Notable Quotables - 04/25/1994
Hailing Harry Blackmun
"He was a lifelong
Republican, but over the years, Harry Blackmun built a
reputation as a liberal, sometimes defiant Justice, whose fierce
protection of individual rights led some to anoint him the moral
conscience of the court."
- Judy Woodruff on CNN's Inside Politics, April 6.
"As you know, Justice
Blackmun was widely regarded as the conscience of the court. How
damaging is his loss?"
- Bryant Gumbel to Senators Patrick Leahy and Hank Brown, April 6 Today.
"[Blackmun] underwent a
highly public evolution from conservative to liberal jurist,
becoming one of the court's most passionate defenders of
constitutional liberties for ordinary citizens."
- Time's "The Week" section, April 18.
"Presidents sometimes get
better Supreme Court justices than they deserve. After two
mediocre nominees were rejected by the Senate in 1969-70,
Richard Nixon finally chose Harry Blackmun...as in baseball,
where he passionately rooted for the hapless Chicago Cubs along
with his hometown Minnesota Twins, he came to defend the
underdogs in life: blacks, women, gays, aliens, native
- Time columnist Margaret Carlson, April 18.
The Sun Shines on Liberals
"Justice Harry A.
Blackmun's retirement this summer will leave the Supreme Court
with one obvious gap: it will have no judge willing to keep a
thumb on the scale of the law to make it weigh in favor of `the
- Beginning of Baltimore Sun Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston's story, April 7.
"When historians of the
future tote up the many acts of prodigious ineptitude in the
first year of Bill Clinton's presidency, they are likely to put
at or near the top of the list his sacking of Lani Guinier -
the spurned first choice to be the government's top civil rights
official. Ms. Guinier's book, put forth as an answer to all her
critics, is a good measure of what Mr. Clinton's surrender cost
him, his administration and, perhaps, the nation. The book could
rank as one of the most important political documents in the
modern struggle for political freedom and equality for America's
- Denniston reviewing Guinier's book The Tyranny of the Majority, April 17 Baltimore Sun.
Blackmun: Not Liberal Enough
"[Clinton] should pick an
unabashed liberal for the court...There hasn't been a liberal
nominated since 1967...Blackmun's `liberalism' was apparent only
against the right-wing backdrop at the court that emerged in the
- Newsweek Senior Writer David A. Kaplan's article, "Why the Court Needs a Liberal," April 18.
No Bias in Clift Stories
"I don't think she's an
administration apologist....She is probably more liberal than
most journalists, but in the pages of Newsweek she
plays it straight. If you read her stories in Newsweek,
I don't think you're going to find any kind of bias."
- Newsweek D.C. Bureau Chief Evan Thomas, April 18 CNBC's Tim Russert.
"Bill Clinton evoked
sympathy and understanding by acknowledging marital problems on
the famous 60 Minutes interview. His wife is too
dignified for confessionals, but she could benefit from
admitting that she, too, has occasionally yielded to temptation
and made the wrong choices. The public might even be tickled to
discover that the prim and preachy First Lady has a gambler's
streak. Hillary's brief fling in commodities was possibly
reckless, but it shows a glimmering of a more credible, if more
flawed, human being."
- Eleanor Clift and Mark Miller, April 11 Newsweek story.
"On the American Agenda tonight we're going to look at an experiment in the state of Florida which may, in time, become a standard for the whole country. The United States has this unfortunate distinction: It is one of only two countries in the industrialized world, the other is South Africa, that does not guarantee basic health care for all its children. We have put the Florida experiment on the Agenda because while the state is trying to improve health care for the children, it is saving money." - Peter Jennings, April 5 World News Tonight.
Same Standard for Ed Meese?
"It was fun to learn about
Yuppie Hillary, but the story belonged in the business pages, or
perhaps the food section, where the Times usually runs
its diagrams of cows."
- Newsweek media critic Jonathan Alter, March 28.
"I believe her story that
it was smarts and luck and some good advice. Who of us at the
age of 30 hasn't taken a few risks...of course, maybe she took
some advice of some people who later ran into legal problems in
terms of lawsuits, but I think all of us may have done that at
one time or another. You can't be responsible for the entire
lives of every broker and banker you ever run across."
- Time Washington reporter Elaine Shannon on Fox Morning News, March 31.
Leach in Peril?
Folks back home support Leach on
- Washington Times, April 11
Rep. Leach, Critic of the
Clintons, Faces Questions At Home, Underscoring Whitewater Risk
- Wall Street Journal, next day
The Aldrich Ames Chair in Media Studies Goes To...
"If you have information,
print it. If it discloses state secrets, so be it. If the
reporter learned them, chances are the enemy - whoever the
enemy of the month happens to be - also knows them. But
regardless, the newspaper's role in America is to tell the
public what's going on. Newspapers aren't supposed to keep
secrets; they're supposed to disclose secrets."
- Former NBC News President Michael Gartner in a USA Today column, April 14.
Squat Grannies Left Behind
"Galina's plight is the
plight of Russia's babushkas. These squat grannies, bundled in
kerchiefs and padded clothes, were once Russia's anchor. Even in
the cruelest years of Stalinist oppression, they imparted a
blend of peasant wisdom and socialist ideology to their
offspring and grandchildren: work hard, respect authority, take
care of your own, honor your elders....But Russia's encounter
with market values has thrust the babushkas into a new and
seemingly heartless world."
- Newsweek reporter Dorinda Elliott, March 28.
Diversity at The New York Times?
Ronald Reagan was elected President. I knew of only one person
in the newsroom who voted for Reagan, and it was Hilton Kramer,
who was then the art critic, and then Hilton left a year or so
later...so if you're working in a newsroom that's full of
Democrats, or liberal Democrats, it suggests something about how
news may be handled or what a reporter might think is an
interesting story...I didn't know any reporters, any editors,
who supported Ronald Reagan. But what, 53 percent of the
American people did? Well, that says something about modern
- Former New York Times reporter and critic John Corry talking about his book My Times on C-SPAN's Booknotes, March 27.
Publisher: L. Brent Bozell III
Editors: Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham
Media Analysts: Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig,
Kristin Johnson, Steve Kaminski, Mark Rogers
Circulation Manager: Kathleen Ruff
Interns: Clay Waters