The Media's Influence:
43% of the public said the press "plays the most influential role in determining which issues and events are considered important these days."
22% said "political leaders in Washington."
Source: Times Mirror Center for the People and the Press, February 1994 survey of 1,207 people.
55% of journalists at national media outlets thought George Bush's 1992 campaign was "hurt" by "the way the press has covered him."
11% thought Bill Clinton was hurt.
Source: Times Mirror Center for the People & the Press,1992 poll of 267 staffers at national press organizations.
White House reporters vote Democratic:
9 White House correspondents surveyed voted for Clinton in 1992; 2 for George Bush
12 for Michael Dukakis in 1988; one for Bush
10 for Walter Mondale in 1984; zero for Ronald Reagan
8 for Jimmy Carter in 1980; two for Reagan
Source: U.S. News & World Report White House reporter Kenneth Walsh in a personal survey for his 1996 book, Feeding the Beast.
Reporters voted overwhelmingly for Clinton, call themselves liberal and had little respect for the Contract with America:
89% of Washington reporters voted for Bill Clinton in 1992.
7% voted for George Bush in 1992.
61% called themselves "liberal" or "moderate to liberal."
9% "conservative" or "moderate to conservative."
50% said they are Democrats.
4% are Republicans.
59% called the Contract with America "an election year campaign ploy."
3% thought it was "a serious reform proposal."
Source: Roper Center poll for the Freedom Forum of 139 Washington bureau chiefs and congressional correspondents, released April 1996.
Journalists don't think the GOP Congress got negative treatment, and believe Clinton's achievements deserved more attention:
81% of reporters didn't think coverage of the Republican Congress has been "too cynical, too negative and has nitpicked too much."
48% of national media reporters believed the media have "given too little" coverage to "the achievements of the Clinton administration."
2% said too much.
49% thought about right.
Source: Times Mirror Center for the People & the Press, May 1995 survey of 248 members of the national media.
Admissions of Bias
"There are lots of reasons fewer people are watching network news,
and one of them, I'm more convinced than ever, is that our viewers
simply don't trust us. And for good reason. The old argument that the
networks and other `media elites' have a liberal bias is so blatantly
true that it's hardly worth discussing anymore. No, we don't sit around
in dark corners and plan strategies on how we're going to slant the
news. We don't have to. It comes naturally to most reporters."
-- CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg, February 13, 1996 Wall Street Journal op-ed.
"Everybody knows that there's a liberal, that there's a heavy liberal persuasion among correspondents."
-- Walter Cronkite at the Radio and TV Correspondents Association dinner, March 21, 1996.
"There is a liberal bias. It's demonstrable. You look at some
statistics. About 85 percent of the reporters who cover the White House
vote Democratic, they have for a long time. There is a, particularly at
the networks, at the lower levels, among the editors and the so-called
infrastructure, there is a liberal bias."
-- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, May 12, 1996.
CNN Senior Political Analyst
and Moderator, PBS's Washington
Week in Review
"Whitewater, we said in the beginning, is sort of diminishing, sort
of fading away, it's kind of a shadowy thing now, and it's going away."
-- PBS Washington Week in Review, May 24, 1996, four days before convictions in Arkansas.
"You know President Clinton said, I think it was in the State of the
Union, Alan, that the average Congressman, in Washington, made more
money during the period of time that the government was shut down than
a minimum wage worker makes in a year. Now that's a pretty compelling
political case to make."
-- Washington Week in Review, April 26, 1996.
"So federal judges are going to become this year's metaphor for Willie Horton?"
-- On Bob Dole's speech about Clinton's judicial appointees, April 26, 1996 Washington Week in Review.
"On the other hand, there was, even before this suit was filed, a lead essay in Newsweek
called `The Politics of Promiscuity,' that ultimately went over every
single Clinton transgression from the campaign and everything else,
filled with sexual innuendoes, that his policies were the equivalent of
one-night stands, that he seduces the bulk of his agenda and so forth.
It really was, made Bill Clinton out to be a political bimbo and it was
kind of an outrageous piece of journalism. That's the last word."
-- On Joe Klein's Newsweek story on Paula Jones, May 6, 1994 Washington Week in Review.
"There is a broad public dissatisfaction with welfare policy in this
country, but how much of this is a hangover of politicians who massaged
the messages of welfare queens and welfare fraud, and produced a
popular sense in the American population that undeserving people are
getting something for nothing, particularly undeserving people of
-- PBS Washington Week in Review, January 13, 1995.
