Unforeseen Nose Dive -

JAMES BATES,

A recent item here questioned director Stanley Kubrick's futuristic vision because he showed in his 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey" a space shuttle with now-ailing Pan Am's name on it.

Turns out Kubrick isn't the only one with a blurry vision of which airlines would eventually have the financial wherewithal to become space-age carriers. A picture from opening day at Disneyland in 1955 shows the trip to the moon (now Mars) attraction with a rocket emblazoned with the TWA logo.

TWA, one of the world's elite airlines then, at least for now seems an unlikely candidate to develop space travel. In January, the struggling carrier expects to file for bankruptcy protection in a financial reorganization negotiated with creditors.

Reversal of Viewpoint

One problem with being a talkative media source is that your words can come back to haunt you.

Consider this passage that appeared in the New York Times on Sept. 30, 1990, in a roundup of opinions from legal experts on what U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood should do in sentencing former Beverly Hills junk-bond executive Michael Milken:

"It is imperative that Mr. Milken go to jail. If he doesn't, he will be perceived as having gotten away with it. Some kind of jail is important. It is a visible symbol and significant. If Mr. Milken keeps his billions and doesn't go to jail, he's perceived as a winner. Even if he doesn't need it for himself, we need him to be in jail."

Who said it? Harvard Law School Professor Alan M. Dershowitz, who has been hired to help fight to reduce the 10-year sentence Wood gave Milken. Dershowitz is also involved in a vicious fight challenging author James B. Stewart's portrayal of Milken in the new book "Den of Thieves."

Dershowitz now says the comments were based on his impressions of the Milken case from news reports. He said his views changed after he reviewed the records in the case.

"I feel badly having said it. But I don't regret it. In one sense, I am the best evidence of the fact the public has been duped by this stuff," Dershowitz said.

In the Cards

Time was when the one sure thing you could count on when a big news event occurred was an instant book.

Now it's the instant trading card. This year has seen the introduction of Desert Storm cards and S&L scandal cards. Now, Greenwich, Conn.-based Unbeatables is introducing "Soviet Coup Cards" featuring "Gorbachev Returns," "Down With the KGB" and "Yeltsin Addresses Supporters" cards.

Briefly . . .

No junk bonds? An auction this Thursday and Friday in Irvine and Santa Ana of former Lincoln Savings & Loan assets now held by the federal Resolution Trust Corp. will include paper shredders, Polaroid cameras, emergency earthquake bags, a Burroughs 2930 mainframe computer and a two-ton moving truck. . . . The Socio-Economic Research Institute of America predicts that "green marketing" will suffer as "recession-weary Americans refuse to pay for environmental soundness." . . . World Series reminder: A family of four spent an average of $76.22 at a major league baseball game this year, according to Chicago-based Team Marketing Report.

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