Notable Quotables - 06/17/1996


Stand for the Status Quo


Joan Lunden: "But it seems like there's more money being spent for the environment, or for the gun lobby, there are a lot of different groups together, not always in agreement. The federal government's talking about turning over a lot of the social programs to the states. What kind of programs, what do you think is the best way to approach this?"
Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children's Defense Fund and organizer of the Stand for Children march: "Well the first thing is we've got to make a commitment and that's why...
Lunden, simultaneously: "Yeah, yeah."
Edelman: "...I've never seen 3500 groups come together across race and class to say we will no longer tolerate the neglect and abandonment of our children or the massive budget cuts or the dismantlement of safety net. We will not permit it...."
Lunden: "Gotta get the message out there and get people to rally around one of our most important problems."
- Exchange on Good Morning America, May 30.

"You've got a spectacular weather day down there. It sounds like the activities are going to be wonderful, but how then do you hope to translate today's symbolism into some real, positive action?" "...All right, Jonah Edelman, thanks for spending some time with us this morning, and good luck to you today on the session. Sounds like it'll be a lot of fun and very helpful."
- NBC Today co-host Jack Ford to Stand for Children organizer Jonah Edelman, June 1.

"There was a `Stand for Children' march in Washington today, joining people from all over the country who care about kids. But politically inspired right-wingers have assailed this gathering as a radical group, intent on expanding the role of government. In fact, the group includes the Girl Scouts, the American Academy of Pediatricians, and the Junior League. Only the self-centered, loony right wing would consider groups like this, in support for disadvantaged kids, as radical."
- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt's "Outrage of the Week," June 1 Capital Gang.


Bibi's Got a Gun


"At his final campaign appearance tonight, Prime Minister Shimon Peres was every inch the elder statesman, 72 years of experience. `Trust me.' That's his message to Israelis. While across town today, his 46-year-old opponent, young and handsome, has American politician written all over his campaign. That's thanks to an American political consultant, who has advised conservatives like Senator Al D'Amato and Jesse Helms. The consultant told [Benjamin "Bibi"] Netanyahu to stick to one simple, negative theme: Fear."
- NBC reporter Martin Fletcher, May 27 Nightly News.

"Right-wing hardliner Benjamin Netanyahu is declared Israel's new Prime Minister."
- Dan Rather, May 31 CBS Evening News.

"What we were all talking about yesterday was whether terrorism wins. We had a situation where the peace process seemed to be going along well in Israel. Then an assassin kills Prime Minister Rabin. Then there are bus bombings, well publicized, many, many people dead in Israel. And there is so much talk of fear in the election, and the candidate talking the most about it, Benjamin Netanyahu, gets elected. The question is, does terrorism work?"
- Good Morning America co-host Charlie Gibson to "The God Squad" (Rabbi Marc Gellman and Monsignor Thomas Hartman), May 31.

"Let's talk about his words for a second. Because it's not that many months ago that a lot of people were accusing Bibi Netanyahu of fanning the flames of the Israeli right, of setting the rhetorical tone for Rabin's assassination."
- CBS This Morning co-host Harry Smith to CBS News consultant Fouad Ajami, May 31. 20


That Old Cliche: Bias Is in the Copy of the Anchor


"You know the old cliche that we've all used over the years is that bias, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, and we're out there on the cutting edge of change on a daily basis. That's what news is all about. That's the essence of news....The people, by and large, who are the recipients of that news, kind of like the status quo for the most part. They're comfortable. They've learned to deal with it and they don't want to adapt to the change. Therefore they have to learn to blame someone in some regard and they think therefore since we brought them the news of the change that somehow we are biased of favor of the change or biased in favor of what it is that we're reporting....I think the fact that we're still standing, this day, 35 years after we...entered this business, is some, immodestly, some small tribute the fact that we've worked very hard to drain the bias out of what we do."
- Tom Brokaw at the National Press Club, June 11.

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."
- Brokaw the night the Contract with America was unveiled, 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.


If Only We Had Made Government Even Bigger


"Tim, curious. Would we still be having this discussion if everyone hadn't attacked the President's health care reform plan for political expediency about two years ago?"
- Bryant Gumbel to Tim Russert on a report showing Medicare will go broke a year earlier than expected, June 5 Today.


Tacking Against Tax Cuts


"Often, his [Dole's] condemnation of supply-side tax cuts has reflected the austerity of his Dust Bowl origins. Dole dutifully helped steer President Reagan's tax cuts through Congress in 1981, but he spent the next several years trying to dam up the river of federal red ink that was largely created by that deal."
- May 28 Washington Post news story by Clay Chandler.

"Ross Perot has said that, repeatedly, that giving a tax cut now is like giving candy to the electorate right before the election. Senator, you were in the Senate, and Mr. Forbes, you were watching it very closely when Ronald Reagan was President for eight years. Cut taxes, 25 percent. The deficit, with a Democratic Congress I should add, went from 60 billion dollars when he took office to 200 billion dollars when he left office. So we can cut taxes, but it seems to drive up the deficit as well."
- Tim Russert to Steve Forbes and Senator Bill Bradley, May 26 Meet the Press. Fiscal year 1989 deficit: $152.5 billion.


Cue The Battle Hymn of the Republic...


"How can anyone argue that Bill Clinton has not been a good President? Business should love him. The country has been in a controlled boom since he bludgeoned through by one vote his first economic package....Workers should love him. There are more jobs than ever....Minorities should love him. He has a terrific record of appointing women and minorities to judgeships and high federal posts. He has put civil rights back on the table after 12 years of Republican neglect.... "No, it makes you wonder what the President and his wife could have accomplished these four years if they had not been consumed by these scandals, these lawsuits and these clippings. By almost any measure, the past four years have been spectacular for many Americans. Still, if Bill Clinton had been a full-time President, if Hillary Clinton had been a full-time First Lady... "Would the poor be a little richer? Would the old be a little healthier? Would the young be a little smarter? Would the nation be a little more prosperous? Would the world be a little less troubled? You wonder. And you wonder if he wonders."
- Former NBC News President Michael Gartner, June 11 USA Today.


-L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
-Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, Jim Forbes, Steve Kaminski,
and Clay Waters; Media Analysts,
- Peter Reichel; Circulation Manager;
-Jessica Anderson, Matthew Turosz; Interns