Anchor, NBC Nightly News
and host of MSNBC's InterNight
"When NBC Nightly News continues: in Washington, if they cut food stamps, who doesn't eat?"
-- March 22, 1995 NBC Nightly News.
"Wasn't it the Republican Party under the leadership of Ronald
Reagan especially, and George Bush who put the country in the fix it's
-- Questioning Rep. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), February 17, 1993 Nightly News.
"Today, GOP congressional candidates were summoned to Washington and
given a battle plan. However, as NBC's Lisa Myers tells us tonight, it
is long on promises but short on sound premises."
-- On the Contract with America, September 27, 1994 NBC Nightly News.
"During the course of the last two years they have passed the crime
bill, they have made progress on the deficit, they have done things
like the national volunteer service. Do you think that the press has
been too fascinated in Washington and across the country with other
ancillary issues like the feud between the President and some more
conservative members of Congess, like Whitewater and Paula Jones?"
-- After Clinton's news conference, Nov. 9, '94.
"Some see the Simpson trial as symptomatic of the legal system's
failure in this country, and in Washington, the Balanced Budget
Amendment as political cowardice."
-- February 23, 1995 Nightly News.
"A lot of people said [there was] just too much red meat there [in
the speech]. You gave the impression that if you're not a white,
heterosexual, Christian, anti-abortion, anti-environment, you're
somehow not welcome in the Republican Party."
-- Tom Brokaw to Pat Buchanan, August 18, 1992.
"There are many people in the Republican Party who believe that the
Repub- lican National Convention in Houston, at which you were a
prominent part, was simply too extreme, too strident in its positions,
and they cite your speech and Pat Buchanan's speech as well."
-- To Pat Robertson, election night 1992.
former Time White House Reporter
and Deputy Washington Bureau Chief;
panelist on CNN's Capital Gang
"As much as we try to think otherwise, when you're covering someone
like yourself, and your position in life is insecure, she's [Hillary
Clinton] your mascot. Something in you roots for her. You're rooting
for your team. I try to get that bias out, but for many of us it's
-- Quoted in The Washington Post, March 7, 1994.
"There are many women in the press, and you couldn't have fought the
battles you have fought to get where you are and not find what the
Republicans said about women offensive...It's not possible, you cannot
be that objective. When Marilyn Quayle says that I have given up my
essential nature as a woman and that I don't take care of my family
because I'm working, I cannot help but feel offended by that."
-- In a 1992 Freedom Forum report.
"As the icon of American womanhood, she is the medium through which
the remaining anxieties over feminism are being played out....Perhaps
in addition to the other items on her agenda, Hillary Rodham Clinton
will define for women that magical spot where the important work of the
world and love and children and an inner life all come together. Like
Ginger Rogers, she will do everything her partner does, only backward
and in high heels, and with what was missing in [Lee] Atwater -- a lot
-- May 10, 1993 Time.
"Valentine's Day at the Red Sage restaurant. Even at a romantic
outing, the President can be the date from hell, talking to everyone
but the girl he brung....Finally alone, they have `painted soup' and
the lamb baked in herbed bread. They exchange gifts and touch each
other more in two hours than the Bushes did in four years."
-- On Bill and Hillary, in the June 1993 Vanity Fair.
"What the public now thinks is that the White House, the President,
brought the Republicans back from this extremist program. They really
didn't want that. It was a mistake to think there was a huge mandate
for, you know, poisoning the water, tainting the meat, removing all
-- Capital Gang, April 27, 1996.
Contributing Editor to
Newsweek and former White
House reporter; panelist on the
"[Bush] is about to make matters worse by hauling out Ronald Reagan
at the Republican convention. Reagan has become a symbol of what went
wrong in the '80s. It's like bringing the Music Man back to River City,
a big mistake."
-- On The McLaughlin Group, July 31, 1992.
"Newt Gingrich teaching manners is like Charles Manson teaching non-violence."
-- November 18, 1995 McLaughlin Group.
"First of all, he's [Clinton] the first President to seriously go
after and reduce the deficit. And second, the federal government is now
the smallest it's been since the 1960s."
-- On CNN's Crossfire, January 27, 1995.
"I must say I was struck by the expanse of their chests. They may have to put out their stats."
-- On Clinton and Gore, July 10, 1992 Inside Politics.
"I must say, looking at some of that footage, it looks like the all-beefcake ticket."
