Notable Quotables - 11/27/1989


Carter Legacy

"Historians will note, for example, that it was Jimmy Carter who focused the nation's attention on the need for energy conservation and defined human rights as a legitimate consideration in foreign policy....But analysts will also recognize that Ronald Reagan presided over a meltdown of the federal government during the last eight years. Fundamental management was abandoned in favor of rhetoric and imagery. A cynical disregard for the art of government led to wide-scale abuse. Only now are we coming to realize the cost of Mr. Reagan's laissez-faire: the crisis in the savings and loan industry, the scandal in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the deterioration of the nation's nuclear weapons facilities, the dangerous state of the air traffic control system - not to mention the staggering deficit."
- CBS News reporter Terence Smith, in a November 5 New York Times op-ed.


Reagan Legacy

"The '80s could turn out to be a latter-day 1920s. If that is so, history will view Reagan as a different kind of President from how he is currently seen. Is he a Coolidge? Perhaps. Newspaper editor William Allen White once made a statement about Hoover. He said Hoover was the greatest innocent bystander in American history because Coolidge jumped off the train and left him with the Depression. This could happen to Reagan's successor."
- Washington Post reporter Sidney Blumenthal in Life magazine's special Fall issue on the 1980s.


Soviet Military Spending

"Aspin: U.S. Suppressing Data on Cuts: Soviets Said to Trim Military Spending"
- Washington Post, November 17.

"Soviets modernize strategic weapons"
- Washington Times, same day.


Tilting Left

"The Times-Mirror [Company]...has issued a fresh survey of public attitudes toward the press. It tells us that seven of 10 Americans believe that the 'media' are incapable of fairness in the reporting of political and social issues and that we tend consistently to 'tilt' in favor of one side or another. A review of the Post's coverage of the last two weeks of the campaign for governor in Virginia would not, in my view, disabuse them of that opinion. The winner of the election, Doug Wilder, clearly got the best of it in this newspaper."
- Washington Post Ombudsman Richard Harwood, November 19.

Compassion Gap

"In just seven weeks, the '80s will be behind us. It was a decade dominated, in politics and in style, by the Reagans....While the wealthy got most of the attention, those who needed it most were often ignored. More homeless, less spending on housing. The gap between the top and the bottom grew in the '80s....The AIDS crisis began in the '80s. Some say the decade's compassion gap made it worse."
- CBS This Morning co-host Kathleen Sullivan, November 13.

"In the 1980s the minimum wage has really lived up to its name. Since it was last raised to $3.35 an hour in 1981, inflation has eroded its purchasing power by 27 percent. Meanwhile, the Reagan era became famous for skyrocketing maximum wages as greed became fashionable throughout the land."
- Time Associate Editor Richard Lacayo, November 13.


Good Morning Abortion

"Experts say the [Pennsylvania] bill will hurt poor and rural women most, effectively denying some of them access to abortion."
- Reporter Lisa Myers on NBC News at Sunrise, November 15.

"Just a week ago after voters around the country clearly expressed a pro-choice preference, elected officials in Pennsylvania have chosen to go the other way. Their move to restrict abortions was not a surprise, but it does run counter to the national trend."
- Bryant Gumbel leading off NBC's Today, same morning.


Admiring Marxist Theology

"In a country where the powerful consider liberation theology a dangerous idea, the priests dared to speak up for social justice and, frequently, against the U.S. policy of supporting a government they saw as undemocratic."
- CBS News reporter Juan Vasquez on those murdered in El Salvador, November 16 Evening News.


So Much for Romania, Albania...

"There are signs of strain in Czechoslovakia's hardline government. Czechoslovakia is the last Soviet-bloc state to resist reform."
- John Palmer on NBC News at Sunrise, November 16.


Gorby's Dreams

"The overwhelming reaction of Soviet officials to the drama in East Germany has been to welcome it. They say it was inevitable, and that it brings a little closer one of Mikhail Gorbachev's dreams."
- Moscow reporter Bob Abernethy on NBC Nightly News, November 10.


Newsweek's "Most Trusted Doctor"

"If you feel strongly, I would even urge you to organize or participate in nonviolent demonstrations of civil disobedience. Try to recruit a few clergymen. You'll feel less guilty and you'll embarrass the police. The first thing government should be pressured into doing is taking the millions of dollars now being squandered on nuclear and conventional arms and spending them on fulfilling the needs of families. The federal government should subsidize mothers or fathers (particularly single ones) who would prefer to stay home for the first three to five years of their children's lives. Likewise, government should subsidize high-quality day care for the children of couples who want-or who are obliged-to pursue uninterrupted careers."
- Dr. Benjamin Spock dispensing "Advice from America's most trusted doctor on how to keep the family on course" in Newsweek's "21st Century American Family" issue.


Liberals, Marxists: What's the Difference?

"Some of my young colleagues call themselves neo-Marxists. I can't see much difference between their views and mine, and I call myself a liberal Democrat."
- Princeton University Professor Lawrence Stone in the October 25 New York Times.


Oliver North

"His story is an '80s epic of heat-seeking ambition, of striding patriotism turned into strident jingoism."
- Stefan Kanfer of Time magazine in the Fall '89 issue of People.


What's Wrong With Politics? Republicans

"Inside: Lee Atwater has himself become a symbol of what's wrong with politics today."
- Washington Post front page plug for profile of the Republican Party chief, November 19.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Jim Heiser, Stewart Verdery, Dorothy Warner; Media Analysts
- Allison Dyer; Administrative Assistant