Notable Quotables

False Choices from Network Pollsters "According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll a majority would rather see a budget that forgoes tax cuts so we can eliminate the deficit. Less than a third said they would rather keep the deficit in order to have a tax cut." - Tom Brokaw, May 2 NBC Nightly News . Cutting Our Way Up to a $2 Trillion Annual Budget "Good evening. President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders reached a landmark deal today - agreement on a five year plan which is designed to actually balance the federal budget. This plan features... continue reading
Many of the quotes in the second half of the edition, under the Volunteering for Liberals Upset by Imaginary Budget Cuts, claim that not only will welfare reform mean program cuts but that America has long ago abandoned the safety net. The numbers show otherwise. In a report for the Cato Institute, Stephen Moore detailed how social spending is rocketing upward. In constant 1995 dollars, AFDC soared 31 percent between 1989 and 1995. Food stamps jumped 53 percent, housing assistance expanded by 67 percent and Medicaid skyrocketed 110 percent. (To read Moore's report, go to: ) The only people... continue reading
Let's Discredit Investigations in Advance Peter Jennings: "When we come back, two investigations of fundraising abuse, two of them on Capitol Hill. Is it a waste of time and money?" John Cochran: "....But they don't want to get together. The easy-going Thompson, who may have presidential aspirations, says it's important to be as tough on Republicans as Democrats....But Dan Burton is a hard-charging partisan and has resisted investigating anyone but Democrats....So although Congress complains a lot about too much duplication in government, we'll be seeing double when the House and Senate begin months of dueling hearings into campaign fundraising." -... continue reading
Newt's Infuriating Conservatives? Hey, He's Not So Bad After All "But in fairness, what is wrong with Newt Gingrich reaching out to some other groups, extending himself? I mean, can't you catch more flies with honey? Isn't there something about that? And perhaps the rigidity of some of the conservative Republicans and their almost religious adherence to the Contract with America, didn't that ultimately backfire on them?" - NBC's Katie Couric to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), April 2 Today . Sam Donaldson: "One mark of leadership is to tell people what they need to hear and I think Newt Gingrich... continue reading
Work-Nots Before Workers "But isn't that going to only exacerbate the feeling, especially in the cities in this country, that there is a growing schism between the haves and the have nots because we're going to mandate welfare reform. We're going to mandate a lot of immigration reform but there's going to be no money that comes in behind it." - NBC anchor Tom Brokaw on welfare and immigration reform, to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, March 3 MSNBC InterNight . "[Food] stamps, a blessing, allowed them [able-bodied adults without children] to purchase about $25 worth of food a... continue reading
Clinton on the Rock? "His sturdy jaw precedes him. He smiles from sea to shining sea. Is this President a candidate for Mt. Rushmore or what?....In fact, when it comes to influencing the public, a single medley of expressions from Clinton may be worth much more, to much of America, than every ugly accusation Paula Jones can muster." - Los Angeles Times television writer Howard Rosenberg reviewing Clinton's Inaugural address, January 22. Chinese Dictatorship No Better for Poor than Reagan "And so in 1992, after a year out of public view, Deng emerged from retirement and launched a campaign for... continue reading
Remember Those Prosperous, Tranquil Carter Years? "They [journalists] have tended to write bad scripts, at least at first, for those Presidents who presided in moments of prosperity and tranquility and kept them that way. Cases in point: George Bush, Jimmy Carter, Dwight Eisenhower, William Howard Taft, and Martin Van Buren." - Time columnist Hugh Sidey in a February 10 piece on how Clinton may become a forgettable President like Rutherford Hayes. Editorials on the Front Page "Like an ominous storm blown in from the East, the reality of welfare reform has descended with relentless and unsparing force on thousands of... continue reading
Spoiled Spin on Tainted Meat "A federal jury in North Carolina ordered ABC television today to pay the Food Lion supermarkets five and a half million dollars in punitive damages. That's in connection with an undercover news investigation that proved to be true...Important to note that the truth of the report was never at issue in the lawsuit, not even challenged, only the journalistic techniques." - Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News , January 22. Reality Check: "Food Lion claimed 'the unedited footage provides an extraordinary look at how a network news magazine can create false impressions,' and that... continue reading
Gumbel's Parting Shocker: I'm Not Conservative! "I don't know if I have a liberal bent...But it is fair to say it's very difficult for a black man in this country to be of a conservative bent. That's a fair statement. It's very difficult to be an African- American male, and have an African-American son who is going to be 18 years of age, and hear things like cops want to crack down and send more to prison, to hear calls for tougher statutes, less welfare, less programs for the poor, and less things for people of color. If that says... continue reading
BYE-BYE BRYANT: Gumbel's Years of Liberal Advocacy Editor's Note: January 3 will be Bryant Gumbel's last day after 15 years as co-host of NBC's Today. By my count Bryant Gumbel has co-hosted Today just seven mornings in December, but I assume he'll be back most of the December 30-January 3 week, his last. USA Today "Inside TV" columnist Peter Johnson reported December 23 that CBS and ABC and are fighting to land Gumbel: "ABC News is considered the front-runner, but ABC News chief Roone Arledge says not to count out NBC, which he predicts will make "a major move to... continue reading