-- On Clinton and Gore, July 12, 1992 McLaughlin Group.
"They got more positive coverage on this bus tour than the Beatles
got on their first tour of America. More reporters were oohing and
aahing. It was almost embarrassing. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to
do it until now."
-- Talking about the Clinton-Gore bus tour, July 25, 1992 McLaughlin Group.
"There is no evidence that Bill Clinton has lied. He's done nothing
illegal. He has what I would call the politician's disease. He has
tailored the truth to adapt to the reality of running in a conservative
-- McLaughlin Group, September 12, 1992.
"Clinton is much craftier than George Bush in avoiding the kind of
`Read My Lips' vow that allows no maneuvering room. He can rewrite his
promises to adjust to reality. That opens him to `Slick Willie'
catcalls. It also leaves him the option to do the right thing."
-- In Newsweek, February 8, 1993 issue.
National correspondent for
ABC News; former NBC News
"The onslaught of political and legislative attacks on programs for
the poor and for the young is about to create even bigger problems for
America's troubled inner cities. Just yesterday, Congress killed nearly
$900 million in funding for summer youth jobs programs, a major blow to
disadvantaged inner-city youth and to cities trying to keep young
people occupied and out of trouble."
-- Anchoring ABC's World News Saturday, July 22, 1995.
"The crisp expert on health care who has come here in the past to
argue her case with statistics was nowhere to be found today. Instead,
politicians saw a woman hoping to succeed by appealing to the heart."
-- On Hillary Clinton's testimony before the House on health care, May 4, 1994 World News Tonight.
"[Bush] needed something to appeal to middle class whites, after he
signed that civil rights employment bill last year. Once he signed that
bill, he lost a wedge issue with white working men...Some of these
[family values] issues have racial overtones, such as Bush's support
for welfare reforms which penalize single mothers who continue having
-- On family values, during PBS/NBC coverage of the 1992 Republican convention, Aug. 19.
"If street people were asked today who Scrooge is, some might name
Republican presidential contender Pat Buchanan, who said last night
that the homeless should be restricted to certain areas and that pan
handlers should be locked up if they ignore warnings to stop."
-- December 24, 1991 NBC Nightly News.
Co-host, NBC Today
"I also read, in the many things that have been written about your
son and his childhood, that he used to walk to church alone with a
bible under his arm."
-- To Virginia Kelley, Bill Clinton's mother, July 15, 1992 Today.
"Do you think the American people are not ready for someone who is as accomplished and career-oriented as Hillary Clinton?"
-- To Hillary Clinton, August 24, 1992 Today.
"Some people are very concerned about talk shows...Most of them
around the country have a decidedly conservative bent. The rap that
some people give them is that they reflect the views of a very vocal
minority, the extremists in this country, and don't really reflect the
true nature of political debate in the United States. And, as a matter
of fact, they tend to be quite divisive and sort of have a bad, a
negative impact on the country."
-- To Oliver North, March 13, 1995 Today.
"Speaker Gingrich and company's Contract with America was ultimately
rejected by the majority of Americans and few people believe it was
really behind the GOP sweep of the congressional elections in 1994."
-- To House Minority leader Richard Gephardt, June 24, 1996 Today.
"The school lunch program, by all accounts, has been incredibly
successful, as has the WIC program, and obviously provides good
nutrition for children which is so crucial for development and
education. Since the states won't have to adhere to any federal
guidelines and they can basically do their own thing, aren't you
worried that we're going to go back to the days when Ronald Reagan
suggested that ketchup and relish be designated as vegetables?"
-- To Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-CA), February 22, 1995 Today.
"Do you think that the NRA has contributed to an anti-government
feeling in this country that might lead to incidents like the one that
took place in Oklahoma City?"
-- To Handgun Control Inc.'s Richard Aborn, May 19, 1995.
Co-host, ABC's Prime Time Live;
panelist on This Week with
"A lot of people are afraid of you. They think you're a
bomb-thrower. Worse, you're an intolerant bigot. Speak to them....You
talk about the Clintons as members of the counterculture, the elitists,
the left-wingers. How can you have an accommodation with the President
when you read him out of `the Americans,' as you put it?"
-- Sam Donaldson's questions to Newt Gingrich on This Week with David Brinkley, November 13, 1994.
"Reagan got his taxation program through, which was to cut taxes to
the bone. Mr. Clinton's going to get his program through, which is to
raise taxes to the sky. And let us hope, Cokie, that it doesn't turn
out to have a similar fate. What Reagan did was destroy the economy!"
