Notable Quotables - 12/04/1995


Gergen: Working Both Sides


"Congress now seems intent on imposing new burdens upon the poor, the elderly, and vulnerable children while, incredibly, delivering a windfall for the wealthy....This assault doesn't even count the $270 billion reduction in projected spending for Medicare that is frightening senior citizens and could further squeeze public hospitals."
- U.S. News Editor-at-Large David Gergen, November 13 back page column.


"The Democrats were soon up to old tricks, splattering the GOP plan with charges of gutting Medicare, student loans and environmental protections - charges wildly overstating the facts - and public opposition rapidly mounted."
- Gergen's next U.S. News & World Report column, two weeks later.


No, There Are Simply Too Many TV Reporters with Bizarre Theories

"This year there's a Grinch: more layoffs in recent weeks by large corporations...And that fear could keep many from spending this year. Worse, there simply are too many stores and, says one expert, this season's holiday spending may not bail out the losers."
- Reporter Ray Brady, November 24 CBS Evening News.

"Though some VA and Social Security workers will return next week, the backlog of cases will be tremendous, and in the rest of government, problems are worsening. Imported Christmas toys, which could be unsafe, are not being examined by safety inspectors."
- Reporter Linda Douglass on the federal shutdown, November 16 CBS Evening News.


Heard of Bob Dole? Lamar Alexander?

"Republican moderates may have reason to feel more threatened than turkeys on this Thanksgiving. With Arlen Specter's out-of-money exit from the '96 White House race, they have no presidential candidate to call their own."
- Judy Woodruff on CNN's Inside Politics, November 23.


Bias, on CBS? You Can't Be Serious

David Gold, Dallas radio talk show host: "It's you folks in the media. Your bias toward the President and towards the liberals has been palpable, and it's understandable."
CBS This Morning co-host Paula Zahn: "I don't know where you see that manifested. Certainly not on the CBS network news. I don't think you can indict us all on several bad reports..."
Gold: "I'll give you an example. If you tell people, as Paula did, that Republicans are in quotes, `slashing' $270 billion dollars from Medicare."
Zahn: "Did I just say that?"
- Exchange on CBS This Morning, November 17.

Reality Check:
"The Republican plan to slash $270 billion from Medicare cleared its first hurdle in a Senate committee vote last night."
- Zahn, September 28 CBS This Morning.


Eleanor "Squeaky Fromme" Clift

Michael Duffy, Time: "I think Dole will probably be more moderate."
Mara Liasson, NPR: "Especially now that Newt Gingrich has become the poster child for Republican extremism."
- Exchange on CNN's Late Edition, November 12.

"Newt Gingrich teaching manners is like Charles Manson teaching nonviolence."
- Newsweek contributor Eleanor Clift, November 18 McLaughlin Group.


President Energizer Bunny

"As far as I'll go describing Bill Clinton is he's perhaps the most intellectually and physically active person to have held the job in decades. I've also said that if Americans were paying Presidents by the thought, we're getting a bargain in this guy because, my God, he's just always moving, his brain's moving, he hardly sleeps."
- NBC White House reporter Brian Williams, November 17 CBS Late Late Show with Tom Snyder.


Please Name One Actual Cut

"With the Republican Congress moving to slash many federal social programs, an odd hush has fallen over Washington: the sound of liberal advocacy groups that have been unable to create much of a clamor against the most drastic cuts in decades."
- Lead of November 24 page 1 New York Times story by Tamar Lewin.

"The real problem: Many GOP conservatives are determined to slash federal spending to the bone, even if those cuts aren't needed to balance he budget."
- USA Today reporter Bill Montague, November 17 news story.

"Republican policies in the age of Gingrich are not just mean, they are vicious. With its unconscionable welfare, Medicare and Medicaid policies, the Grand Old Party is gleefully shredding the income and health safety nets for the young, the poor, the elderly and the disabled."
- Former NBC News reporter Bob Herbert, in his November 10 New York Times column.


Unbalanced Views of a Balanced Budget

"Let me make just one point. I'm for a balanced budget, too, but in American history, every time we've had a major, real drive to balance the budget it has been followed by a huge depression, economic depression."
- NPR reporter Nina Totenberg on Inside Washington, November 18.

"The evidence is quite clear that the 1994 vote was more a negative verdict on the Democrats' failures than the result of some sharp ideological turn in the public. It's true, of course, that the Bolsheviks were willing to launch a revolution without even having a majority. But whatever one thought was wrong with the Republicans, nobody lost sleep at night worrying that they were Leninists. Maybe that was a mistake. As soon as he won his historic but far from overwhelming majority, Newt Gingrich began talking `revolution' and never stopped. His biggest revolutionary move was the balanced budget, which was built on ideas that were not discussed at all in 1994."
- Former New York Times and Washington Post reporter E.J. Dionne, November 14 Washington Post column.


Will Colin Save That Harsh Fringe Party?

"How hard a blow is this to the Republican Party? Has it, as Stephen Ambrose has suggested, left the party to those on the fringe right who all the hopefuls seem anxious to dance to?"
- Bryant Gumbel to reporter Gwen Ifill on Powell's decision not to run for President, November 9 Today.

"I think whoever the Republican nominee is will have to work very hard to have Colin Powell actively campaigning for him. And I think also Colin Powell will exact a price for that - in terms of language, efforts to reach out to minorities, and an effort to make the Republican agenda appear a little less harsh to those who are poor and the working poor."
- NBC News reporter Lisa Myers, same segment.


Sam's Late Night Dreams of Powell

Sam Donaldson: "I think he's still in it. Let me tell you the plan. It's next summer. Bob Dole looks like the nominee, but people are still grumbling and he's ten points behind in the polls. One morning at dawn we rush in the house, we kidnap Alma, we tie her up, we put tape over her mouth so she can't shout no, and we call him up. We say, `General, your wife is being held in a cavernous auditorium in San Diego.' He rushes there like a good husband. He runs through the curtains - it's the Republican convention. They see him. They unanimously nominate him. Now he can't refuse, and so he's the nominee. You like that story?" David Letterman: "Apparently, the sodium pentothal has not worn off, Sam."
- Late Show with David Letterman, November. 28.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Gesele Rey, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff; Circulation Manager
- Gene Eliasen; Intern