By George, it's a Kennedy glossy hits newsstands

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The Independent Online
IT WILL go by the name of George, but perhaps they should have called it John-John. It is a new and widely anticipated political magazine that is about to hit the newsstands in America. The title refers to George Washington. John-John is the childish alias, still used by the tabloids, for its creator, John F Kennedy Jr.

Unlike the other magazine that is also shortly to be born in the US - The Standard, which, with financial backing from Rupert Murdoch, will be unashamedly conservative - George has been conceived as a political glossy with no ideological bias. Its aim, as far as anyone can discern, is to explore and promote the political scene as a part of America's pop culture.

In an interview with New York, JFK Jr's partner in the venture, Michael Berman, said: "On balance, we are not going to have a point of view. We are approaching the subject as fans."

Hachette, the France-based media group, is backing the venture and plans an astonishingly ambitious initial print-run of 500,000 copies. Impressively, the first issue, due out next month, is expected to be 300 pages long with some 170 pages of advertisements .

For reasons that are far from clear, super-model Cindy Crawford is rumoured to be gracing the front cover. And some sources warn us to expect a one-off column from actress/loud-mouth Roseanne Arnold on what she would do if she were in the White House.

That the first issue will attract widespread fascination is not in doubt, however, simply by virtue of JFK junior. But is it possible for the tall, dark and handsome son of so partisan a former president to produce a political magazine that will be ideologically neutral?

But aside from drawing large numbers of female readers, when it comes to getting potential interviewees, few journalists could ever hope to have the kind of pulling power that he will surely enjoy. As to whether he will emerge from his publicity-shy shell personally to promote his baby when launch day nears, that, sources say, is a decision yet to be taken.