-- On This Week with David Brinkley, March 28, 1993.
"To what extent, if any, do you think the political rhetoric to
which you just referred, has helped cause a climate in which people
could go in that direction? In other words, the rhetoric which says,
not just against big government, or liberal government, or dishonest
government, but 'I'm against government, government is the enemy?'"
-- To Morris Dees on the Oklahoma City bombing, This Week with David Brinkley, April 23, 1995.
George Will: "The Republican proposal is to increase spending on
medical care 5.4 percent for the next seven years....It is a cut
against projected increases."
Donaldson: "That's right, but that is a cut. May I just, without getting ad hominem here. Not too long ago, the Will family had a welcome addition, a child. So your budget perhaps had to increase to take care of the welcome addition. Yet if it could not increase enough to care for the welcome addition sufficiently, that's cut. That's a cut, you don't seem to recognize this, you or Bill."
-- Exchange about Medicare "cuts", This Week with David Brinkley, May 14, 1995.
National correspondent, ABC
News; former national correspondent,
"Reforming America's health care system will take the work of a master politician. Enter the President's wife."
-- September 28, 1993 Evening News.
"[Governor John] Engler wants the job, he's very conservative, he's
a passionate campaigner, but he may be too conservative to appeal to
the women voters, for example, out there, who are going to have trouble
with a totally conservative Republican ticket."
-- On potential VP choices, March 18, 1996 CBS This Morning.
"Dornan's campaign themes are faith, family, and freedom. He
condemns abortion and homosexuality. Dornan's views are considered
extreme, but in today's increasingly conservative Republican Party,
he's not as far out as he used to be."
-- On Rep. Bob Dornan (R-CA), April 13, 1995 Evening News.
"Mrs. Clinton's tone was gentle and thoughtful...."
-- About Hillary Clinton's "pretty in pink" press conference, April 22, 1994 CBS Evening News.
"Well, they have a very elaborate plan to pay for this revolution in
health care. It doesn't provide for much new in the way of taxes, just
a sin tax, cigarette tax. They claim the money's going to come from
savings in spending."
-- On the Clinton health plan, CBS This Morning, September 15, 1993.
"Playing what could be the most important role of any First Lady in
history, Hillary Clinton hit the road to sell health care reform today.
Using a mix of motherly compassion and lawyerly toughness, Mrs. Clinton
chatted with average Americans in Minneapolis."
-- September 17, 1993 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."
-- On the federal shutdown, November 16, 1995 CBS Evening News.
National correspondent, ABC
News; former national correspondent,
"From the start, modesty was not his style. Rejecting the House's
gentlemanly ways, he waged such constant guerrilla war against the
Democrats he was attacked for McCarthyism....It's a record filled with
contradictions: the family-values candidate who divorced his ailing
first wife, the avowed enemy of dirty politics who bounced 22 checks at
the House Bank, and runs a big-dollar political action committee that
won't disclose its contributors....Gingrich himself, bombastic and
ruthless, would be the most dramatic change imaginable."
-- November 2, 1994 CBS Evening News.
"There has been some criticism from civil rights leaders that one of
the reasons why there seems to be some apathy is that twelve years of
Republican leadership have kind of made young people feel that there
isn't any hope."
-- Question to U.S. Rep. Gary Franks (R-CT), August 28, 1993 Face the Nation.
"Steve Forbes pitches his flat tax scheme as an economic elixir good
for everything that ails us....It's the kind of optimistic message
people want to believe. But experts have trouble with many of Forbes'
specific promises, like how the flat tax would boost economic
growth....Forbes claims taxes can be lowered without adding to the
deficit....That was called supply-side economics under President
Reagan, less taxes equal more revenue. It didn't work out that
way...Okay, how about Forbes' number one wackiest flat tax promise?"
Forbes: "Parents would have more time to spend with their children, and with each other."
Engberg: "...The fact is, the flat tax is one giant untested theory. One economist suggested that before we risk putting it in, we ought to try it out someplace, like maybe Albania. Eric Engberg, CBS News, Washington."
-- Feb. 8, 1996.
"George Bush's civil rights record is less than pristine. He vetoed
the civil rights bill of 1990 and when he ran for the Senate in '64 he
campaigned against the Civil Rights Act. He built his '88 campaign
around the Willie Horton issue."
-- September 23, 1992 Evening News.
