Notable Quotables - 09/16/1991
Thomas, Terrible Nominee
"Who is this guy,
Clarence Thomas, and why should we want him on the Supreme Court? I can't
think of any good reasons. The man is not distinguished and he doesn't seem to
have a heart...Let's be straight about this. Clarence Thomas is a tool of the
rich and powerful. His supporters include Dan Quayle, Strom Thurmond, Jesse
Helms. Even David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan leader, is crazy about Clarence
Thomas. Make no mistake, old people, poor people, black people, women, forget
about it. Clarence Thomas is not your friend."
- NBC News reporter Bob Herbert in Sunday Today "Viewpoint" segment, September 8.
"I think the
argument for rejecting him has more to do with the President who nominated him
than Judge Thomas himself. This was an entirely cynical nomination to begin
with. It was an attempt to basically play the race card by picking somebody
who, because of the color of his skin, would not be rejected, even though he
stood for a set of views on society and how the justice system would work that
are completely against those of the Justice he's replacing, Thurgood
- Time Editor-at-Large and former Washington Bureau Chief Strobe Talbott on Inside Washington, September 7.
Thomas, White Wannabe
"It may sound
bigoted; well, this is a bigoted world and why can't black people be allowed a
little Archie Bunker mentality?....Here's a man who's going to decide crucial
issues for the country and he has already said no to blacks; he has already
said if he can't paint himself white he'll think white and marry a white
- USA Today Inquiry Editor Barbara Reynolds in The Washington Post, September 10.
The New Soviet Union
"There is a danger
that the forces of democracy, as they are called, will now go too far. There
is a spirit of revenge in the air....They may get into witch hunts where
they're actually having kangaroo courts. If you saw that scene last Friday
when Gorbachev was called before the Russian Parliament, the way he was
heckled, even Yeltsin...saying 'read these notes of the Cabinet out,' I mean
he was really embarrassing Gorbachev."
- Former New York Times reporter Hedrick Smith, August 26 Good Morning America.
"Now you're lending
your voice on a kind of witch hunt. You will see a blood bath in Russia like
you have never seen before."
- CBS News Consultant Stephen Cohen to Pat Buchanan, August 23 CNN Crossfire.
Sobchak's calls to hold the country together fall on mostly deaf ears. For one
thing he's just another Russian. And besides, his rational arguments hardly
penetrate in these emotional days of surging, hormonal nationalism."
- CBS reporter Jonathan Sanders, August 27 Evening News.
discussion that this is the last chance to prevent the crime of the Soviet
Union breaking apart."
- Sanders, August 28 CBS This Morning.
Moyers' Comfortable Lie
"Even if everything
the right says about liberals is true, it would still address only a small
segment of the collapse of America's self-discipline. It's a little bit like
George Bush's answer to everything. His mind runs on one track: There are poor
people out there? 'Cut the capital gains.' There are women with unwanted
pregnancies? 'Cut the capital gains.' The waters are polluted? 'Cut the
capital gains.' Hospital costs are soaring? 'Cut the capital gains.' It's
hogwash. Reagan and Bush got away with it because we have come to prefer the
comfortable lie to the uncomfortable truth."
- Bill Moyers in The Washington Post Magazine, September 1.
Weld: Conservative or Liberal?
"But the state
underwent a sea change in January when conservative Republican William Weld, a
former federal prosecutor, took office as Governor...Weld was elected narrowly
last fall, thanks in part to thousands of liberal Democrats who defected from
John Silber (D). Many were drawn to Weld by his support for abortion rights,
gay rights, and environmental protections..."
- Washington Post Boston correspondent Christopher B. Daly, August 18.
Wet Net Loss
environmental candidate who stood up and talked about how there should be no
net loss of the nation's wetlands? Then the environmental President decided
that that was not quite right. Perhaps the thing to do was to redefine
wetlands from something that is occasionally soggy to something that is more
like a pond. And that's what the President has done. He says it means no net
loss. Clearly it means a big loss, and I think it's outrageous."
- National Public Radio news anchor Linda Wertheimer on CNN's Capital Gang, August 17.
No Idea What He Thinks
"Having read not
only Cannon's new blockbuster but also several thousand of his stories and
columns, I still have no idea if he is pro-Reagan or anti-Reagan. His only
discernible ideological predisposition is that he has no ideological
- New Republic Editor Hendrik Hertzberg reviewing Washington Post reporter Lou Cannon's President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime, September 9 issue.
portrayed in Cannon's book and in his own, is a childlike and sometimes
childish man. His head is full of stories. He is unable to think analytically.
He is ignorant...He has difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality.
He believes fervently in happy endings. He is passive and fatalistic. He
cannot admit error."
- Same review, the page before.
"A report last week
compared health care for children in the United States with health care in the
ten countries of Western Europe. Really there isn't any comparison. Nearly all
children in Europe are able to see a doctor when they're sick. A lot more of
them are immunized, a lot fewer of them die in infancy. Do Europeans care more
about their children than we do? There's a simple answer: yes."
- Charles Kuralt on Sunday Morning, August 18.
Cuban Suffering: United States' Fault
are reluctant to say so, but their brothers in Cuba are hungry and suffering
economically, not just because of Castro and the withdrawal of Soviet aid. The
U.S. is to blame, too. Washington refuses to lift its 30-year-old economic
embargo against the island, which denies Cubans much of what they need."
- NBC reporter Ed Rabel, August 28 Today.
Thanks for the Compliment
women, the spiritual descendants of the Women's KKK, are far more overtly
hostile to feminists than to any racial or ethnic 'others.'"
- Time essayist Barbara Ehrenreich in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, September 1.
Who Doesn't Love Grandpa Gus Hall?
wife of 56 years, applauds him as a good family man. Indeed, how can anyone
think ill of Hall when he beams so about cooking pancakes for his
grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, or shares his secret for making
tasty beef stew. (It's the apples.)"
- Time reporter Michael Riley, September 9.
- L. Brent Bozell III;
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Nicholas Damask, Sally Hood, Marian Kelley, Tim Lamer; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Circulation Manager