Notable Quotables - 07/26/1999

Kennedys: Heroic Royal Family

"It's been decades since the label of 'Our Royal Family' was applied to the Kennedys. But now with another generation climbing the political ladder with another unbelievable meeting of joy and sorrow, this may be one of the rare times when a manufactured media label may actually be close to the mark."
- Jeff Greenfield on NewsStand:CNN & Time, July 18.

"The life of the Kennedys is one of the great American sagas. Poor immigrants, the Kennedys and the Fitzgeralds came here in the mid-1800's escaping the potato famine of their native Irish soil. And from that humble arrival in Boston they built over the generations a dynasty of great wealth, political power and cultural impact unparalleled in their time. And, they paid a terrible price."
- NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, July 19.

"I would say to conservatives out there, to Republicans, to anybody watching, whether they loved Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater or Franklin Roosevelt, whatever. What this family represents is the idea of heroism in politics."
- Newsweek's Howard Fineman on CNBCs Hardball, July 19.


Emoting Over Kennedy Mystique

"We Americans, even those among us who have never liked the Kennedys' politics, have long been fascinated by the Kennedy mystique. Or as some call it, the Kennedy myth. The dictionary defines mystique as 'an aura of heightened meaning surrounding something to which special power or mystery is given.' A myth is 'a traditional story dealing with ancestors or heroes, a story that shapes the world view of a people or delineates the customs or ideals of a society.' By those definitions, like it or not, there is a Kennedy mystique and their history is mythic....

"What we do know is that some of the aching grief the family feels tonight we feel because the mystique and the myth are deep within us. That's 48 Hours for tonight, an American Tragedy."
- Dan Rather concluding 48 Hours, July 19.


Oh, Vanishing Camelot!

"With the death of JFK Jr., there is now only one survivor of Camelot. That, of course, is Caroline Kennedy, the little girl who walked her father to the Oval Office and rode a pony on the White House lawn. And now grown up with a family of her own, Caroline remains our only link to those golden years."
- Today co-host Katie Couric, July 19.


Creating Another Myth in Death

"He laughed off attempts to elevate his status but, in fact, he was as close to royalty as this country had."
- Tom Brokaw, July 17 NBC Nightly News.

"For many of us, this weekend evoked memories of two summers ago and another death, Diana, Princess of Wales. She was an actual princess. JFK Jr. was the closest thing this country had to a prince. They both died in their mid '30s in tragic accidents on summer weekends. Diana had once suggested that JFK Jr.'s approach to fame might be a useful model for her son."
- Today co-host Matt Lauer, July 19.

"Blessed with a handsome face and a famous name, ample wealth and five-star celebrity, JFK Jr. was the golden boy of his generation, a darling of magazine covers (the sexiest man alive, cooed People) and a sort of American royal. He was our closest equivalent to Princess Diana, a comparison that his sudden loss will now make inescapable."
- Newsweek's Kenneth Auchincloss, July 26 issue.

"He was more than our 'Prince Charming,' as the New York tabs called him. We etched the past and the future on his fine face."
- Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter, July 26 issue.

"He Was America's Prince. An Icon of Both Magic and Grief Who Flew His Own Course to the Lost Horizon."
- Headline over eight pages of Time's July 26 cover story.


Poor, Brutalized Hillary

"And it started. [In] the New York Post today, a column, oh, I won't mention the woman who wrote it but it, it's like they're going after her already on day one: she exaggerates her accomplishments, she has a sense of grandeur, she is deluded, she bends the rules for herself, she has a narcissistic personality disorder. This is gonna get really, really rough."
- ABC's Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson to former Hillary Clinton aide Lisa Caputo, July 7.

"But George, you can hear the questions now: How did you feel about the President having sex with another woman in the White House while you're First Lady. How you're gonna be sitting in the Senate one day and you might have to judge a President about lying to the public et cetera, et cetera. The questions are gonna be brutal."
- Gibson to George Stephanopoulos, same show.

