Notable Quotables - 03/18/1991


Baghdad Bowen Comes Clean...

"The message that came from them very strongly in Baghdad was that they're pretty sick of Saddam Hussein. They don't like the man, they don't like what he's done to their country, and they'd like to be rid of him."
- BBC Baghdad reporter Jeremy Bowen on NBC News at Sunrise after reporters were kicked out of Baghdad, March 8.

"But the air war itself, as it goes on, has shown no sign of diminishing Saddam's support here....all the people that we talk to with the television cameras say that the continuing air attacks have in fact strengthened their desire, their will to resist the Allied coalition."
- Bowen on the NBC Nightly News, February 16.


...And So Does Baghdad Betsy

"The one thing people have to know is that this man privately, Saddam Hussein, is a hated man."
- Baghdad reporter Betsy Aaron on the March 7 CBS Evening News.

"With their city in ruins, what is left on the street is pride....The average citizen here is confused by the politics swirling around him. He thinks the Iraqi government has made every concession it can make for a peace with honor. He believes Iraq is due at least that, and tonight, this [bombing] is what the Allies have to say to the Iraqis."
- Betsy Aaron reporting from Baghdad on the February 27 CBS Evening News.


Saddam's Real Appeal

"[Saddam's speech] drew a captive audience, in hotel lobbies, tea houses, and on the street. All day long, they waited to see if the United States would stop the war."
- CBS reporter Betsy Aaron, February 26 Evening News.

"The signs of the breakdown were small but real....a bomb shelter full of people sitting through a night of attack, playing cards, sleeping, and talking among themselves in complete disdain for the address from Saddam playing on the radio."
- Freelance reporter Michael Kelly in the February 11 New Republic.


Credible Falsehoods

"'In a battle lasting eight hours,' the communique said, 'Iraqi forces destroyed many tanks and pushed the Allied troops back.' Communique 63, issued tonight, says 'Iraqi troops have recaptured all ground lost to the Allies since Sunday.' The communiques, broadcast to the people on Baghdad radio, lifted spirits here, however temporarily. The radio station, the main source of information here, seems to have gained new credibility lately."
- NBC reporter Tom Aspell from Baghdad, February 25 Nightly News.


Back to Silly Sovietology

"I'm just talking about image, reputation when it's over - that we're going to come out looking like the bad guys, and the Soviets are going to walk away looking like all they care about is peace and they will have won the hearts and minds of the Arab world, and we will have lost that."
- Face the Nation host Lesley Stahl discussing the Soviet peace plan with National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, February 17.

"The Bush Administration has also muted its criticism of Gorbachev's law-and-order campaign, assuming that he must secure his domestic front in order to preserve his cooperative foreign policy...But in the end, who can criticize a Nobel Peace Prize winner for pursuing peace?"
- Newsweek's Steven Strasser, March 4.

Bill Moyers: Partisan No More?

"I left partisanship behind when I left the White House in 1967, but my roots are all tangled with yours."
- Former CBS reporter and commentator and current PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers in an address to the March 8 Democratic Issues Conference, aired on C-SPAN.

"By the 1980s, when the Democrats in Congress colluded with Ronald Reagan and the Republicans to revise the tax code on behalf of the rich, it appeared that the party had lost its soul."
- Moyers, same speech.

"We spend four times as much on the Strategic Defense Initiative, Star Wars, than we do on the early education program Head Start, which works."
- Moyers, same speech.

"I tell you there is in this country a hunger for a vision. Otherwise....we would not be investing so much transcendental significance in a triumph of overwhelming technology and unchallenged power over a country no bigger than Texas and with roughly the same amount of people, ruled over by a paranoid psychopath, who proved to be a video tiger, all growl and no guts."
- Moyers, same speech.


Mourning Liberal Losses

"Cranston: A Sad Tale of a Good Man Gone Wrong"
- Headline to March 3 Los Angeles Times op-ed by former Wall Street Journal reporter Ellen Hume.


Forced to Raise State Taxes

"Every Governor in America last year could have recited the Jim Florio rule of political survival: never mount an honest attack against a state deficit. The New Jersey Governor, who combined service cuts with the highest tax hike in the state's history, was all but tarred and feathered for his efforts. But now, with at least 29 states facing potential deficits, Florio's approach is beginning to seem almost prescient."
- Time Associate Editor Priscilla Painton, March 4.

"And while President Bush and a number of other administration officials are confident that the recession will be short and shallow and the federal budget is on its way to repair, a lot of governors would say, yeah, and the states are left holding the bag. Two of them were forced to ask today for state income taxes."
- Tom Brokaw referring to Tennessee and Connecticut on the February 14 NBC Nightly News.


Time's Vote of Confidence

"For American artists today, censorship or repression usually means not getting a [NEA] grant. Jesse Helms may be a bigot, but he is not Dr. Goebbels..."
- Time art critic Robert Hughes, March 4.


More Conveyors of Truth

"In the wake of a successful war, reporters - who ask tough questions and sometimes bring bad news - can seem to many Americans like the nerdy hall monitors at a senior prom. To others, journalists covering the war appeared all too eager to accept the military's version of the story. The press's job, however, is not necessarily to please either side - only to look for the truth."
- Time media writer Richard Zoglin, March 11.

"Remember all the chatter about a short war? Well, forget it."
- Time's George J. Church, March 4 issue.


Trouble Ahead

"The problem now may be to contain the surge of pride and unity before it bursts the bounds of reason and passes into jingoism, even hubris."
- Time Senior Editor George J. Church, March 11 issue.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Brant Clifton, Nicholas Damask, Steve Kaminski, Marian Kelley, Tim Lamer; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Circulation Manager