Notable Quotables - 02/10/1997
Remember Those Prosperous, Tranquil Carter Years?
"They [journalists] have tended
to write bad scripts, at least at first, for those Presidents who presided in
moments of prosperity and tranquility and kept them that way. Cases in point:
George Bush, Jimmy Carter, Dwight Eisenhower, William Howard Taft, and Martin
- Time columnist Hugh Sidey in a February 10 piece on how Clinton may become a forgettable President like Rutherford Hayes.
Editorials on the Front Page
"Like an ominous storm blown in
from the East, the reality of welfare reform has descended with relentless and
unsparing force on thousands of families like that of [Yvonne] Parris who
begin the new year today with less cash to live on and the prospect of a
welter of new rules aimed at restricting their access to government
aid....Many who are against the cuts argue that the welfare overhaul does
little to address the fundamental causes of poverty, but is instead based on
long-standing myths and prejudices."
- Los Angeles Times reporters Carla Rivera and Hector Tobar in a front-page news story, January 1.
Aren't the Kids Worth More Taxes?
"Governor Shaheen, you've said
that you want kindergarten available for every child in your state. And you're
proposing to finance it with higher cigarette taxes and more gambling in the
state. I guess you have to do that because you've locked yourself away from
calling for any sales tax or income tax in New Hampshire. Are the kids not
worth having a sales tax or an income tax?"
- Washington Post reporter David Broder to New Hampshire Democratic Governor Jeanne Shaheen, February 2 Meet the Press.
Cuomo, Crowley & Kennedy
CNN reporter Candy Crowley: "And
the hearing on Andrew Cuomo's nomination as Housing Secretary was practically
Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.): "This is a sterling choice by the President."
Sen. Lauch Faircloth (R-N.C.): "You have, certainly have an impressive record and an impressive group of friends."
Crowley: "It should all be so easy."
- January 22 Inside Politics.
"Senate confirmation for two of
President Clinton's other Cabinet appointees may not be so easy. Housing
Secretary nominee Andrew Cuomo was grilled for three hours on the state of
Housing and Urban Development. The Department is under congressional fire for
alleged inefficiency and wastefulness."
- CNN The World Today anchor Kathleen Kennedy, same night.
The Most Trusted Comrade in America
"I thought that we Americans
overreacted to the Soviets and the news coverage sometimes seemed to
accentuate that misdirected concern. Fear of the Soviet Union taking over the
world just seemed as likely to me as invaders from Mars. Well, perhaps I was
naive, but I'd seen those May Day parades and Soviet bread lines and miserable
conditions hidden behind them. That war-devastated country didn't seem that
threatening to me...The nuclear arms race was on in earnest. All the
anti-Soviet paranoia that had been festering since the war really blew up
then. A Soviet bomb was seen as an assault on us. But I saw it as part of
their pursuit of nuclear equality. After all, what should we expect, that our
enemy's just going to sit still there and not try to develop the bomb?"
- Walter Cronkite on the year 1948 in Part 3 of the Discovery Channel's Cronkite Remembers, January 16.
The President Humbly Accepts Our Flaws!
"As he begins his second term
you may lament that President Clinton leaves little eloquence. But in an age
of focus groups and consultants saying, 'Keep it short. Don't take sides,' few
politicians do. He faces personal charges about his conduct in a motel
bedroom. And ethical allegations about opening the Lincoln bedroom to the
highest contributor. But you come back to the fact that if Bill Clinton isn't
always trusted he has twice been entrusted by the largest responsibility we
have to bestow by voters who can have few illusions. Instead they seem to
trust that as President Clinton displays his own excesses and frailties he
forgives and accepts ours, too."
- NPR weekend anchor Scott Simon, January 19 NBC Today.
Can We Afford to Wait for President Gore?
"Still their shared needs and
mutual admiration cover an essential difference between the two men. Both
think deep thoughts about saving the world, but they approach the task quite
differently. Clinton is often roundabout, if not waffling. Gore is a plunger
who thinks and acts in a straight line. Because Gore has been a reserved
politician, his sometimes messianic zeal has been overlooked. The Vice
President has written that his call to save the environment began with the
shock of a near-fatal car accident to his son, Albert III. Characteristically,
Gore felt it wasn't enough to save one child; he wanted to save all the
world's children. By the same token, he has said privately that his absorption
with arms control in the 1980s began with dreams that he could not rescue his
family from nuclear war."
- Newsweek's Evan Thomas, January 27.
People Are Too Stupid to Invest for Their Own Retirement
"It's one thing for someone like
me, who makes a very good living, to bet on the stock market. I can afford to
lose. But betting the federal budget on stocks is madness. And forcing
millions of people who don't know stocks from smocks to let the market
determine whether their retirement dinners will consist of cat food or caviar
doesn't seem like the way we should treat people."
- Newsweek Wall Street Editor Allan Sloan, January 20.
What Bias? Who Cares?
"What were we going to do
differently? Pretend that it wasn't static? Take up the slack for Dole? And we
certainly can't do anything about the perception that we're too liberal. I
thought David Brinkley (in his on- air anti-Clinton diatribe) struck a pretty
good blow against the feeling that all reporters are liberal Democrats, but it
doesn't seem to have changed anything. The truth is that I don't care
- ABC News political editor Hal Bruno quoted in the January Dateline, the newsletter of the D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (Parenthetical addition theirs).
"Although the experience and
independence of Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, and Ted Koppel would
give their opinions a lot more weight than those of any politician, they still
observe the disciplines of their craft. Their on-air analyses plumb the views
and prejudices of others without parading their own."
- Former New York Times Executive Editor Max Frankel deploring ABC's hiring of George Stephanopoulos, January 19 New York Times Magazine.
"I was about to say that if you
want to talk about bias, go ask President Clinton where the bias lies. As you
know, the White House just issued this big huge study, they called it, of how
the mainline media is sucked in by the right-wing conspiratorialists. My point
is that everybody who watches television brings their own biases to it, and if
what you're watching doesn't please you, then you think we're biased.
Everybody dislikes the messenger. Everybody complains about us, right wing,
left wing, Democrats, Republicans. They all pound on us. They all think we're
unfair to them if we're telling them things they don't want to hear. And we do
the best we can. We try to be fair."
- CBS 60 Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, January 31.
That's the Declaration of Independence, Science Boy
"For Americans, 'the pursuit of
happiness' is not just a slogan. It's written into our Bill of Rights. But
what exactly is happiness?"
- ABC science reporter Michael Guillen on Good Morning America, January 21.
- L. Brent Bozell, Publisher; Brent
H . Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, Jim Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathy Ruff, Marketing Director; Carey Evans, Circulation Manager; Brian Schmisek,Intern