Notable Quotables - 04/15/1991

The Parade of Reagan Cliches

"What the country did not need was the surfeit of feel-good illusions Reagan sold so successfully. Every politician peddles hope in bright ribbons. The saddest and scariest conclusion one takes from this book is that Reagan fully believed his spiels even at their most outlandish. That gut sincerity and his actor's skills let him ring up record sales in the '80s. Paying the bills is America's hellish task in the '90s and perhaps beyond."
- Time Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Laurence Barrett reviewing Lou Cannon's Reagan book, April 15.

"We went through a trance with a mesmerizing leader and enjoyed the moment. You remember it was good morning again, morning again in America, and the sun was always coming up. No dark clouds, live for the moment, don't worry about the debts, don't worry about tomorrow, don't worry about paying them off, don't worry about the long-term future. And I think that's the legacy....I don't think I said the most lawless. I think the record is the worst since the Harding years and that's probably saying about the same thing."
- Former Washington Post editor Haynes Johnson on his Reagan book, March 12 Today.

Chinese Economics

"China Sees a Greater Role For Free Market in 1990's"
- New York Times, March 26

"Chinese premier sings praises of socialism"
- Washington Times, same day


Remembering Lee Atwater

"Lee Atwater attacked politics the way he attacked life: with maximum force. He had a vicious streak. He hurt people."
- ABC reporter John Martin on World News Tonight, March 29.

"[Lee Atwater] was a scoundrel, one of the darkest figures to dominate our recent politics, a man with a comprehensively cynical view of his fellow creatures....He made it in the most improbable way, learning to dress at Brooks Brothers and keep his funky white trash wickedness too....In running campaigns that played on racial divisions, he was something worse than bigot; he was a man who pretended to be a bigot in hope that it would sell."
- Washington Post op-ed by reporter Marjorie Williams, March 30.


Patriotic Mudslinging

"The political danger for Bush is that he could go overboard in exploiting his gulf triumph, possibly by lapsing into the mudslinging over patriotism that characterized his 1988 campaign."
- Matthew Cooper and Kenneth T. Walsh in the March 25 U.S. News & World Report.


Failure of Intelligence?

"Congress to Investigate U.S. Intelligence on Iraq: Hearings Will Review Apparent Shortcomings"
- Washington Post, March 18

"U.S. Intelligence Agencies Triumphed In Gulf War Despite Some Weak Spots"
- Wall Street Journal, same day


Dream On

"Although they often had horrible stories to tell, many Kuwaitis were enthusiastic about sharing their thoughts and experiences with [reporter Michael] Kramer. 'We journalists,' he said, 'are considered liberators as much as the troops are.'"
- Robert L. Miller's "From the Publisher" column, March 18 Time.


Rape? It's Reagan's Fault

"But counselors believe that for every rape reported, ten to twenty may go unreported. And if the actual rate of rape in the United States is rising, they say, there may be a number of reasons. One is the nationwide explosion of drug abuse....The economic squeeze on middle-class men in the '80s may have also fostered a climate of frustration and violence, experts say."
- CNN reporter Brian Jenkins, March 22.


Women Win Despite Conservatives

"The court said the laws against sex discrimination mean what they say. From a court perceived in some quarters as increasingly hostile to civil rights, today's ruling is being viewed as a remarkable victory for women."
- ABC's Tim O'Brien on the fetal protection decision, March 20 World News Tonight.


Democracy Causes Poverty

"Lines might be long, freedoms might be few, but one thing the state guaranteed was security from the cradle to the grave...But with the novel forces of democratization, decentralization, and freer expression came the hard truths of poverty, dislocation, crime, ethnic hatred and the erosion of the state's omnipotence. Beggars and cripples emerged from the shadows, the injured and humiliated took to venting their grievances in the streets, and ever-worsening shortages pushed masses over the threshold of poverty."
- New York Times reporter Serge Schmemann on the Soviet Union, March 13.


Troops Fought for Gun Control

"Not all the city's homicide victims were pursuing as noble a mission as the troops were, though the casualties in both theaters were loosely united through a common goal: gun control."
- New York Times reporter Sam Roberts on those murdered in New York City during the war, March 28.

Post-War Whining

"But America's status in the world is smudged and complicated by the realities of its long, slow rot at home....Neither political nor economic realities give hope that the nation's social problems - homelessness, health care, crime, drugs, a decline in industrial competitiveness, and so on - are going to be conquered soon, or even seriously addressed. At least not by government. The nation has the money, but not the political will."
- Time Senior Writer Lance Morrow, March 18.

"For many blacks, U.S. successes in the Gulf only magnify failures here at home. As defense spending has escalated during the Reagan and Bush years, there has been diminishing support for programs that help economically deprived Americans....Years of neglect of social services programs has left many black leaders cynical."
- CNN Special Assignment reporter John Camp on the CNN Evening News, March 4.


The Only Solution

"There are all these other health issues, and your Administration always says we can't throw money at it. But the only solution to solving these unbelievably painful things to watch, poor children, children who die before the age of one, children getting measles again, is money....It takes money to educate, it takes nurses to give them the vaccinations...It just takes money."
- Lesley Stahl on Face the Nation, March 31.


Couldn't Have Said It Better

"The reporters demonstrated the self-destructive narcissism that seems always to engulf us when assembled en masse. Their highly publicized efforts to transform petty professional jealousies and minor inconveniences into great issues of constitutional law were absurd. It is difficult to persuade skeptical and not entirely ignorant publics that 48-hour delays n the publication of feature stories on female truck drivers or mess hall crews from Montana threaten the nation's survival and the 'people's right to know.'"
- Washington Post ombudsman Richard Harwood, March 10.


- 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