Notable Quotables - 08/25/1997


Police Brutality? Not Enough "Diversity"

"But in a city where the population is 61 percent minority and the police force is 68 percent white, the problem may be more difficult to solve than simply going after bad cops. The community which surrounds the 70th precinct, the sight of the alleged police attack against Louima, is a mix of Pakistani, Asian, Hispanic, Orthodox Jews and Caribbean blacks. The police force is 76 percent white...Last year, more than three-quarters of the brutality complaints against the New York Police Department came from minority groups...Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo says what fuels racism and police brutality is a lack of diversity on the force...The hope is that if the police department better resembles the city it represents, there'll be greater sensitivity. And the gains they've made this year in reducing police brutality may continue."
- ABC reporter Alexander Johnson, August 17 World News Tonight.

"Clearly there's a gap in racial understanding that needs to be bridged. A 1996 Amnesty International report said that New York's populace is 57 percent nonwhite, but the police force is 72 percent white."
- Time Staff Writer Christopher John Farley, August 25.


Republicans Don't Have the Decency to be Hypocrites

"The Republicans don't even have the decency to say that they don't want soft money. They don't even say it's not a good idea. At least the President says it's not a good idea and then goes on and raises it, because in fact you can't stop, one party is never going to stop. There has to be a ceasefire because the party that stops ends up sinking without a trace."
- Time's Margaret Carlson on Fox News Sunday, August 10.


Our Deficit-Cutting Hero: George Bush?

"You remember the guy: hated broccoli and pronouns, played golf really fast. Well, let's raise a glass tonight to George Herbert Walker Bush, not you, Jim Glassman. A few years ago he agreed to cut spending and raise taxes; in other words, he moved his lips and lost the presidency. Seven years later we have a humming economy and a balanced budget in sight. In 1990, Bush's deal looked plain stupid. Now it looks selfless, prudent, and almost wise."
- Newsweek Washington reporter Howard Fineman's "Hall of Fame" pick on CNN's Capital Gang, August 10.

"While President Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich are grandly congratulating themselves and each other over the balanced budget deal they wrought, George Bush, the man who risked the most and paid the biggest price for cutting the deficit, is off in Maine, feeling unappreciated."
- The opening paragraph from an August 8 New York Times story by reporter David Rosenbaum.

Reality Check:
"Not to put too fine a point on it, this is revisionist nonsense. Raising taxes in 1990 not only didn't balance the budget, it triggered three years of record-high deficits. It slowed an already limping economy, helping erase more than 1 million jobs. It sent the national debt streaking upward, from $3.2 trillion in 1990 to $4.3 trillion in 1993. And far from curbing federal spending, Bush's budget deal accelerated it by an average of $52 billion a year."
- Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, August 12.


Tax Cuts Equal to One Percent of Spending Are the Problem

"Mr. President, on this deficit reduction that you've just mentioned, that it's now fallen to $37 billion, doesn't it raise the question that in fact the budget could be balanced a lot sooner if you and Congress hadn't enacted $95 billion in tax cuts?"
- Larry McQuillan of the Reuters news service to President Clinton during his August 6 press conference.


Liberalism Is Character

Tim Russert: "You told The New York Times something I found very interesting and let me just read it for our viewers. 'We define the character issue so narrowly. My idea of a great President is a guy who cheated on his wife in such a damaging way it pretty much ended their marriage, drank a pitcher of martinis every night, cheated at poker with his friends, lied to his staff, sicked the IRS on his enemies, and my father voted for him four times FDR.'"
Former Newsweek writer Joe Klein: "That was inaccurate, my father pointed out to me, it wasn't him, my grandfather voted for him. But it's true, it's absolutely true."
- Exchange on CNBC's Tim Russert, August 9.


Helms Represents Far-Right Bigotry and Terrorism

James Warren, Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief: "I also find interesting this revisionism about Senator Helms. We've sort of turned his dogmatism and bigotry into now, the iron-willed principle of a man of the right."
Mona Charen: "What bigotry?"
Warren: "Oh, his gay-baiting, his union-bashing. His hatred of any fundings for the arts. His isolationism."
- Exchange on August 3 edition of CNN's Capital Gang.

"Albright wants to deal face to face with the principals. It's going to be fascinating to see whether she can charm Arafat. If she can charm Jesse Helms, which is sort of a good test, a good warm-up game for Arafat. She has incredible gumption. She's a different kind of Secretary of State. It will be a fascinating test for her."
- Former Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas, August 9 Inside Washington.


Without the NEA Life Itself Would Be Impossible

"It is a popular argument that without the NEA the arts would do just fine. It's an argument they don't buy at the Centrum Arts Education and Performance Center, located at an old Army base in Port Townsend, a remote coastal town of 8,000. On the Centrum campus, in an old balloon hangar, the Seattle Youth Symphony practices and performs. It too gets NEA money for scholarships. Some of these young musicians wouldn't be here without the NEA's help. Would the youth symphony survive if the National Endowment for the Arts were abolished? Would other arts organizations? We asked. The answer invariably was yes, but, there would be casualties."
- CBS reporter Martha Teichner concluding an August 17 Sunday Morning story on the National Endowment for the Arts.


God Is Dead?

"Died. William S. Burroughs, 83, novelist, cult figure, and perhaps the most audacious member of a Beat Generation trinity whose other two divinities were Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg ...His life was as extreme as the experimental fiction he pioneered, involving alcohol, heroin, homosexuality, a celebrated obscenity trial in Boston, and in 1951, his accidental killing of his wife while shooting a glass off the top of her head."
Time magazine's "Milestones" column, August 11.


What a Difference Jimmy Could Have Made

"The call came just a few weeks before Elvis died, and when you talked to President Carter, he was sad when he talked about it. Do you think that he wonders if he could have done something to save Elvis?"
Today co-host Ann Curry to Douglas Brinkley, who wrote a New Yorker article about Elvis calling President Carter, August 12.

Attack of the Killer Lawn Mowers

"Could your lawnmower kill you? Perhaps. In fact, a new study finds that you could be risking your life every time you cut the grass. In our News from Medicine report, CNN's Ed Garsten tells us that matching you with the right mower may mean the difference between life and death."
- CNN anchor Linden Soles, August 3 The World Today.