The Best of Notable Quotables; December 19, 1994

Vol. Seven; No. 26

Clinton Enemies List Award (for Those Who Dare Stray from the Media Pack)

“To his fans, David Brock, the writer who ruined the Clintons’ Christmas, is a hard-hitting investigative reporter. To everyone else, he is a smear artist with a right-wing agenda. But a reading of Mr. Brock’s oeuvre in the conservative journal The American Spectator suggests that his motives are at least as twisted as his facts. It’s women, not liberals, who really get him going. The slightest sighting of female sexuality whips him into a frenzy of misogynist zeal. All women are the same to Mr. Brock: terrifying, gutter-tongued sexual omnivores.”

New York Times columnist (and former theater critic) Frank Rich, January 6.


“There is very little in the press accounts to suggest that he is, above all, a sophisticated propagandist, an avatar of the politics of meanness and envy....Limbaugh is defending the successful against the impudent demands of the poor; by making all that funny, he gives the comfortable a way to think that greed and a cold-hearted wit comprise a cohesive ideology.... his style is pure demagoguery. Just as Reagan talked of welfare queens in Cadillacs, Limbaugh seizes on the absurd detail, gives it an absurdist twist of his own, and sends it out into the world under the guise of analysis and principle...."
“It is not enough for him to oppose liberalism. He must, like all demagogues, scare his listeners, get them to believe in conspiracy, rumor....Like Reagan, Limbaugh is neither curious nor brave; he would rather tell his audiences fairy tales than have them face the world; he would rather sneer at the weak than trouble the strong.”

– Former Washington Post reporter David Remnick in the Post’s Outlook section, February 20.

“Why does anyone take Rush Limbaugh seriously?....He’s entertaining. But, come on, he is to truthfulness as President Clinton is to faithfulness – he has but a passing acquaintance with it. He’s toying with you, folks, getting you all riled up with a stew of half-truths and non-truths. He’s making fools of you, feeding you swill – and you’re taking it in....So keep listening if you want. But just remember that he’s a charlatan.”

– Former NBC News President Michael Gartner in a USA Today column, July 12.

“One of my losers of the year is David Brock, who wrote that slimy magazine article that revived all those charges about Bill Clinton’s personal behavior, and I regarded that as journalism which is truly out of bounds.”

– PBS Washington Week in Review moderator Paul Duke, December 31, 1993.