Notable Quotables - 07/31/1995


Bad News for Humans

"A passionate and out-of-character defense of animals produced our Moment of the Week this week. It was Thursday on the floor of the House of Representatives. In the midst of a week that saw close to $10 billion in proposed cuts, House Speaker Newt Gingrich suddenly rose in defense of a comparatively tiny $800,000. But the cause was apparently dear to him, preserving endangered animals....Humans, however, didn't fare that well: funding for the National Endowment for the Arts was voted out of existence in two years."
- NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, July 15.

More Liberal Hate Speech

"I think he ought to be worried about what's going on in the Good Lord's mind, because if there is retributive justice, he'll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it."
- National Public Radio and ABC reporter Nina Totenberg reacting to Senator Jesse Helms' claim that the government spends too much on AIDS research, July 8 Inside Washington.


Two Bob Herberts

"The funny thing is that I don't consider myself nearly as liberal as most people tend to think. I tend to appear more liberal than I really am because of the political climate that is prevailing right now. So I am reacting to what I consider to be far-right or conservative excesses. That would tend to pigeonhole me as way over on the left somewhere, when in fact I don't believe it's true. If you were to read over the years, for example, my views about crime, I don't think that it would fairly be described as a liberal view."
- New York Times columnist and Today political panelist Bob Herbert in the August Progressive.


"Programs to aid inner city youths...are not pork...`Pork!' scream the demagogues. `Give us the death penalty!' The next time you or a loved one find yourself trapped in the nightmare of a violent crime, ask yourself if it wouldn't have been better for the `perp' to have been off playing basketball somewhere. You may find yourself suddenly in favor of even an imperfect attempt at prevention."
- Herbert, a former NBC News reporter, in an August 17, 1994 New York Times column.


Don't Blame Us, Blame Illusory Cuts in Social Programs

"It seems to be the latest rage to blame the media for almost all of society's ills. Do you think the media is shouldering a dis-proportionate amount of the blame for the destruction of values in today's society, when there's also the demise of social programs and the dissolution of the nuclear family and other possible explanations?"
- Katie Couric to Al and Tipper Gore, July 10 Today.


"Some Say" You're Satan's Favorite Candidate

"Even your sister concedes, although some supporters might like what you have to say about the economy and these very specific issues you just mentioned, they're very turned off by some of your social policies. And you know you've got political enemies out there calling you an isolationist, a bigot, you're anti-gay, and some even go as far as saying that your social stands are reminiscent of Nazi Germany. How are you to win them over?"
- CBS This Morning co-host Paula Zahn to Pat Buchanan, July 5.

"You talked about getting certain groups. How can you on the far right of your party claim the central middle?"
- Bernard Shaw to Pat Buchanan on CNN's Inside Politics, July 11.


Redford's Very Persuasive Boilerplate

"I think it is a travesty to stand silently while all the protections of the last 150 years are gutted and our priceless and precious national heritage is destroyed forever in order to benefit the few....The [GOP] bills themselves, if you look at them, are going to gut our sustainable environment. Clean air, clean water are going to be simply gutted, and so you're going to be affecting our health, our children's health."
- Actor Robert Redford on Good Morning America, July 21.

"I suppose we're supposed to stay out of all these controversies and you shouldn't take - but I find Redford's argument to be very persuasive....And after the series we did just recently on the national parks, um, you worry....When he gives the kind of testimony he did yesterday and makes those kinds of arguments, very persuasive."
- Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson, minutes later.


What Point Does This Make?

"When Susan [Smith] was 16, [stepfather Beverly] Russell began molesting her. She accused him of French-kissing and fondling her and, when he thought she was asleep, placing her hand on his genitals. (One incident occurred the same evening that Russell, who was then active in the Republican Party and the Christian Coalition, had spent putting Pat Robertson for President posters around town.)"
- Newsweek reporters Marc Peyser and Ginny Carroll, July 17.


Clinton Broadcasting System

"What began as an armed raid of religious fanatics is turning into an ambush of the Clinton White House. Today, House Republicans demanded release of Administration papers on the Branch Davidian shootout with the clear hope of tying the bloodshed to the President."
- CBS reporter Jim Stewart, July 11 Evening News.

"This is just for starters on a tough week ahead for President Clinton and his agenda. From another offensive wave on Whitewater to a sweeping rollback of federal regulations on health, safety, and the environment, it's a political carpet-bombing attack, wall to wall, House to Senate."
- Dan Rather, July 17 Evening News.


Opposition to Vietnamese Communism? Get Over It

"It is never easy for the big guy to shake hands after losing the fight to the little guy, especially when he has never lost before, and so it was after the Vietnam War. The open wound of defeat was salved, for some Americans, by continuing to regard the Hanoi government as an evil, outlaw, untouchable regime."
- New York Times Washington Bureau Chief R.W. Apple, July 12.


Reagan the Pied Piper

"How much did Reagan fool the American people and how much did he simply play into their wishes? Were they misled by the nature of his campaigning or were they led into ways they wanted to go? Was Reagan sort of a modern Pied Piper? It's my instinct about it that he very successfully delayed the apprehension of reality by this country for about a decade. He made people feel that things were better than they were, that the external dangers were greater than they were."
- PBS anchor Robert MacNeil in the new Liz Cunningham book Talking Politics: Choosing the President in the Television Age.


An Oldie, But a Goodie

"Spending has exceeded revenues in 34 of the last 35 years - though the red ink did not become truly frightening until excessive tax cuts and accelerated defense spending were enacted during the Reagan presidency."
- Time Senior Writer George J. Church, May 22.


- L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher;
-Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- James Forbes, Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig, Steve Kaminski, Gesele Rey, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager;
-Eugene Eliason, Melissa Gordon; Interns