Acquiring the American titles to Maxim and Stuff may not have been such a good idea after all for Steven Rattner.
The former newsman – who now heads Quadrangle Press, the company that bought the Felix Dennis titles for a reported $230 million – is an active campaigner for Hillary Clinton. Should she be elected President in 2008 there is a good chance that Rattner might be nominated for the important position of Treasury Secretary.
Already some women in American who regard Maxim and Stuff as ‘semi-porn’are getting ready to mount a campaign.
Professor Gail Dines, who teaches sociology at Wheelock College in Boston has warned that she would question putting anyone who owns such magazines in a position to regulate press or broadcast companies.
The prospect of Rattner, a former reporter for the NY Times who became managing director of the Wall Street brokerage company, Lazard Freres, achieving such a position, was first mooted in the current issue of Fortune magazine.
A former editor at Maxim, David Itzkoff, noting the possibility, suggested that the investment banker would be wise to put some distance between himself and the racy magazines. If not, and Hillary Clinton is elected, he predicted the most contentious confirmation hearings.
Already the lad-mags have been the target of some renewed controversy in the US. Last week the Israeli Consulate in New York came under fire for hosting a reception to pay tribute to women in the Israeli Armed Forces who were featured in the July issue of Maxim.
One Israeli lawmaker suggested that Israel was trying to revive its tourist trade by encouraging what he called ‘sex tourism”.