Notable Quotables

The Right Hates Being in Power "Particularly on the right, they are totally uncomfortable with the notion of being in power, because they are by definition critics and outsiders. They want to preserve the purity of their ideas. If you're going to be in power and you're going to govern, particularly with a Congress in the hands of the other party, by definition you have to compromise and blur your purity....Look, you have to understand that Pat [Buchanan] and his friends hate being in power, and the only way that they can raise money and get their forces going is... continue reading
Today on Flammable Jammies: Reagan's Fault Reporter Lea Thompson: "The Consumer Product Safety Commission can stop manufacturing; it can fine; it can even seize clothes right off the rack if PJ's don't meet flammability standards. None of that's happened. So far the agency has only hoped a manufacturer will take its advice. So you can't depend on government to police this for you. We did find this flammable sleepwear everywhere we went." Bryant Gumbel: "Lea, Lea, real quick. Why is the government abdicating its responsibility on this? Is this another holdover from the Reagan years and the cutbacks?" Thompson: "Absolutely... continue reading
News Flash: We're Undertaxed "American tax rates today are, relatively speaking, low. Repeat, low. About half the top rate in the rest of the industrialized world. Our sales taxes are equally low. Fact: the United States is a tax bargain, believe it or not. The difference, of course, is that in other countries, people see their tax money coming back to them to make life more agreeable and secure. In Western Europe, health care for everyone. In Scandinavia, day care centers for mothers and children. In Japan, modern, efficient cities that work." - NBC Nightly News anchor Garrick Utley on... continue reading
THE CLARENCE THOMAS HEARINGS Special Sore Losers Edition Editor's Note: Supporters of Clarence Thomas considered the leaking of last-minute charges by Thomas opponents the sleaziest kind of gutter politics, and the logical outcome of a 100-day search for any "dirt" that would deny him the nomination. After the public watched the hearings and believed Thomas, Democrats supported Hill and accused the Republicans of dirty politics. Which view did the media advocate? Read on: Anita's Allies "Given the detail and consistency of her testimony, it was almost inconceivable that Hill, rather than describing her own experiences, was fabricating the portrait of... continue reading
Temperate Totenberg "What politicians get tired of is bias in reporters. You've been beating the drum on this one almost every day since it started, in the most extraordinary way. Let's not pretend your reporting is objective in here. That just would be absurd." - Senator Alan Simpson to National Public Radio Supreme Court reporter Nina Totenberg on Nightline , October 7. "All I do is report. I don't know who's telling the truth here. There are inconsistencies on all sides. But I do know that I do not appreciate being blamed just because I do my job and report... continue reading
Sexual Harassment: Reagan's Fault "Tonight, the NBC News program Expose looks at incidences of sexual harassment in [federal low-income] housing. It's reported by correspondent Michele Gillen....Well, I guess that's where the problem began. Actually, it was when the budget was taken out of the affordable housing market during the Reagan years and thus, the problem came about." - Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, September 20. Making Excuses for Harkin "[Presidential candidate Tom Harkin] often declines to let accuracy ruin a witty line or blunt a political dart...But voters tend to ignore such details, and Harkin's obviously heartfelt commitment to his causes... continue reading
Thomas, Terrible Nominee "Who is this guy, Clarence Thomas, and why should we want him on the Supreme Court? I can't think of any good reasons. The man is not distinguished and he doesn't seem to have a heart...Let's be straight about this. Clarence Thomas is a tool of the rich and powerful. His supporters include Dan Quayle, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms. Even David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan leader, is crazy about Clarence Thomas. Make no mistake, old people, poor people, black people, women, forget about it. Clarence Thomas is not your friend." - NBC News reporter Bob Herbert... continue reading
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong "If suddenly a true, two-party or multi-party system were to be formed in the Soviet Union, the Communist Party would still win in a real free election. Except for certain small pockets of resistance to the Communist regime, the people have been truly converted in the last 68 years." - CNN then-Moscow Bureau Chief (and current World Report Editor-in-Chief) Stuart Loory in a letter to The Wall Street Journal , February 3, 1986. "Despite what many Americans think, most Soviets do not yearn for capitalism or Western-style democracy." - Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News ,... continue reading
ABC Sports Shines Up Castro "But there are many Cubans who find their lives much better here than before the revolution. Medical care is free. Education is also state-funded. Cuba's 97 percent literacy rate is among the highest in the world." - ABC Sports announcer Brent Musburger on the pre-Pan Am games special Fidel Castro: One on One , July 27. "You have brought a new system of government, obviously, to Cuba, but the Cuban people do, I think, think of you as their father. One day you're going to retire. Or one day, all of us die. Won't there... continue reading
The Mother of All Anchormen "Now, walking down the red-carpeted staircase, President Bush, President Gorbachev, with Gorbachev's interpreter in between. You can just see at the top of your picture that huge chandelier, almost 4,000 pounds. It's the older sister of all chandeliers." - Dan Rather before START treaty signing ceremony, July 31. Staged vs. Unstaged "Suddenly, from about half the way across the square, I heard this 'Peter, Peter, come I want you to meet some people.' And he [Gorbachev] plunged into this crowd and it was again impressionistic, right? But it was clear to me that in touching... continue reading