Notable Quotables - 12/11/1989


Quote of the Month

"For the most part, the Nicaraguan Contras burned villages and murdered civilians. On behalf of their cause, Reagan sold out his oath of office and subverted the Constitution....

"Oliver North presented himself as the immortal boy in the heroic green uniform of Peter Pan. Although wishing to be seen as a humble patriot, the colonel's testimony showed him to be a treacherous and lying agent of the national security state, willing to do anything asked of him by a President to whom he granted the powers of an Oriental despot."
- Harper's Editor Lewis Lapham narrating his PBS series America's Century, November 28.


The Ferocious Pope

"Jesus said love your enemies. This week's meeting of Pope John Paul and Mikhail Gorbachev brings together two traditional enemies, both of whom have shown, time and again, that they can rise above the hatreds of history...The meeting, said one priest in Rome, is like the lion lying down with the lamb, but in this case, he said, it's hard to tell who's the lion and who's the lamb."
- Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, November 29.


Who's Who in El Salvador

"Prominent Rightist Slain in El Salvador: An official seen by leftists as a barrier to change is gunned down."

"Woman Held on Arms Charge in Salvador Is Defended as Neutral Idealist: She was 'young and very moved by the suffering."
- New York Times, November 29, page A8.


Fanatic Right, Statesmanlike Left

"Washington should rethink its relationship with a democratically elected government that cannot control fanatic right-wing elements in the armed forces. El Salvador's armed forces, nourished by American dollars, bear primary responsibility for the country's scandalous human rights record. Washington should cut off military aid unless travesties like the killing of the six Jesuits are stopped."
- Time magazine box titled "A Scandalous Record," December 4.

"A grisly fantasy of a different sort may soon be conjured up out of the frustration by ultra-rightists in the Salvadoran army and government who are considering a campaign of terror to suppress the insurgents...Already the government is betraying distressingly fascist leanings...The future for El Salvador looks to be a free-for-all between a buoyant and rearmed F.M.L.N. and generals willing to make the country a boneyard."
- Time Washington correspondent J.F.O. McAllister, December 11.

"At one side of the table in Malta will sit a statesman; the other seat will be occupied by a man who calmly bankrolls the murderers of priests."
- Editorial in The Nation, December 4.


Lesbian Rights, A Noble Cause

"The ERA and lesbian rights, while noble causes, seemed to have garnered more attention than the pressing need for child care and more flexible work schedules."
- Time Senior Editor Claudia Wallis, December 4 issue.


Those Irrational Campaign Promises

"We should all be thankful that the 'no new taxes' charade is over. From now on, the question of how to pay for what the country needs can be debated without the irrational rhetoric of campaign promises...With that campaign rhetoric behind them, the government's fiscal leaders can get on with the job of reducing the deficit directly by raising revenues. A federal sales tax, a big increase in the gas tax, taxes on speculative investments, even an increase in the top income tax rate all can be considered on their own merits rather than as threats to campaign promises that everyone knew could not be kept."
- Washington Post business reporter Jerry Knight, November 28.


Having It Both Ways

"For more than a year, the rebels have been receiving large supplies of AK-47 assault rifles and Cuban ammunition, making their current firepower far superior to what they had during the 1981 offensive."
- Charles Lane in Newsweek, November 27, page 50.

"Bush will ask Gorbachev to cut off Soviet aid to the Salvadoran rebels and their Sandinista backers in nearby Nicaragua. Even that is unlikely to work. Superpower diplomacy, military experts believe, is not of much use against a homegrown and largely self-sufficient insurgency."
- Lane, same issue, page 55.


Making Gorbachev Feel Safe

"With the shield of captive nations melting away a day at a time, the most important question Mr. Bush will ask Gorbachev is how the West can make the Soviet Union feel secure."
- CBS reporter Wyatt Andrews on CBS This Morning, December 1.


Superior Sweden

"Tonight we have put the best child care system in the world on the American Agenda. That is to say, the system which is acknowledged to be the best outside the home. It's in Sweden. The Swedish system is run and paid for by the Swedish government, something many Americans would like to see the U.S. government do as well."
- Peter Jennings on the November 22 World News Tonight.


Your PBS Tax Dollars At Work

"Behind the smiles, behind the one-liners, the pretty pictures, the manipulation of emotions, the government rots. Its costs soar, its failures mount, from the folly of Star Wars to the scandals of HUD. But on the bridge of the ship of state, no one is on watch and below the deck, no one can see the iceberg. But everybody feels good."
- Bill Moyers concluding a segment of Bill Moyers: The Public Mind, November 15.


Conservatives for Mondale?

"It was the Navy, its style and its patriotism, Donovan makes clear, that bent his conservative-leaning twig into permanent place....After retirement in 1979, Donovan spent a largely fruitless year or so as President Carter's 'senior adviser'...Here he reveals he voted for Mondale rather than for Reagan."
- Washington Post book review of former Time Inc. Editor-in-Chief Hedley Donovan's autobiography, October 20.


What's the Frequency, Dan?

"In Washington, a federal judge tonight ordered former President Reagan to produce personal records and testimony for the next criminal trial stemming from the missiles-for-Iran, what-happened-to-the-money, who-gave-the-orders case."
- Dan Rather on the November 16 CBS Evening News.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham, Marc S. Ryan; Editors
- Jim Heiser, Jay Marois, Patrick Swan, Dorothy Warner; Media Analysts
- Cynthia Bulman; Administrative Assistant