Pol Pot, Gingrich: What's the Difference?
"From the pronunciamentos
out of Washington, you'd think the new Congress were a
slash-and-burn Khmer Rouge, determined to rid Phnom Penh of
every member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, every
painter who every got a dime out of the National Endowment for
the Arts, every child who was ever difficult, and other
inconvenient co-dependents who ought instead to be growing rice
and eating fishpaste in the boondocks."
- CBS Sunday Morning TV critic John Leonard, January 8.
"Too bad he didn't say a
word or two on behalf of public broadcasting, currently under
attack by a crowd of power-drunk crackpots in Congress who want
to exterminate it. Kermit the Frog will wind up in the kitchen
of a French restaurant if they get their way."
- Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales reviewing the State of the Union, January 25. (Shales did not disclose he does movie reviews for National Public Radio.)
Taking Out Hankies for the President
"I'd like to start, if I may, with what I think you may think is a puzzlement. You've reduced the deficit. You've created jobs. Haiti hasn't been an enormous problem. You've got a crime bill with your assault weapon ban in it. You got NAFTA, you got GATT, and 50 percent of the people don't want you to run again. Where's the disconnect there?"
"...Here's another one. In
our poll today, the absolute critical items for Congress to
address. Number one, cutting the deficit. Number two, health
care reform. The two issues which were absolute priorities for
two years, and you don't get any credit for them?"
- Peter Jennings interviewing President Clinton, January 5 World News Tonight.
"But it simply may be a
lousy time to be President. The public is angry and demanding,
the media quick to judge and condemn. The world a far messier
place - gone is the single visible enemy. Gone is President as
leader of the free world....Being Commander in Chief has never
been easy, but there was a time when the public was more
forgiving. Today when you stumble, it seems no one cuts you a
break. You don't have to go any farther than your radio....An
impact that often steamrolls the complexities of an issue and
injects more heat than light into the political discourse. Call
it Rush to judgment....For this President, in these times, there
is little joy in the job. He is scrutinized by a cynical public
and now surrounded by a hostile Congress. These days, it goes
with the territory."
- Reporter Frank Sesno on CNN Presents, January 22.
"Mario recalls Crown Hts.
Riot: Blames cops, not Dinkins"
- New York Post, January 19.
"Cuomo's memory fails him
on Crown Heights details"
- New York Daily News, same day.
Newt's Welcome Bouquet
"You called Gingrich and
his ilk, your words, `trickle-down terrorists who base their
agenda on division, exclusion, and fear.' Do you think
middle-class Americans are in need of protection from that
- Bryant Gumbel to House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, January 4 Today.
"Both Gingrich and Buchanan
are familiar. They have all the moves and then some of Joseph
McCarthy, the late Republican Senator from Wisconsin....The
difference between McCarthy and Gingrich-Buchanan is that
Gingrich and Buchanan are sober and have greater intellect....If
Clinton falls in bed with Gingrich, the nation is in
- Former Boston Globe Washington Bureau Chief Robert Healy, January 21.
The Networks Rip the Competition
"It is not just Congress
that is taking a sharp turn to the right. The surge to the right
on Capitol Hill is making waves all over the country on openly
politically partisan and sometimes racist radio."
- Dan Rather, January 4 CBS Evening News.
"The hottest thing on the
radio these days is the call-in talk show. Most of the hosts are
self-described conservatives, what their opponents call
- Dan Rather, January 18 CBS Evening News.
"The issue is whether
what's going out over the airwaves here and elsewhere is fanning
the flames, is making the situation worse, that talk radio is
not democracy in action, but democracy run amok."
- NBC reporter Bob Faw, January 3 Nightly News.
Passionate, Eloquent...And Out of a Job
"A lot has been written
about you in the last couple of weeks. Much of it has a sense
that Mario Cuomo is a man full of promise and now that your 12
years in Albany is done, much of that promise is unfulfilled. Do
you disagree with that?....The sense of the promise that you may
have been able to deliver to people, your eloquence, your
intelligence, that did not translate, for lack of a better term,
into dynamic governance?....How are you going to use this? Are
you, will you continue to use this passion, will you continue to
use this eloquence? Some people have suggested you should become
a counterbalance to Rush Limbaugh."
- CBS This Morning co-host Harry Smith's questions to Mario Cuomo, December 30.
Republicans Massage Racism
"There is a broad public
dissatisfaction with welfare policy in this country, but how
much of this is a hangover of politicians who massaged the
messages of welfare queens and welfare fraud, and produced a
popular sense in the American population that undeserving people
are getting something for nothing, particularly undeserving
people of color?"
- PBS Washington Week in Review host Ken Bode, January 13.
"So the Republicans say
they are against raising the minimum wage. What did you expect?
The minimum wage does nothing to help the rich....The
Republicans are against welfare and food stamps. They're against
mandatory health coverage. They're against raising the minimum
wage. But they're for the working man. Especially the working
man worried about capital gains. Especially the working man who
employs what amounts to slave labor....This is somewhere between
dumb and short-sighted from an economic standpoint, and it's
somewhere between crass and racist from a social
- Former NBC News President Michael Gartner in his USA Today column, January 10.
A Vulgarizing Effect on Pop Culture
"The series accents racial
harmony and it champions taking up the cause of the underdog at
a time when, increasingly, we are seeing opposite emotions at
work in this country."
- Bryant Gumbel interviewing actress Cicely Tyson on her NBC drama Sweet Justice, January 6 Today.
"If recent history is any
guide, a return to conservative economics and Republican
moralizing may re-energize the most hostile strains in popular
music. Through the 1980s and early 1990s, the Reagan and Bush
administrations nurtured rock's angriest genres. Against the
official veneer of optimism and 1950s niceness, rock (and
increasing violent horror and action-adventure movies) insisted
that rampant self-interest would make for losers as well as
winners. Intuitively, people in their teens and 20s may have
guessed they'd be stuck with the bill for the high-living
- New York Times music critic Jon Pareles, January 15.
"The trouble is that Ronald
Reagan left us with the check. He may not remember all this, but
he left us with a $3 trillion debt."
- San Francisco Examiner Washington Bureau Chief and America's Talking host Chris Matthews on Good Morning America, January 4.
Brent Bozell III, Publisher;
Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- James Forbes, Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig, Steve Kaminski, Gesele Rey, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager;
Melissa Gordon, Anna Johnson; Interns