Notable Quotables - 04/16/1990


Nostalgia for the Wall

"Few tears will be shed over the demise of the East German army, but what about East Germany's eighty symphony orchestras, bound to lose some subsidies, or the whole East German system, which covered everyone in a security blanket from day care to health care, from housing to education? Some people are beginning to express, if ever so slightly, nostalgia for that Berlin Wall."
- CBS reporter Bob Simon on the March 16 Evening News.


Gysi Yes, Gysi No

"There are no East German Walesas, Gorbachevs, or Havels. There is, however, Gregor Gysi, leader of the Party for Democratic Socialism, the renamed version of the Communist Party. Wherever he went...his good humor and slightly meek style drew thousands of enthusiastic supporters."
- Correspondent Mike Boettcher on NBC Nightly News, March 16.

"One man who is not doing well is Gregor Gysi, the head of the Communist Party, who appeared today before supporters. The party has changed its name, but it's been running far behind in voter surveys."
- Garrick Utley, same program, next day.


Fidelity to Castro

"While Castro is an odd man out in a hemisphere increasingly headed by young free-market democrats, he still commands respect and awe."
- CNN reporter Frank Sesno on the March 20 PrimeNews.

"The remarks seem designed to psychologically prepare Cuba's 10 million people, who generally are much better off economically than most Latin Americans, for a significant deterioration of living standards as a result of Cuba's strained trade relations with East Bloc countries."
- Washington Post foreign correspondent Lee Hockstadter, April 7.


Castro: Teen Idol Or Old Fool?

"But they are the healthiest and most educated young people in Cuba's history. For that many of them say they have Castro and his socialist revolution to thank....if they long for the sweeping changes occurring in Eastern Europe, they are not saying so publicly....To the extent he can, Castro has been rewarding young people. For example, on their return home [from Angola], the 300,000 Cubans sent to Africa were first in line for housing, jobs, and education. Such benevolence breeds dedication, some young people say."
- NBC reporter Ed Rabel, April 1 Nightly News.

"'We stand alone in defending socialism,' he [Castro] told a street party of young people early this morning. Their response appeared half-hearted: they preferred the music. After 31 years of revolution, Castro senses that Cubans, especially the young, may be losing some of their revolutionary fervor."
- CBS reporter Juan Vasquez, April 4.


Carter vs. Reagan

"Carter's career after the White House has been characterized by good work...The Reagans' career after the White House has been characterized by big bucks...The 1980's were noted for greed and avarice, but now we're in the 1990's, and the waiter has arrived with the check. Things have changed, and Carter is more popular than Reagan."
- NBC commentator John Chancellor on the March 15 NBC Nightly News, immediately followed by a Quality Inns commercial starring Tip O'Neill.


The Media, A Monument to Idealism

"The reporters (at Capital News) work for a shining institution, basically the last uncorrupted institution you can find. Hospitals are corrupt. Judges are corrupt. Everybody in the world is corrupt. But our newspapers are essentially a monument to idealism....We posited that everybody who works at the high reaches of the paper's national desk...they're uppity power brokers. On the other hand, folks who work on the Metro staff are really the salt of the earth, people with REAL values."
- Former Washington Post editor Christian Williams, Executive Producer of ABC's new series Capital News, April 9 Newark Star Ledger.

It's A Ron Dellums World, After All

"It took twenty years for the world to come Ronald Dellums' way. Widely viewed as what he calls a 'radical Commie pinko' when he came to Congress in 1971, the Democrat from Berkeley, Calif., has emerged in 1990 as a principal player on defense policy."
- USA Today reporter Richard Wolf, March 15.


Hungary for Goulash Communism

"If there's one thing that almost everyone agrees on here is that the communists must go and as soon as possible. And this is a strange thing because this is one country that seems to have profited more than any other East European government under years of communism, but it wasn't communism like other peoples. They used to call it goulash communism here."
- CBS' Tom Fenton on Sunday Morning, March 25.

They Like It With Bugs

"Do you guys like organic food? We're going to be talking about it coming up. Interestingly enough, about one in four Americans is turning to organic food because they're scared of Alar and the use of pesticides in their food."
- CBS This Morning co-host Paula Zahn, March 19.

Coming Clean

"The antiabortion forces, for example, believe that the Post, institutionally, is 'pro-choice.' Of course it is. Any reader of the paper's editorials and home-grown columnists is aware of that. Moreover, while the shadings are more subtle, close textual analysis probably would reveal that, our news coverage has favored the 'pro-choice' side."
- Washington Post Ombudsman Richard Harwood, March 18.

"I always get a lot of criticism, even among my colleagues, when I reveal that I'm actually a registered member of the Democratic Party. Many journalists tell me 'Oh, you should be an independent.' I say that it's a personal thing. I want to vote in primaries. I want to be involved in the political process. I want to cast my ballot and that's why I'm registered to the Democratic Party."
- Time Washington reporter Nancy Traver on C-SPAN, March 23.


Dan Rather Said This?

"Somebody said, "Well, Lithuania trying to break away from the Soviet Union is like Rhode Island or California trying to break away from the United States.' Baloney. Rhode Island and California sought to come into the United States...Such was not, is not the case with Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia...Why is the United States of America - the land of the free, home of the brave - not throwing itself fully, completely into support for freedom, democracy, and independence for the freedom-loving peoples of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia? What is going on here?"
- Dan Rather's CBS Radio commentary, March 27.


Quote of the Month

"Congress changed the Soviet Constitution to permit limited private ownership of small factories, although laws remain against exploitation of everyone else."
- NBC Moscow reporter Bob Abernethy on Nightly News, March 13.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Jim Heiser, Gerard Scimeca, Stewart Verdery, Dorothy Warner; Media Analysts
- Kristin Kelly; Administrative Assistant