Newsweek Washington bureau
reporter; panelist on CNN's
"There's no doubting that the nation is about to be led by its first sensitive male chief executive. He's the first President to have attended both Lamaze classes and family therapy (as part of his brother's drug rehabilitation.) He can speak in the rhythms and rhetoric of pop psychology and self-actualization. He can search for the inner self while seeking connectedness with the greater whole." -- January 25, 1993 Newsweek.
"The President's claims to budget-cutting fervor has some
plausibility. The deficit is down -- perhaps 40 percent more than had
been predicted, and Clinton vowed to submit a 'tough' budget next week.
In many ways, it will be. He'll propose cutting hundreds of programs
and eliminating dozens of others."
-- February 7, 1994 Newsweek.
"You may recall that Ronald Reagan, on whom Forbes models himself,
said his tax cuts would balance the budget. Instead, they helped add
trillions to the national debt."
-- Fineman and Mark Hosenball, January 29, 1996 Newsweek.
"Clinton is giving the best evidence yet of his approach to
leadership. It's about understanding, not threats; accommodation, not
confrontation; about getting people (or at least Democrats) to sing the
same song. The style is reminiscent of another patient, nonjudgmental
figure given to hugging in public: Barney the Dinosaur."
-- Fineman and Eleanor Clift, August 9, 1993 Newsweek.
"The Oklahoma bombing has illuminated a once dark landscape much
farther afield: a radical fringe of militant gun owners, `hate radio'
talk show hosts, racial extremists, and religious cultists. Their
numbers are small -- and their GOP ties tenuous at best. But their
fervor is influential at the grass roots Republicans call their own."
-- May 8, 1995 Newsweek.
CNN Capitol Hill Reporter
"The House Republican budget bloodletting will infuriate lots of
people. Besides the Medicare cuts, Medicaid, the government health plan
for the poor, loses $184 billion."
-- Inside Politics, May 9, 1995.
"By the end of the week, appropriations subcommittees had taken the
first steps in cutting or eliminating more than $17 billion in
programs, many for the children and poor. They include: housing
assistance, clean water projects, summer youth programs, funding for
drug free schools, education programs, virtually the entire National
Service Corps, and, of course, the school lunch program. President
Clinton decried the cuts as an assault on children."
-- Inside Politics, February 24, 1995.
"Democrats are well aware that Republicans face a furious assault
from angry senior citizens, that they're trying to distract from the
inevitability of Medicare cuts -- stalling."
-- Inside Politics, May 2, 1995.
"Given the polls and your negatives and given the identification of your House of Representatives, by many voters, as extremist and radical. Do you worry that that's going to hurt the Bob Dole candidacy?"
"Do you worry that in fact the voters are also going to perceive you, as many do now as, for instance, enemies of the environment, champions of the big guys versus the small guys?"
"But you also were the party last year where one of your leaders,
Tom DeLay, specifically described the Environmental Protection Agency
in its environmental efforts as a 'Gestapo government?'"
-- Questions to Newt Gingrich, April 21, 1996 Late Edition.
Former co-host of NBC's Today;
former host of MSNBC's
"The tone of your speech yesterday suggested that Republican motives
for many of the actions they are taking are quite suspect. Do you sense
a mean spirit on Capitol Hill under Speaker Gingrich?"
-- To Al Gore, April 4, 1995.
"You called Gingrich and his ilk, your words, `trickle-down
terrorists who base their agenda on division, exclusion, and fear.' Do
you think middle-class Americans are in need of protection from that
-- To House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, January 4, 1995 Today.
"Like Truman, Clinton has a long list of achievements that he can
point to -- including a robust economy, a crime bill, NAFTA, GATT. How
did Truman ultimately win credit for what he was doing?"
-- To Truman biographer David McCullough, December 12, 1995 Today.
"Republicans are looking to gut the Clean Water Act and also the
Safe Drinking Water Act. What are our options? Are we now forced to
boil water because bottled water is not an economically feasible option
for a lot of people?"
-- To NRDC lawyer Erik Olson, June 1, 1995 Today.
"We've got an awful lot to talk about this week, including the
sexual harassment suit against the President. Of course, in that one,
it's a little tough to figure out who's really being harassed."
-- Today, May 10, 1994.
"Do you give Bill Clinton credit for addressing serious issues that
went un- touched for 12 years -- deficit reduction, gun control, world
trade, health care? He has certainly taken on tough questions, and made
them not a question of if, but how much."
-- To Mother Jones Editor Jeffrey Klein, January 7, 1994.
