Notable Quotables - 07/28/1997


Why Inquiring Minds Don't Watch Face the Nation

"You say you have evidence that the money came from the Bank of China and then in turn was passed on. But you know the Bank of China, they don't just have money from the Chinese government there. It would be like if I got something from the Fort Worth National Bank, that wouldn't mean it would come necessarily from the Fort Worth City Council. They keep money from a lot of different people there. Where's the connection between the government and going into this, into the campaign?"
- CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer to Senator Arlen Specter, July 13.


Everybody's Equally Guilty

"It will lay out there the fact that both the parties have this problem. Perhaps what we'll end up with is a very good case that both parties were scrambling for money, both of them went overseas and the system lends itself to these kinds of abuses and maybe it really does need to be reformed."
- Time reporter Viveca Novak previewing testimony from Haley Barbour on the new PBS show Follow the Money, July 18.


Huang Routine?

CIA Agent Says He Gave Huang Classified Data
- Los Angeles Times, July 17

C.I.A. Officer Says His Briefings For Huang Were Simply Routine
- New York Times, same day


Hearings a Success Only If We Get More Government Regulation

"The first week has now drawn to a close, and it's fair to say that this highly-touted, much-anticipated examination of a problem most Americans consider critical, is so far a bust. Little public interest, no headlines, and no focus. To many Americans it all looks like business as usual: name-calling, finger-pointing, all for political advantage, with no intention of stamping out the real corruption. Look at the latest ABC News poll: Do you favor campaign finance reform? Sixty-two percent said yes. Do you think it's likely to happen? Sixty-seven percent said no. In the meantime, President Clinton's approval rating is as high as it's ever been, 64 percent, which means, Senator Thompson, so far America is either not listening or not believing. Maybe bad news for the Republicans and good news for the Democrats. But for those hoping for real campaign finance reform, it's all disappointing."
- Forrest Sawyer opening the July 10 ABC Nightline.

"It's never going to end until there's some kind of reform. And just because what Clinton did is, may be illegal, doesn't mean the whole thing doesn't have to be looked at. Because what's legal is corrupt as well."
- Time's Margaret Carlson, July 12 Capital Gang on CNN.

"Dramatic effects may be required for Thompson to give new life to a story that so far has proved nothing more than the need for campaign finance reform."
- Time Washington reporter Michael Weisskopf previewing the hearings, July 14 issue.


We Aren't Showing or Reporting It Most Nights, and We Wonder Why...

"...Democrats gripe that the hearings are too partisan, so next week the committee will focus on foreign contributions to Republicans, all the while wondering if the public is paying attention to any of this. Linda Douglass, ABC News, on Capitol Hill."
- End of July 18 World News Tonight story. ABC skipped the hearings the previous two nights. Only Neanderthals Could Oppose NEA Funding

"The Senate will restore the money and in the end, given the closeness of the House vote, I think the NEA will probably survive. I find it, I have to say personally, mind-boggling that a nation with our wealth and standing in the world cannot make some kind of contribution, as a nation, to sustaining the arts and to bringing the arts to communities and to people who don't, otherwise, have them."
- Washington Post reporter David Broder on the PBS show Washington Week in Review, July 11.


Keeping Your Own Money = Gift from the Government

"The Republicans give as much or more tax relief to the top one percent of taxpayers as to the bottom 60 percent combined. The President's one-tenth as much to the top one percent as to the bottom 60 percent. The Republicans can throw up as much sand as they want; Clinton's plan is much fairer and taxpayers will soon agree if he doesn't fold first. Oh those poor one-percenters! Let's review their plight. The Dow has more than doubled since 1993, without the benefit of the magical capital gains tax cuts we were told were absolutely necessary for growth. (In fact, Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy that year.) Now, with their intellectual argument about capital gains in tatters, the Republicans insist that their absolute top priority the single issue on which their party is united is to give the one-percenters billions more by slashing that particular rate."
- Newsweek Senior Writer Jonathan Alter, July 14.


Forget Huang, Steve Forbes is the Ugly Thing

"John Huang isn't the poster boy for what ails money and politics Steve Forbes is...Forbes represents the purest, most offensive challenge to the idea that money should equal speech...Must we really accept a doctrine that lets a vain twit pour Daddy's millions into so much flat tax propaganda that it lands him on the cover of Time and Newsweek and influences the national agenda? Forbes has been encouraged by what money can buy and won't go away. If anything's sinister about campaign finance nowadays, it's this..." "Thus the key question: Is Steve Forbes constitutional? The court might tell us that Forbes' fetishes are among those ugly things we have to tolerate in a free society. In any event, this is the kind of conversation that might begin to fix our campaigns, not witch hunts for red perils that don't exist."
- U.S. News & World Report Senior Writer Matthew Miller in a July 17 op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer.


My Communist Friend Told Me Christianity's A Cult

"An editor's note: When your reporter was in China recently, a very high ranking Chinese government official was repeatedly asked questions about religious persecution. He told me, and I quote directly, 'These stories are untrue. We do, as you do, have some trouble with cults and we, like you, deal with them accordingly, but that's all.' End quote."
- CBS News anchor Dan Rather after a story on persecution of Christians in China, July 22 Evening News.


Why Hume's No Longer at ABC

Judy Woodruff: "Hal Bruno, as someone pointed out, well, but the news organizations carried the Watergate hearings live or PBS did, and a few others did Iran-Contra hearings ten years ago. What's different about these hearings?" Hal Bruno, ABC News political editor: "Oh, all the difference in the world! First of all, Watergate was directly affecting the conduct of government in this country. I mean, this country, government was at a stand still in Washington as a result of Watergate, and the whole country was immersed in it, and the same thing was true, to a lesser degree, with Iran-Contra. These were major stories of revelations of criminal wrongdoing."
- CNN's Inside Politics, July 22.

"If this were Ronald Reagan accused of selling foreign policy to the highest bidder, it's a little hard to imagine this wouldn't have attracted more attention....I can't think of a higher and better use of a 24-hour news channel's time in July than to cover these hearings."
- Brit Hume, Washington Managing Editor of the Fox News Channel, which is carrying the hearings, in the July 15 Washington Post.


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