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Notable Quotables - 09/17/1990

 

What Is The Second Amendment?


"A constitutional right which gun lovers have lorded over us for years. But the right to bear arms has blossomed into the right to deliver instruments of certain death into the hands of people who probably aren't sportsmen and probably aren't collectors...While our children are being gunned down by thugs and criminals, we continue to allow ourselves to be bullied by a gun lobby which refuses to budge on issues which make simple common sense....Constitutional rights? Ask the parents of the children who were shot this summer about the right to bear arms. They bear only the pain of their loss."
- CBS This Morning co-Host Harry Smith in his Friday feature "The Record of Who We Are," August 31.

 

Is Knife Control Next?


"The slaying, and those that preceded it and will follow it, certainly will intensify cries for more police and harsher penalties for criminals. But as long as the type of knife used to kill Watkins is sold in half of the variety stores in Times Square, it will be difficult to recruit enough police to erase this crime wave."
- Washington Post reporter Michael Specter on the stabbing of a Utah man in New York, September 6.

 

Hardening or Softening on Iraq?


Bush, Gorbachev Toughen Stand Against Iraq"
- Washington Post front page, September 10.

"Bush agrees to soften Iraq embargo"
- Washington Times front page, same day.

 

America's Done the Same


"Though the conventional wisdom regards Iraq's seizure of Kuwait as purely a demonstration of Saddam's wickedness, there are extenuating circumstances...the British arbitrarily created a kingdom of Iraq ....Kuwait's semisecret violation of OPEC production agreements also helped drive down the price of oil. This was fine for American motorists, but it deprived Iraq of badly needed funds. Such conflicts have traditionally been regarded as fairly legitimate grounds for war - the U.S. acquired California in 1846 on thinner pretexts."
- Time Senior Writer Otto Friedrich's "Essay," September 10.

 

Slave Labor: the Only Option


"To feed the nation, the Kremlin had no choice but to order millions of city dwellers into the fields."
- ABC reporter Mike von Fremd on solutions to the Soviet bread shortage, September 4 World News Tonight.

 

Shapiro on Heroes


"Let Ronald Reagan ride off into the sunset untroubled by fleeting memories of astrologers, smoke-and-mirrors budget arithmetic, and arms-for-hostages swaps. Dwell instead on those political tall timbers still standing, the heirs of Jefferson, Madison, and Lincoln....Only Jesse Jackson, still an acquired taste for most white Americans, can strike the kind of inspirational pose that one could imagine being immortalized in granite."
- Time Senior Writer Walter Shapiro in the September GQ.

"What made Ferraro, Hart, and Quayle targets was both the media's collective conviction that they did not measure up - that they were unworthy of popular acclaim - and the frustration of not being able to convey this simple truth within the conventions of objective journalism. If, say, The Washington Post could have run the front-page headline "BUSH LIGHTS ON DIM BULB," there might not have been the same fascination with Quayle's front-line service in the Indiana National Guard."
- Shapiro, same article.

 

Know-Nothing Conservatives


"Conservatives reject the idea that artists deserve aid because cutting-edge ideas lead to progress. Instead, the right had advanced the know-nothing notion that artists tend to be leftist, godless, and sexually perverse and that public funding amounts to promoting an 'antifamily agenda.'"
- Time Senior Writer William A. Henry III, September 10.

 

Reagan Fantasies


"Back in the days when the economy was expanding, the cold war ending and the peace dividend looming large, Ronald Reagan cherished a famous fantasy about flying with Mikhail Gorbachev over the sun-soaked swatches of Southern California, with its mosaic of turquoise swimming pools and tidy lawns and fat white garages plump with new cars. 'Those are the homes of American workers,' he would proudly declare, describing a Hollywood dreamland where auto mechanics have summer houses and anyone can go to college."
- Time Associate Editor Nancy Gibs, September 10.

 

Forgetting Time's Liberal Prejudices


"That was as close as [Time Editor-in-Chief Hedley] Donovan came to referring to election years when [Time founder Henry] Luce's Republican prejudices had poisoned Time's political coverage. Then came his pledge: 'The vote of Time Inc. should never be considered to be in the pocket of any particular political leader or party.' With that declaration Time Inc. came of age."
- Time reporter Thomas Griffith in an August 27 eulogy of the late Hedley Donovan.

 

Abortion Label Policy


"The terms right-to-life and pro-life are used by advocates in the abortion controversy to buttress their arguments. They should generally be used as part of an organization's title and in quotations, but not as descriptive adjectives in the text. Use abortion-rights advocates for those who support freedom of choice in the matter, antiabortion for those who oppose it."
- Item in the Washington Post Deskbook on Style, pp. 185-186.

 

Rehnquist's Image Problems


"Chief Justice Rehnquist had the kind of image problems that might be expected of a jurist who habitually rejected constitutional equality for women, approved the execution of allegedly insane prisoners without a hearing, denied constitutional equality to aliens and bastards, asserted that the public did not have a constitutional right to attend court trials, said prisoners had no rights to practice religious freedom, and spoke warmly of the legendary Isaac ('Hanging Judge') Parker, who cheerfully ordered eighty-five executions."
- Former CBS News law reporter Fred Graham in his book Happy Talk.

 

Jeane's Friends


"As a democracy, America has always had trouble figuring out how to deal with dictators....Jeane Kirkpatrick, former U.N. Ambassador and friend of Argentine generals who murdered tens of thousands of their countrymen, tried to elevate our inconsistency into principle by arguing that Communist dictators are totalitarian, while anti-Communist dictators were merely 'authoritarian' - and thus more palatable. But it was an effort to give intellectual respectability to a crude ideology, like slopping a coat of varnish on a rough-hewn stool."
- U.S. News and World Report Senior Writer Stephen Budiansky, September 10.

 

Starring in The Dan Rather Story...


"The best person to star in the movie of my life is: Arsenio Hall."

"Every New Year's I resolve: To love more."
- Dan Rather answering a quiz in the Boston Herald, September 2.

 

- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Callista Gould, Jim Heiser, Marian Kelley, Gerard Scimeca; Media Analysts
- Kristin K. Bashore; Administrative Assistant