"You're aligned to a party which owes many of its victories to the
so-called religious right and other conservative extremists who are
historically insensitive to minority concerns. That doesn't bother you?"
-- To Republican U. S. Rep.-elect J.C. Watts (R-OK), November 9, 1994.
Executive Washington Editor of
The Wall Street Journal; panelist
on CNN's Capital Gang
"What this Contract [with America] says is you can have hot fudge
sundae for every meal and still lose weight. It's a fraud and there's a
whole lot of Republicans who already are starting to forget where they
were September 27."
-- CNN's Capital Gang, October 1, 1994.
"I would hope that, ultimately, the public would reject an agenda
that rewards the most affluent, and ignores those most in need. But I
must tell you, if you want me to take a look at this election -- I have
to tell you that without a Ronald Reagan at the top of the ticket, this
may well prove to be a seminal election...I'm saddened."
-- On the Republican takeover of the House and Senate, November 12, 1994 Capital Gang.
"This is some of the greatest redistribution of income I've ever
seen, from have-nots to the haves...This is enough to put Robin Hood to
-- On the Republican plan to cut spending and taxes, March 18, 1995 Capital Gang.
"There was a `Stand for Children' march in Washington today, joining
people from all over the country who care about kids. But politically
inspired right-wingers have assailed this gathering as a radical group,
intent on expanding the role of government. In fact, the group includes
the Girl Scouts, the American Academy of Pediatricians, and the Junior
League. Only the self-centered, loony right-wing would consider groups
like this, in support for disadvantaged kids, as radical."
-- Outrage of the Week, June 1, 1996 Capital Gang.
"Let me go to the minimum wage though for a minute...Ten million
people would be affected by it. Most of them live at or below the
poverty level. And this Congress which is trying to cut the Earned
Income Tax Credit, which conservatives used to tell us was the
alternative, and refuses to do anything about the minimum wage makes
Marie Antoinette look like Mother Teresa. It is just an outrage!"
-- March 30, 1996 edition of CNN's Capital Gang.
National Correspondent for NBC News
"But you said a minute ago you're not sure what the religious, what
the right-wing is anymore, and there's this so-called religious right.
Isn't it a question, isn't the line mostly a question of tolerance and
-- To Senator Bob Dole, July 17, 1994 CBS Face the Nation.
"Buchanan can hit a hot button from a mile away. America First is a
theme that plays well against middle class fears, and it treads a fine
line between the politics of resentment and outright demagoguery."
-- NBC Nightly News, February 21, 1996.
"There's a war being waged within the Republican party as
conservatives fight among themselves over pushing their party even
further to the right...."
-- NBC Nightly News, April 13, 1995.
"Well, one of the problem spots is the same place where George Bush
had a problem spot and that's Pat Buchanan, who might not be able to
beat Bob Dole, but he can certainly shape the race, he can stake out
the absolutely most extreme positions and actually get people to
support him. He didn't do so poorly in Florida, considering the fact
that he didn't really work very hard."
-- On problems Bob Dole faces in the GOP primaries, December 1, 1995 PBS Washington Week In Review.
Anchor, ABC's World News Tonight
"He's become a little more disciplined, Bill Clinton, but you know
he loves a crowd. And he has, don't want to get carried away here, but
he has the kind of hands that people respond to."
-- ABC's 1992 convention coverage.
"Next week on ABC's World News Tonight, a series of reports
about our environment which will tell you precisely what the new
Congress has in mind: the most frontal assault on the environment in 25
years. Is this what the country wants?"
-- Narrating a July 9, 1995 promo.
"I'd like to start, if I may, with what I think you may think is a puzzlement. You've reduced the deficit. You've created jobs. Haiti hasn't been an enormous problem. You've got a crime bill with your assault weapon ban in it. You got NAFTA, you got GATT, and 50 percent of the people don't want you to run again. Where's the disconnect there?"
"...Here's another one. In our poll today, the absolute critical
items for Congress to address. Number one, cutting the deficit. Number
two, health care reform. The two issues which were absolute priorities
for two years, and you don't get any credit for them?"
-- Interviewing President Clinton, January 5, 1995 World News Tonight.
"Some thoughts on those angry voters. Ask parents of any
two-year-old and they can tell you about those temper tantrums: the
stomping feet, the rolling eyes, the screaming. It's clear that the
anger controls the child and not the other way around. It's the job of
the parent to teach the child to control the anger and channel it in a
positive way. Imagine a nation full of uncontrolled two-year-old rage.