Hillary's Strength: Media Drivel

CNN anchor Bernard Shaw: "Now wait a minute now, this woman brings a lot of strength."
Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin: "What strength?"
Shaw: "Don't you agree that she brings a lot of strength to what she is trying to do?"
Breslin: "No, I think that the strength comes from a lot of people on television or in newspapers that just write drivel."
- CNN's Inside Politics, July 8.


The GOP Protects Evil HMO's

Reporter Bob Schieffer: "Pushed by the big insurance companies, the Republican majority stuck together as expected and killed the Democrats HMO reform plan, plank by plank. On near party line votes, Republicans killed the Democratic proposal to give doctors, not insurance companies, the final say on treatment. Too costly, Republicans said, and by the same logic killed plans to let women designate gynecologists as their primary doctors, guarantee access to emergency rooms and allow HMO patients access to experimental treatment. The new President of the American Medical Association, the group that speaks for doctors, was furious."
Dr. Thomas Reardon, President, AMA: "The Senate has now said that insurance company profits come first and patients come last. This is a real setback to patients."
- July 14 CBS Evening News story which failed to mention how trial lawyers would benefit from the Democratic bill.

"You and your HMO. What happens if something goes terribly wrong? Can you sue? Not if the HMO is regulated by the federal government. The Republican majority in the U.S. Senate made sure that remains the case in a heated debate and a vote that tonight has the Democrats in full cry."
- Tom Brokaw opening the July 15 NBC Nightly News.


ABC Pushes Gore Left

"But Im curious, if you favor registration of every handgun, why didn't you put it in the proposal? If you want to regulate handguns, why not do that as well, as we do with every other consumer product?"
- Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson pressing Al Gore from the left, July 12.


To the "Far Right" of Bush

"Somewhat north and far to the right of George Bush, there was this presidential primary cookout put together by a coalition of conservative groups who are feeling a little ignored."
- CNN's Candy Crowley at a New Hampshire cookout featuring Sen. Bob Smith, July 4 The World Today.


Gore and Bradley: Centrists

"Even among Democratic candidates, Vice President Gore and former Senator Bill Bradley, both are toeing the centrist party line. For the first time, there's no Tom Harkin, no Ted Kennedy, no traditional Democrat vying for the nomination."
- Reporter Campbell Brown on MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams, July 14.

"Paul, do you miss the left these days? The center is where the action is. As one of our correspondents pointed out here last night, there is no true liberal to be found in this race. There's no Harkin, there's no Kennedy, there are just two centrists that, watch them very closely, will become more so."
- MSNBC's Brian Williams to Paul Begala, same show, July 15.


Katie Couric, Feminist Killjoy

"And we're back with a couple of members of the U.S. women's soccer team. You know I just had to ask you all this question because I'm sort of conflicted about it, and I know you all are too. Brandi and Julie . But I know Brandi, for example, you posed. It was a beautiful photograph. I mean you have an incredible body, may I say that on national television? [shot of nude photo of her from side with vital parts hidden, in Gear magazine] But you know, I'm wondering about some of the mixed signals that little girls might be getting. I asked somebody earlier this morning. Sex sells. So in order to sell soccer, do you have to sell sex? But what about the whole concept of 'booters with hooters' and not 'soccer moms, soccer mommas!' And kind of making you all appealing on that level. Do you feel completely comfortable with that, or should you tell me to lighten up?"

"Is that how you feel, Julie? I know you were in Sports Illustrated in a bikini running with your husband, which is a completely innocent photo, but I'm sure some hard core feminists are gonna say, 'Wait a second, whats going on here?'"
- Katie Couric to Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy of the World Cup-winning women's soccer team, July 12 Today.


Glorious Sports-Bra Symbolism

"Women's liberation in the early 1970s: The most visible sign of defiance against male oppression was burning your bra. Women's liberation in the late 1990s: The most visible sign of achievement is showing your bra, well, your sports bra anyway...Women's undergarments are still often about selling sex. Thats Victoria's Secret. But for now on, thanks to Brandi Chastain's little gesture, they also represent strength, success and a new comfortable place for the women's movement, one of the great social movements of the 20th century."
- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on the July 12 The News with Brian Williams on MSNBC and the July 13 Today on NBC.


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