Who's More Menacing?
"Menacing undertones: The
troopers are silenced for now, but Clinton's political enemies
may be just regrouping. Arkansas attorney Cliff Jackson, who
represents Perry and Patterson, circulated an 'open letter' to
the President last week that, while couched as an apology for
inflicting 'public pain,' had menacing undertones. Referring to
Clinton's 'casual willingness to deceive,' Jackson warned darkly
that the presidency is at stake if Clinton doesn't change his
- Newsweek reporter Eleanor Clift, January 10 story on Clinton reaction to troopers' sex allegations.
"Jackson has become
Clinton's nemesis, his Lex Luthor. 'I regard him as a pest that
needs to be gotten rid of,' says Wright."
- Clift quoting Clinton damage-control helper Betsey Wright, one sentence later.
Capitalism Causes Poverty
"In Bucharest, the train
station provides not only a means of transport, but a place of
refuge from the cold. In the shadow of kiosks selling American
cigarettes are the casualties of Romanian capitalism - the
poor, the homeless, the children....Most of Bucharest's 500
homeless children have parents, but the days of state subsidies
for large families are gone. Poor families like Marion's are
falling apart. Children are abandoned. Others run away."
- ABC reporter Richard Gizbert, December 23 World News Tonight.
Clinton's Deficit-Reduction Plan and Spending Cuts?
"With most federal spending
programs constrained by Clinton's own five-year deficit
reduction plan, the White House has less and less direct control
over the economy. The President is gambling, instead, that
deficit reduction will keep interest rates down, giving
businesses and consumers an incentive to spend and invest. That
strategy has paid off handsomely for the administration so
- Los Angeles Times reporter James Risen, December 22.
"Few economists see the
bogey of inflation or another recession returning anytime soon.
In large part that's because of the widespread belief that
Clinton will continue to push hard for health-care reform and
- Time Associate Editor John Greenwald, January 10.
"He has been willing to use
his political capital in the service of abstractions - to
reduce the deficit, to pass a free-trade agreement - that are
likely to produce more pain than progress between now and
1996...His central gamble, pushing a budget that emphasized
deficit reduction over new spending, paid off: the bond market
was placated, interest rates remained low and the economy's
natural, cyclical tide wasn't impeded."
- Newsweek Senior Writer Joe Klein, January 17.
"Before you conclude that the federal government is going on a crash diet, consider this: even if the President sticks with spending limits, overall spending still will increase over the next five years by 23 percent."
- NBC reporter Lisa Myers, December 21 Nightly News.
...And Eliminate Accident Deaths By Banning Cars
"Criminologists warn that
nothing short of stopping the manufacture and sale of guns will
make a real dent in America's crime problem."
- CBS reporter Jacqueline Adams in story about Times Square "Gun Fighters Death Clock," January 1 CBS Evening News.
Remembering a Partisan Hack
"His contempt for President
Reagan was palpable and his last years as Speaker were
frustrating because he had to battle both Reagan and a Congress
with a powerful Republican presence. Horrified at policies that
favored the rich and punished the poor, O'Neill let it
- Former Style writer Myra MacPherson's "Appreciation" story on former House Speaker Tip O'Neill, January 7 Washington Post.
"I toed the party line
until my pencil reached the space reserved for `Congress.' I
voted for the Socialist-Workers candidate, a man I had never
heard of but whose party affiliation had the requisite shock
appeal. My father gasped, and then reached into his shirt pocket
and handed me another pencil, eraser end first. He said nothing.
He did not need to; there was a limit, even to adolescent
rebellion. I erased my ballot and cast my vote for Thomas P.
- Boston Globe reporter Eileen McNamara recalling the first time she voted, January 7.
Ad Hominem Attacks
"To his fans, David Brock,
the writer who ruined the Clintons' Christmas, is a hard-hitting
investigative reporter. To everyone else, he is a smear artist
with a right-wing agenda. But a reading of Mr. Brock's oeuvre in
the conservative journal The American Spectator
suggests that his motives are at least as twisted as his facts.
It's women, not liberals, who really get him going. The
slightest sighting of female sexuality whips him into a frenzy
of misogynist zeal. All women are the same to Mr. Brock:
terrifying, gutter-tongued sexual omnivores."
- New York Times columnist (and former theater critic) Frank Rich, January 6.
"More likely, it is the American
Spectator being true to its witless self. This is not the
first time it has embarrassed conservatives with its juvenile
behavior. Its 25th anniversary feast last year was marked by
crude Bill-and-Hillary jokes - the draft-dodging, pot-smoking,
Hillary-is-a-witch jokes that send these fellows into belly
laughs no matter how many times they hear them."
- Syndicated column by Newsday Washington Bureau Chief Lars-Erik Nelson, December 26 Middlesex (Mass.) News.
Terrorist as Moral Pillar
"One final criticism: The Book of Virtues contains almost nothing original from the 20th century. Bennett acknowledges this in his introduction, saying that modern stories cost more to reprint, but without them the book seems to suggest that moral behavior is entirely a thing of the past. Excerpts from poet Maya Angelou and author Madeleine L'Engle, a speech by Nelson Mandela or any one of several other modern heroes could have helped children see that over thousands of years, right up until the present, people have struggled with issues of right and wrong." - Washington Post "Style" writer Laura Sessions Stepp reviewing William Bennett's best-selling compilation, January 2 "Book World."
"It was just a few months
after then-ANC leader Chief Albert Luthuli was awarded the 1960
Nobel Peace Prize that Mandela urged the party leadership to
take up arms....As a founder of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed
wing of the ANC, the young Mandela participated in acts of
violence....by 1962 Mandela was under arrest, and two years
later he was sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage."
- Time Senior Writer Paul Gray, January 3.
The Culture at ABC
"This afternoon it's not
the pressure of the job that's getting to [now-fired World
News Tonight Executive Producer Emily] Rooney. It's Rush
Limbaugh. Limbaugh read from a story in TV Guide...in which
Rooney gently chastises the media for its liberal vision. It's
the truth, of course - media executives know it, correspondents
know it and the viewers out in TV-land certainly know it. But
for a television executive to come out and say it is a real
no-no, a violation of clan rules. And to have Limbaugh on your
side - what could be worse? Within the liberal orthodoxy of ABC
News, being championed by Rush Limbaugh is akin to being seen
huddling with a child molester."
- Writer Jeffrey Goodell in the January Elle.
L. Brent Bozell III
Editors: Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham
Media Analysts: Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig,
Kristin Johnson, Steve Kaminski, Mark Rogers
Circulation Manager: Kathleen Ruff
Interns: David Muska