Notable Quotables - 04/22/1996
Unabomber: Really a Swell Guy
"He wasn't a hypocrite. He lived
as he wrote. His manifesto, and there are a lot of things in it that I would
agree with and a lot of other people would, that industrialization and
pollution all are terrible things, but he carried it to an extreme, and
obviously murder is something that is far beyond any political philosophy, but
he had a bike. He didn't have any plumbing, he didn't have any
- Time Washington reporter Elaine Shannon on C-SPAN's Sunday Journal, April 7.
"I can't bring myself to hate
the Unabomber. Quite the opposite; I find his story curiously affecting. The
original Unabomber - the anonymous, hooded fellow, hiding behind aviator
glasses - was uninteresting, a freak, a nobody. But Theodore Kaczynski is
someone very interesting indeed...I envy his disobedience....the [manifesto]
tells us what we all know: that American society can be a powerfully
compromising, deadening, even saddening force....If Kaczynski proves to be the
Unabomber, he is nobody's hero, certainly not mine. The bomber murdered three
people, and might well have many more, all by design. Coincidentally,
Kaczynski invaded our front pages just before Easter Sunday, mute, pathetic
and manacled before his captors. But maybe he accomplished what the Unabomber
set out to do, to make us think about ourselves, and the society that drove
him to madness."
- Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam, April 10.
Unabomber: He's No Leftist...
"One source told the San
Francisco Examiner that Kaczynski was `disgusted with the widespread drug use
and liberal politics' at Berkeley. Maybe so: the Unabomer [sic] manifesto is
harshly critical of leftism."
- Newsweek Senior Writer Tom Morganthau, April 15 issue.
"Yet no one, either at Michigan
or Berkeley, remembers Ted having any contact with the leftists he would later
excoriate in his manifesto."
- Time Senior Editor Nancy Gibbs, April 15. The Unabomber manifesto begins: "The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race."
....But the Right Wing's Still to Blame for Oklahoma City
Bill Moyers, promoting April 12
Dateline NBC on Oklahoma City victims: "They're angry now that, most of
the people who were killed were connected, in one way or the other, to the
federal government. They thought of themselves as public servants. Then
politicians and talk radio turned them into faceless bureaucrats, and finally
the terrorists turned them into victims, and they're angry."
Bryant Gumbel: "You mention talk radio. They have some very hard feelings about talk radio and the hate being spewed by some of those on the far end of the spectrum."
Moyers: "If anything, talk radio in that part of the world is more anti-government today than ever. The airwaves are saturated with hostility, it's just an unremitting vilification of government. Sometimes it's, sometimes it's, you know, the government makes mistakes and there are justifiable grievances against government. But this is, this goes beyond that, it's excessive. And these people take it like salt in the wound. They drive around, they turn on their radio, they hear some vicious attack on government, and they think, `You know, if you strike the government, you kill my daughter.'"
- Exchange on Today, April 12.
Brown's Death: Great PR!
"There has been a huge push to
get rid of the Commerce Department and this has been, I don't want to sound
too cynical, but this has been a great PR experience, in a way, for the
Clinton administration's view of how to use the Commerce Department to promote
American business. I think it will be very difficult now to kill the Commerce
- National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg on Inside Washington, April 6.
Gumbel: Decency Over Politics
"Although many have praised Ron
[Brown] lavishly, I understand that no Republicans have yet expressed
condolences to the Brown family. Is that politics as usual, or is that just
plain bad manners?"
- Bryant Gumbel to Rep. Charles Rangel, April 10 Today.
"Out of respect for the memory
of Ron Brown and his grieving family, I am not anxious to prolong this story.
Like most people, I hoped that decency would prevail over politics. Those
involved will have to live with the truth."
- Gumbel's press statement, next day.
"[GOP Chairman Haley] Barbour told Gumbel after the plane crash that killed Brown last week, he issued a statement praising Brown and expressing his `deepest sympathy' to Brown's family. Barbour made similar comments on his GOP-TV cable show."
- April 11 Washington Post story by Howard Kurtz.
"Though Republican leaders did
not attend the memorial service or funeral, several sent condolence notes to
the Brown family. In addition, Mr. Gingrich, the House Speaker, made special
arrangements for Mr. Brown to lie in repose on the catafalque used for
President Kennedy's coffin."
- April 12 Washington Times story by Laurie Kellman.
If Only Conservatives Would Let Liberals Solve Problems
"Let me go to the minimum wage
though for a minute...Ten million people would be affected by it. Most of them
live at or below the poverty level. And this Congress which is trying to cut
the Earned Income Tax Credit, which conservatives used to tell us was the
alternative, and refuses to do anything about the minimum wage makes Marie
Antoinette look like Mother Teresa. It is just an outrage!"
- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt, March 30 edition of CNN's Capital Gang.
"If high crimes and misdemeanors
have occurred, by all means, the Clintons must be held accountable. But my
head spins to think of the time and energy the White House, Congress, special
prosecutors and legions of lawyers have spent digging up and rehashing
eye-glazing Whitewater details when they could have been solving the country's
- USA Today reporter Leslie Phillips reviewing James Stewart's Whitewater book Blood Sport, March 25.
Policing Police Shows
"I hope I'm not the only one to
notice that Nash Bridges, Max Swift, and The Sentinel are all indifferent to
the rules against breaking and entering, search and seizure, and even
kidnapping. Warrants are an inconvenient waste of time and the Miranda warning
is never uttered except contemptuously. This same contempt for pious
legalities, this coarsening of our thin blue line has also shown up recently
on Law & Order, NYPD Blue, and even Homicide. It used to be that we could
count on TV to oppose the death penalty as we could rely on it to favor
integration. But you can't watch any cop show these days without hearing an
angry centurion gloat about the options of lethal injections and electric
chairs. Imagine that: Society has reduced television to the lowest common
denominator, which is a lynch mob."
- John Leonard on CBS Sunday Morning, March 24.
Bloody Cleanup in Aisle 13
"The safety of car seats, cribs,
and toys are the concerns of all you conscientious parents. Well, now you can
add shopping carts to your list. According to a recent study, shopping cart
related injuries account for 25,000 trips to the emergency room every year. At
least two deaths have occurred in related incidents. In the last three years,
2,000 children were hospitalized from shopping cart injuries such as skull
fractures, concussions, cuts, and bruises."
- Today co-host Katie Couric, March 20.
Just Four Years Until CBS Gets a Normal Anchor
"I'd love to, but that's not
going to happen. You can sooner expect a tall talking broccoli stick to offer
to mow your lawn for free. Television is a young person's game, and I'm living
on borrowed time."
- Dan Rather when asked if he'd like to remain anchor past 2000, in the Los Angeles Times, March 9.
- L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher;
Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, Jim Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager; Jessica Anderson, Intern