While he’s been an investor in the Nation, by way of a limited partnership, since 1995, Paul Newman never even visited the mag’s editorial offices in Manhattan until three weeks ago.
But that seems to be changing: Newman authored an editorial parodying Jesse Helms’ confirmation hearing in the April 7 issue, and the upcoming May 19 issue contains Newman’s second editorial for the mag.
In the latest editorial, Newman discusses the National Endowment for the Arts and House speaker Newt Gingrich’s claim that “if people who come to lobby us who are famous and rich would simply dedicate 1% of their gross income to an American Endowment for the Arts, they would fund a bigger system than the National Endowment for the Arts.”
Newman points out, “This handful of celebrities would need an annual gross income of $10 billion to fund the endowment at its current reduced level and $16 billion at its 1995 level. Even with the well-heeled, it would come to at least a couple hundred million per heel!”
Newman goes on to do his own math on the subject and point out the discrepancies in the government’s accountability.
A spokesman for the Nation says that although Newman seemed energized by the response he received from his first editorial, the actor isn’t planning to contribute regularly at this time.
“No one ever expected him to write anything, particularly since he has been very hands-off,” said the Nation’s Peter Rothberg. “It’s unclear whether he’ll continue, but we’re hoping he does, because they’re fun pieces.”