The voters had a temper tantrum last week....Parenting and governing
don't have to be dirty words: the nation can't be run by an angry
-- In his daily ABC Radio commentary, November 14, 1994.
"I think most people will regard this certainly as an enormous effort by Mrs. Clinton to set the record straight as she can."
-- After Hillary Clinton's "pretty in pink" press conference April 22, 1994.
NBC News White House
"Dole had been invited speak to the [NAACP] convention yesterday,
but declined. He claimed he was already committed to campaigning and
the All-Star baseball game. To those at this convention, this was quite
a stretch and an insult to African-American voters....By not showing up
here, Bob Dole may reinforce those racial divides along party lines and
fuel the anxiety among some Republicans that in this presidential
campaign, Bob Dole might not be up to the challenge."
-- July 10, 1996 NBC Nightly News.
"He's called the Prince of Darkness. A darling of the ultra-right,
he's been a rabid attack dog against anything liberal. But this time
even he may have gone too far. In a newspaper interview, Senator Jesse
Helms says if President Clinton visits North Carolina, he'd `better
watch out' and `bring a bodyguard.' President Clinton took the high
ground....Critics call him a bigot, sexist, and homophobe and he seems
to wear it like a badge of honor."
-- Today, November 23, 1994.
"Meanwhile, the Republican Party itself has to regroup. During the
campaign, Republicans lost their identity as the party of less
government and fiscal restraint, and gained the reputation as the party
of intolerance and exclusion."
-- Today, November 11, 1992.
PBS Omnipresence; NBC
News reporter and host of
"Big winners won this round -- corporations, investors, people with
high incomes, including yours truly....But every good deal carries
trade-offs and here are some to this tax bill. One, it invites the
return of mischievous tax shelters that distort the economy. Two, you
can't be sure of its results. The 1981 tax cuts were followed by the
biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Three, by
encouraging consumption over savings the tax bill risks inflation.
Four, it stirs sleeping cynics. How come so many tax breaks are
proposed for wealthy individuals and corporations who've been pouring
money into party coffers at the rate of $123,000 a day?"
-- April 6, 1995 NBC Nightly News commentary on the Republican tax cut proposal.
"They're angry now that, most of the people who were killed were
connected, in one way or the other, to the federal government. They
thought of themselves as public servants. Then politicians and talk
radio turned them into faceless bureaucrats, and finally the terrorists
turned them into victims, and they're angry."
-- Promoting April 12, 1996 Dateline NBC on Oklahoma City bombing victims.
"Gingrich uses words as if they were napalm bombs...He sent
conservative candidates a long list of words to smear their opponents
-- words like `sick,' `pathetic,' `traitors,' `corrupt,' `anti-family,'
`disgrace.' With talk radio quoting it all back to us, our political
landscape is a toxic dump."
-- March 7, 1995 NBC Nightly News.
"A majority of people say they don't like what they're learning
about this Contract. They know the difference between reforming the
welfare state and replacing it with the corporate state....Some of this
stuff...could only get through hidden in the hubcaps of a juggernaut."
-- On Gingrich, March 23, 1995 NBC Nightly News.
Anchor of the
CBS Evening News
"The new Republican majority in Congress took a big step today on
its legislative agenda to demolish or damage government aid programs,
many of them designed to help children and the poor."
-- March 16, 1995 CBS Evening News.
"Democrats and Republicans in Congress late today came close to
actual physical blows over proposed cuts in Medicare. That's the
separate U.S. government health care coverage for 37 million older
Americans of all income levels. There's no doubt that Medicare spending
will be cut. The question is how much and for how many."
-- September 20, 1995.
"This is just for starters on a tough week ahead for President
Clinton and his agenda. From another offensive wave on Whitewater to a
sweeping rollback of federal regulations on health, safety, and the
environment, it's a political carpet-bombing attack, wall to wall,
House to Senate."
-- July 17, 1995.
"If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham
Clinton have been in the White House, we'd take it right now and walk
away winners...Thank you very much and tell Mrs. Clinton we respect her
and we're pulling for her."
-- Via satellite to President Clinton about his new on-air partnership with Connie Chung at a CBS affiliates meeting, May 27, 1993.
"This woman has gotten a very bad rap, Hillary Clinton. It is true
that she's smart. She didn't go to school just to eat her lunch."
-- During CBS News 1992 election night coverage.
