The Best of Notable Quotables; December 28, 1998

Vol. Eleven; No. 27

Starr Behind Bars Award

“Coming out on to the White House driveway on the day after he had violated all norms of privacy, he jauntily gave his trademark wave and his patented grin, one that doesn’t involve eye movement, carrying himself as if he were President and as if there were a crowd of well-wishers rather than a ravenous camera crew awaiting him, as if he were on some high horse instead of on some low road. ‘You cannot defile the temple of justice,’ he has said in explaining his relentless pursuit of Clinton. But Starr did. As much as Clinton stained the dress, Starr stained the country to nail him for it. And his party goes on and on.”

Time magazine’s Margaret Carlson in an October 12 “Public Eye” column. [60 points]


“What Starr is doing is trying to construct the truth according to Ken Starr, and according to Miss Lewinsky’s lawyer he’s reneging on his offer of immunity, because she’s not saying what he wants and what he’s doing is trying to get people to say what he wants. He’s the one who is suborning perjury here in my view. He has gone way beyond the pale in term of his treatment of witnesses.”

Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift, Feb. 7 McLaughlin Group. [52]
“CNN has learned the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee plans to ask Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate whether Ken Starr should be removed from office. Sources say Congressman John Conyers is writing a long letter to Reno, accusing Starr of repeated abuses of power, including pressuring witnesses to commit perjury. The allegations are specific and serious, aimed at a man who already has given many people the impression he’s on a mission. That may have a lot to do with Starr’s religious and Republican roots...”

– Greta Van Susteren hosting the February 5 CNN special “Investigating the Investigator.” [48]
“Starr has stood Watergate on its head. It is not the President who is doing the taping; it is the prosecutor. It is not the President who is assembling the dossiers and leaking dirt on the intimate practices of an ideological opponent; it is the prosecutor. It is not the President who is involved in the politically motivated abuse of power; it is the politically motivated counsel. It is not the President who is insufficiently accountable; it is the prosecutor.”

U.S. News Editor-in-Chief Mortimer Zuckerman, April 6.  [47]
“Starr’s is a shameful story – as shameful as the conduct of almost all television news programs and some of the press....Starr’s leaks, whose purpose is to condition the public to believe in the President’s guilt, are of a piece with other practices that reek of abuse....The real spinning is taking place in the graves of our Founding Fathers. When they wrote the First Amendment, they imagined a press corps as a curb on power. They did not anticipate an independent counsel free from checks and balances. They had no role for a chief inquisitor. Nor should we."

U.S. News & World Report’s Zuckerman in his editorial titled, “Starr Has Hit a New Low,” – June 29 issue. [36]