Notable Quotables - 06/16/1997


Why the Public Blames the GOP


ABC reporter John Cochran: "Flood victims in Grand Forks do not understand why Republican leaders refuse to pass an aid bill without strings attached."
Tomi Lundby, flood victim: "The river took our home, our possessions, our neighbors, our neighborhood and we still have our spirit. But the government is taking our spirit and our strength. And that's what's going to kill us."
Cochran: "Doug Sprehe is a life-long conservative Republican." Doug Sprehe: "I believed in these guys and I voted for some of them and I'm beginning to lose my faith in the conservative party."
Cochran: "...People whose homes and businesses were destroyed say GOP leaders should realize that what they really need is money to rebuild."
- ABC's World News Tonight, June 6.

Hire Susan Molinari? But What About Our Precious Objectivity?


"What about the barricade that is supposed to exist in journalism between the political people and the officials on the one hand, and the reporters on the other? Aren't you tearing that barricade down?"
- Question from a reporter to Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.) at the May 28 press conference announcing her move to CBS.

"Well, I think it's disturbing. I mean, she is not going to be a commentator or a part of a show where she's clearly identified with her partisan point of view - she's going to be an anchor. And I think it means, it sends the message that there's no such thing as journalism anymore. It's all just about celebrity-hood and name recognition and I think it's, I think it's disturbing."
- National Public Radio White House reporter Mara Liasson on Fox News Sunday, June 1.

"Well, this really makes me want to puke. You know, at least CBS had the decency, when they hired Diane Sawyer from the Nixon White House, to make her go out and stand in the rain for a year or so, to earn her really, it just makes me want to throw up."
- NPR's Nina Totenberg, May 31 Inside Washington. (Neither Liasson nor Totenberg noted that the current and previous two Presidents of NPR had been Democratic operatives. In fact, when Clinton won the NPR President at the time jumped to the new administration.)

"But must we all take sides? One of this country's great contributions to democracy in this century has been the development of an independent, nonpartisan, nonideological press....until recently, at least, American journalists have been trained and worked in an environment that has taught them to keep political advocacy and ideology out of their reporting and writing."
- Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Alan Murray in a Journal op-ed, June 2.

"I don't feel that there is partisanship in the news. I think that there are - is an attempt - I mean, it is the basic tenet of journalism to be fair, to be critical, to be watchdogs, and sometimes that means to take unpopular positions with one side of the aisle versus the other. But I think as an activist, as an elected official, it is very difficult for the public to then think that you're now able to - to remove yourself from that debate and act as a journalist should."
- NBC News Vice President Cheryl Gould on the PBS News Hour, June 6.

Reality Check:
"Today, GOP congressional candidates were summoned to Washington and given a battle plan. However, as NBC's Lisa Myers tells us tonight, it is long on promises and short on sound premises."
- Tom Brokaw introducing the Contract with America, September 27, 1994 NBC Nightly News.

"When NBC Nightly News continues: In Washington, if they cut food stamps, who doesn't eat?"
- Brokaw, March 22, 1995 Nightly News.

Traveling New Lengths to Defend Clinton


"At the very moment that her father is in the headlines for this sexual harassment suit by Paula Jones, and I think there's always an edge of surprise in our voices that Chelsea has turned out so well. And it's not just because she's in the White House, but because, well, look at all the criticism of her father and the character question. But I think this is another example that it's not the measure of a man, it's not the total measure of a man whether he's you know, quote 'caused pain in his marriage.' The children we give to the world are a better measure of that, and I think she's a great example that there's a side and there's a goodness to Clinton as a father that we don't accept when we see her."
- Time columnist Margaret Carlson in a June 5 Good Morning America segment on Chelsea graduating from high school.

"The discovery process works both ways though. And we have already seen that Bennett has brought a former lover to Washington. Interviewed a former lover of Paula Jones. I think it's fair game in a sexual, yes it is, it's fair game legally."
- Newsweek contributor Eleanor Clift on CNBC's Equal Time, June 2.

P.C. Paula


"What do you think is the most insidious threat to women today: sexism or racism?"

"As we see this movement in our country to do away with affirmative action, are you concerned that the gains that you've witnessed over the last 20 years will be erased?"
- Questions from CBS Evening News Saturday anchor Paula Zahn to outgoing left-wing Spelman College President Johnnetta Cole, June 7.

Wish We All Could Get This Kind of Pay "Cut"


"Battle Lines Form in Medicare Fight: Program's Future to be Shaped as Huge Cuts Are Allocated."
- May 27 New York Times headline.

Reality Check:
"...Provides for Medicare spending growth from $209 billion in 1997 to $280 billion in 2002, average annual growth of 6.0 percent, and total growth over five years of 34 percent."
- Outline of balanced budget agreement as published by the House Budget Committee.

We Need to Raise Taxes Worldwide, So Nobody Can Escape


"Any government...that loses the power to tax loses the power to compensate life's also-rans. If the new governments of Britain and France try to increase corporate taxes to sustain the welfare state - which is what got them elected - they could precipitate an even greater scramble for overseas tax havens. Indeed, unless nations work collectively to tax the winners in a global economy and force them to reassume their social responsibilities, these left-wing governments might just prove to be political way-stations....They could be succeeded by other nastier regimes, responding to workers' demands to stop a Brave New World they want to get off of. More than a half-century ago, Hitler and Mussolini seemed to offer their peoples a respite from history....As David Marquand, a British political scientist, has noted, the Western nations soon may face just such a choice between their most hallowed political traditions and contemporary economic forces. 'Either democracy has to be tamed for the sake of the market,' Marquand has written, 'or the market has to be tamed for the sake of democracy.'"
- Chicago Tribune Perspectives section article by staff writers Ron Grossman and R.C.Longworth, June 8.

Opposing Communism: Still a Mistake to Liberal Reporters


"This [MFN] has become a big issue to the activist conservative Christian Right and the Republican Party. From a moral point of view, they're attacking China. They love having some Red Menace to kick around again, and they love to bring up the issue of prison labor. Kasich is appealing to that group and the party. I think in the end it's a mistake."
- New York Daily News writer Steve Roberts on CNN's Late Edition, May 25.


L. Brent Bozell, Publisher
Brent Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, Jim Forbes,
Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
Kristina Sewell, Research Associate
Carey Evans, Circulation Director
Ian Alexander, Jessica Anderson, Intern