Notable Quotables - 03/09/1998

Law-Breaking By Liberals? Pass More Liberal Laws to Be Ignored

"The Republicans were outraged by the fundraising practices of the President and the Democratic National Committee but not so outraged that they felt the need for campaign finance reform."
NBC anchor Tom Brokaw in a New York Times column, February 7.

"Republicans kill the bill to clean up sleazy political fundraising. The business of dirty campaign money will stay business as usual....Good evening. Legislation to reform shady big money campaign fundraising is dead in Congress. Republican opponents in the Senate killed it today. It was the latest in a long-running attempt to toughen loose laws that shield hidden donors with loose wallets and deep pockets. As CBS's Bob Schieffer reports, when it came to the crunch today on campaign finance reform, it was all talk and no action."
Dan Rather, February 26 CBS Evening News.

"For all those promises of bipartisan cooperation to clean up the system, for all the investigations into White House coffees, Buddhist temple fundraisers, stories about top Republicans chasing campaign money in Hong Kong, and slick operator Roger Tamraz bragging about buying appointments with the President, for all of that, Senators took a deep breath and killed campaign finance reform for another year."
Reporter Bob Schieffer opening the subsequent CBS Evening News story.

"The Senate has effectively killed political campaign finance reform for the foreseeable future, which means that even though a majority of Senators declared themselves in favor of trying to change the way politicians raise and spend money, there were not enough votes to end a Republican filibuster. Together the Senate and the House of Representatives spent more than $9 million dollars to hold more than 30 days of hearings on how to change the rules, and even though so many Americans believe that money is more important to the process than their vote which is not a pretty picture and though many, many politicians believe the system is flawed, they will not be fixing it, just yet."
ABC's Peter Jennings, February 26 World News Tonight.


Starr: One Out of Bounds, Self-Serving, Illegal, Ominous Guy

"Starr justified the subpoenas of Lenzner and Blumenthal by saying a smear campaign could amount to obstruction of justice, but even some current and former federal prosecutors say that Starr is out of bounds and he should get on with the issues that really matter in the Lewinsky case."
ABC's Jackie Judd in a Feb. 24 World News Tonight story on reaction to the subpoenaing of the private investigator and the Clinton aide.

"Special prosecutor Kenneth Starr has increased the pressure even further on President Clinton today in what some call the nastiest and most personal clash yet. The Clintons have accused Starr of illegal, false and self-serving leaks of grand jury testimony in a campaign to get the Clintons at all costs, as they see it. Tonight, as CBS News White House correspondent Scott Pelley reports, Starr is boring in bigger, harder."
Dan Rather, February 24 CBS Evening News.

"We want to take a closer look at the legal tactics Ken Starr is employing. Joining us for that, CNN justice correspondent Pierre Thomas. By calling before the grand jury people such as Sidney Blumenthal, is Ken Starr acting illegally?"
CNN's Bernard Shaw, February 24 Inside Politics.

"It is now the one invitation in Washington no one wants, a call to testify before Ken Starrs grand jury. It left some [video of Lewinsky's mother Marcia Lewis] near emotional collapse, others [video of Sidney Blumenthal] raging about police state tactics. And nearly all the witnesses, it is safe to say, felt the ominous chill that comes with the arrival of a grand jury subpoena."
CBS reporter Eric Engberg, opening a March 2 Evening News story on how prosecutors use the grand jury system.


Media to Starr: Please Pack Your Bags

"Now let's discuss the question: Should Ken Starr resign? Former federal prosecutor Henry Hudson joins us on Inside Politics along with Stuart Taylor, a senior writer for the National Journal and a contributing editor for Newsweek. First to you, Stuart. Should Starr pack his bags?"
Bernard Shaw on CNN's Inside Politics, Feb. 26.

"New indications in a CBS News poll out tonight of how the public perceives Republican special prosecutor Ken Starr's investigation. Our poll suggests only 27 percent believe Starr is conducting an impartial probe. And 55 percent think it's time for Starr to drop his investigation."
Dan Rather, March 2 CBS Evening News.


Poor Little Girl, Blackmailed by Starr

"She could be charged with lying on an affidavit in the Paula Jones case, whether or not she testifies before the grand jury. She could also be charged with telling Linda Tripp to lie, according to the tapes. What sort of punishment would she face if, in fact, Kenneth Starr spends taxpayer's money to put this girl on trial? ....We'll talk about the leaks in a second, but if Kenneth Starr is withholding full immunity because Monica's 'truth' [McRee uses fingers to imply truth is in quotes] doesn't go far enough, is that legal blackmail?"
Two questions from Good Morning America co-host Lisa McRee to Lewinsky lawyer William Ginsburg, Feb. 25.


Dare Hold a Hearing? We'll Embarrass You for Clinton

"If in fact the House committee investigates the President's private life after Ken Starr has investigated the President's private life, the news media will then investigate the people who are investigating the private life the same way they investigated the campaign funding donations of people who inquired into the campaign funding habits of the Democrats. It's how the game is played. The White House isn't going to have to do that. We're gonna do that and it's called doing our job."
Eleanor Clift on CNBC's Equal Time, February 12.


The "Alleged" Scandal We're "Allegedly" Covering Fairly

"In Depth tonight. More on the alleged White House scandal."
Tom Brokaw, February 12 Nightly News.


PBS: Reaganomics Still Stinks

"The stock market crashed in October 1987, another setback for Reagan. Black Monday raised doubts about the soundness of Reagan's economic policies. On Reagan's watch tax revenues would double, but they never kept up with spending. The national debt nearly tripled. Although most Americans benefited, the gap between the richest and poorest became a chasm. Donald Trump and the new billionaires of the 1980s recalled the extravagance of the captains of industry in the 1880s. There were losers. Cuts in social programs created a homeless population that grew to exceed that of Atlanta. AIDS became an epidemic in the 1980s, nearly 50,000 died. Reagan largely ignored it."
Narrator of PBS American Experience profile of Ronald Reagan, February 24.

"If there is any President who does not deserve credit for our current economic prosperity it is Ronald Reagan. The latter part of the 1980s will go down as one of the most poorly-managed, economically reckless fiscal periods in American history."
PBS To the Contrary host Bonnie Erbe, Feb. 28 Washington Times column.


Please Spank Me

"Based on your dreams for the information age, can you give me your reaction to the type of information we are hearing in the current situation between the President and Monica Lewinsky? Is that the way you envision the information age turning out?"

"But in this particular case do you think it's gotten to the point where possibly there is a chance that there is too much information on this particular subject?"

"As our partner I'm sure you watch our programming, you're probably a news junkie like the rest of us. Do you think though that we as journalists have gone overboard on this story?"
NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer pressing Microsoft chief Bill Gates, February 24.


L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher; Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
Eric Darbe, Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
Kristina Sewell, Research Associate; Sherri Pascale, Circulation Manager
Rebecca Hinnershitz, Karen Sanjines, Interns