuristic video."

Matt Bryant, who worked on the video, insisted, "There's no drug inference in any of this.

Madonna was unavailable for comment.

She was in the middle of a cameo appearance on the set of Spike Lee's "Girl Six," in which her friend and former makeup artist Debbie Mazur stars as a call girl. Madonna played a madam. Times bomb

The clock has started ticking as publishers ponder the question of whether to print the opus of America's most dangerous freelance writer, the dreaded Unabomber.

The terrorist who has killed three and injured 23 in his 17-year direct-mail death campaign sent a letter to the New York Times this week threatening to begin building another bomb unless The Times, Time, Newsweek or "some other nationally distributed periodical" published an article he's close to completing.

Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., has said that, while his paper "can't be held hostage . . . we'll take a careful look at it and make a journalistic decision about whether to publish it."

Time and Newsweek spokesmen have declined to speculate on whether their editors might print the manifesto, whose length the Unabomber puts at between 29,000 and 37,000 words.

A number of publishing insiders have suggested to us that the aspiring writer send his opus to The New Yorker, which can and does devote huge acreage to single stories. And wags are already foreseeing the Unabomber posing for a Richard Avedon portrait and having lunch with Tina Brown at the Royalton.

Taking the black humor in stride, the mag's executive editor, Hendrik Hertzberg, said, "We consider all unsolicited manuscripts. But it doesn't generally improve their chances to be accompanied by threats of violence.

"Maybe he should try 'Soldier of Fortune' magazine."

"I don't think so," said Robert K. Brown, the battle-scarred publisher whose mercenary bible has taken advertising from at least one person seeking a hit man. "As with any terrorist, once you set a precedent, where do you stop? You can bet you'd have other nuts who'd play copycat."

"It's a sexy idea," said one agent, who has clients now in prison. "The philistine in you wants to make the money. But terrorists are used to getting their way, and if they don't, you can end up dead. How do you tell the guy, 'It needs a rewrite'?"

Mort Janklow, who agents for the likes of the Pope, said, "I don't think it's going to see the light of day.

"Who knows if his demands were met, if he would cease his activities? If the guy called here, I wouldn't be willing to do anything on his behalf without calling the FBI."

The feds did ask The Times not to print portions of the Unabomber's letter this week. But a source at one news organization said the Bureau was "totally unhelpful" when asked for the official stance on publishing the opus: "I said to one of them, 'What do you want us to do?' They wouldn't get off dead center."

"We can't tell someone to publish or not publish," said FBI spokesman Carlos Fernandez. "That's a First Amendment issue. It is a very complex question." Incidentally

It was easy getting Mayor Giuliani to cut the ribbon at the opening of HMV's superstore on Fifth Ave. this afternoon. HMV just reminded the mayor they're bringing 500 more jobs to the city.

However, convincing co-cutter Patti LaBelle wasn't as easy. Promoters had to promise the diva that Pouilly Fuisse white wine, Ocean Spray Ruby Red juice, crab, shrimp, grapes and Evian would be provided. . . . Katie Ford has been named the CEO of Ford Models Inc. . . . That was no man being photographed for "Details" on a New York street this week. It was Siouxsie of Banshees fame, who's in town for their concert at Roseland tonight.

Siouxsie, who cottons to wearing men's suits, will be downtown at the Maracas restaurant at 142 W. 10th after the show. The party will benefit LifeBEAT, the AIDS charity. . . .

Peggy Lipton, the former "Twin Peaks" and "Mod Squad" star who modeled for designer Zang Toi at the Asia Society, will soon be back on the tube.

Word is Viacom is developing a comedy in which she'll star with Chad Lowe.