EXCLUSIVE . . . THE NEW PENTHOUSE OFFER
Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione told TIME today that he has offered the Unabomber a regular column in the magazine. Guccione, who claims to have spoken briefly by telephone with the Unabomber four days ago, plans to announce the offer on the magazine'sInternet site. The Unabomber had said that if The New York Times, the Washington Post, TIME and other major news organizations refused to carry his 35,000-word manifesto, he would accept Guccione's offer to publish it in Penthouse. But in a bizarre turn as media critic, the Unabomber said in that case he would reserve the right to kill one more person, since publishing in Penthouse would not be as prestigious as appearing in the other publications. "I can't do it under those circumstances," Guccione told TIME's Jenifer Mattos today. But he came up with a counter-offer: "In place of killing one more person, a one-page monthly column in the magazine, where they can continue to communicate with the American public in a kind of interactive way, where they could answer letters and respond to critics. It would begin immediately as soon as they gave me the go-ahead, and go on indefinitely." Guccione, who described the Unabomber as sounding "subdued, quiet, quick, tentative" during their 15-second conversation, says he also received a four-page letter, half of its contents exclusively sent to him, which he will publish in the October issue of Penthouse.