by those who like to glean infonnationnby reading rather than by sitting in frontnof the matrix that is Dan Rather. However,none of the arguments that used tonbe raised in the days when the videonchallenge emerged was that newspapersncould go in depth while the televisednnews shows could only stay on the surface.nUSA Today shows that that argumentnis of little concern anymore; itsnnews is presented in bite-sized pieces.nBoth the consolidation of many newspapersnunder few roofe and packagesnlike USA Today portend a homogenizationnof the news. It is not a good sign fornthose who believe in a pluralistic societyn—the more so, given the ideological naturenof many of those who are gainingncontrol over the conduits of infonnation.nRyan is a storyteller. If one can suspendnincredulity and accept the good-guy statusnof his reporter, then one can moventhrough the book at a good pace. Thennovel is, in effect, an airport novel: somethingnfor distraction. The author is, however,na better-than-average writer; hendoesn’t succumb to cliches. And, as he isnan outsider in Philadelphia, the settingnof the novel, he pays attention to detailnthat helps add verisimilitude to his story.nIt is unlikely that much attention VVTU benpaid to Deadlines for the simple reasonnthat it is a minor novel.n1 his brings me back to Monimbo.nCompared to Deadlines, it is a horriblennovel—as a novel Messrs. Moss and denBorchgrave, both top-notch writers ofnnonfiction, make Mickey Spillane soundnlike Oscar Wilde. Consider some of theirnmore inventive phrases: “a long, passionatenkiss”; “a smoldering Latin girl”; “thengirl, at once sensual and vulnerable”; “thenvivacious, busty blonde… seemed youngnenough to be his daughter.” The authorsnpresage “a long, hot summer,” and theynaren’t talking about meteorology. Anneditor who is invariably an idiotic creepnwho opposes Hockney is given the sainamenFinkel Hockney had some roughnedges in The Spike, but he has undergonenskin and soul sanding and is a veritablenparagon in Monimbo, as indicated innthis dialogue:n”What kind of reporter are you, anyway?’n’I hope I’m an hcnest one. I did a big exposenon the KGB a couple years backnthat you may have seen’nMonimbo isn’t writing: it’s a paintby-numbernset.nIf that neat trick can be performednand the content is divorced from form,nthen the latter is totally unacceptable fornanyone who thinks that scenarios fornHart to Hart TV shows aren’t literature.nConservatives who have yet to praisenthe novel should be very specific aboutnwhat they are hailing. Conservativencreators of literature are those like Kafkanand Proust. Moss and de Borchgravendon’t show themselves capable even ofnsharpening either of those two’s pencils.nTo hail Moss and de Borchgrave as beingnthe authors that modem conservativesnneed is to ignore the anchor of conservativesnof all times: a respect for tradition.nAlthough Desmond Ryan has written anbook that supports liberal attitudes, liberalncritics know better than to lavishnpraise on Deadlines If ideology is suspended—andnideally, this is an effect ofntaking the content out of the form—thenreason why this is so is evident: Ryan isnnot in the big league. The liberals canndepend on, say, E. L Doctorow to toenthe party line: he’ll do it quite well. Tonpraise Moss and de Borchgrave as writersnof fiction is to call matters of conservativentaste into doubt.nnnWhen the form is ignored and thencontent considered, then Monimbo,nlike its predecessor, is a fine book, onenthat addresses another sociopoliticalnproblem that very well may explode onnthe scene at any moment. In The Spikenthe authors address the KGB’s efforts tonspread disinformation throughout thenU.S. Given the before-mentioned consolidationnof newspapers, it’s obvious that unlessnthe press is as vigilant about what’sngoing on in its own house as it is aboutnwhat’s going on in everyone else’s, thennthe KGB will have an easier time of things.nThat is, fewer flaks will be required to infiltratenthe decreased number of sourcesnof information, the news bureaus of thenflagship pliers that feed the rest of thenfleet. As is pointed out in Monimbo,nAmericans are ready to believe virtuallynanything about the FBI and the CIA whennit comes to matters of wrongdoing. Whennthe KGB is even mentioned, he who uttersnthose three letters is jeered at as ansimple reactionary, a fossil from thenMcCarthy era. Hopefiilly, The Spike hadn(and has) the effect of making a greaternnumber of people willing to accept thenplausibility—if not the reality—of KGBnactivities directed at and performed innthe newsrooms of this country.nIn 1972 The War for the Cities bynRobert Moss appeared. It is a work ofnnonfiction; Monimbo is a fictional glossnon the better book The War for the Citiesnanalyzes urban guerrillas, those who usenterrorism in an attempt to achieve theirnends. Today, litde is heard about domesticnterrorists. But it wasn’t so long agonthat the SLA, die Weathermen, die BlacknPanthers, and others were making headlinesnon a regular basis. Other areas—nNorthern Ireland, Central America, thenMiddle East—^aren’t so lucky. Since terroristnacts in the U.S. of the 60’s and 70’sndidn’t have much effect and since thosenacts were performed at a point in timenmore distant than yesterday’s newspaper,nthere is a tendency to pooh-pooh thenidea that “revolutionaries” in Americancould have any effect today. There hasn’tnbeen a coup in this country for over 200n••MH^ 9nowmberl983n