"President Clinton will outline his version of a plan he says will
balance the federal budget in ten years without what Mr. Clinton sees
as a radical and extremist Republican plan to gut programs that help
the old, the young, and the poor in order to bankroll tax giveaways to
the rich. Republicans, of course, see it a different way."
-- Before CBS News coverage of President Clinton's budget address, June 13, 1995.
Reporter, New York Daily News;
panelist on PBS's Washington Week
in Review; former Senior Writer,
U.S. News & World Report
"One of the interesting things about Newt Gingrich is to become
Speaker without running in a national election. This is almost like a
parliamentary system where he ran in one small borough, and then
because his party won the majority, he becomes a national figure. So
it's an oddity that we're not used to in this system."
-- Washington Week in Review, Jan. 6, 1995.
"An awful lot of people, Cal, decided during the Reagan years that
this could be done painlessly. Remember Ronald Reagan, your old buddy,
he used to say, you know, `All you've got to do is cut waste, fraud,
and abuse, cut welfare, cut foreign aid,' and that's how you would
solve the problem. Reaganism never involved pain for God-fearing,
taxpaying, hard-working middle Americans. Now, finally, the Reagan
fantasy is coming face to face with reality."
-- On CNBC's Cal Thomas show, May 16, 1995.
"The Republicans, for 25 years, have seldom avoided the temptation
to play the race card politically in this country. It goes back to the
'60s, when Richard Nixon ran as a law-and-order President. In the '70s,
Ronald Reagan, and the late '70s, he ran for President in 1980 talking
about welfare queens, associating the Great Society programs with
minorities, and with waste, and with crime in the streets. There has
been a consistent impulse, Willie Horton was just a continuation of
that, to use this issue to divide people."
-- Washington Week in Review, May 8, 1992.
"In the Republican convention of '92, the message was not inclusive,
it was exclusive. It wasn't a unifying idea, it was a wedge idea, it
was dividing people, it was much more self-righteous. When Marilyn
Quayle got up and said, basically condemned women who out to work, you
know, I had the picture sitting there in the hall and thinking, all of
these women sitting there about to go to work in their beauty parlors
and their offices saying, `Thanks a whole lot, Marilyn, if I were
married to, you know, an heir of a newspaper fortune, I'd like to stay
home too, but I can't afford to, I've got to go out and work.'"
-- During September 7, 1994 panel discussion carried by C-SPAN.
CBS News Capitol Hill
reporter, host of Face the Nation
and anchor of the CBS Evening
News on Saturday
"The Republicans on the Whitewater committee apparently leaked a
report... that First Lady Hillary Clinton, upon learning of the death
of White House counsel Vince Foster, dispatched her trusted lieutenants
to contain any political embarrassment or political damage that might
arise on the night of his death. That's a very harsh, that's a very
harsh assessment it seems to me. Democrats on the committee apparently
have not even seen the draft of the report yet. They say it's
outrageous that the committee could come to this kind of a conclusion
without even interviewing the First Lady."
-- To Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, June 16, 1996 Face the Nation.
"Well, they've done it again. Nine days from Christmas, Republicans
have forced another partial shutdown of the government because they
cannot come to an agreement with the White House on how to balance the
-- CBS Evening News, December 16, 1995.
Bob Schieffer: "I simply must challenge you, you're not saying the Democrats are not religious?"
Lott: "No, but I'm saying they seem to have a religious intolerance, they seem to be saying that people of religious faith should not be involved, that's what upsets me."
Schieffer: "I don't believe I've ever heard that. I'm not here to be a spokesman for the Democratic party by any stretch of the imagination, I mean they wouldn't have me, but I don't believe I've heard anyone say that."
-- CBS Face the Nation, September 10, 1995.
"She came, she saw, she wowed them. It was standing room
only...Seldom referring to notes, she argued that much of the system is
broken and must be fixed. There seemed to be no detail she did not
know, no criticism she had not considered....All sides agreed it was a
boffo performance. Republicans were impressed. Democrats just loved it."
-- On Hillary Clinton testifying before Congress about health care, September 28, 1993 Evening News.
CNN anchor in Washington;
co-anchor of Inside Politics
"Question to you, Bob Squier. Have the Republicans pulled a snow job
on the American voters by making them believe Bill Clinton has raised
-- CNN anchor Bernard Shaw on Inside Politics, July 19, 1994.
"What do you say to people who say that you are an extremist, that
you're a right-winger, that you're a nut, that you're a bomb thrower?"
-- To U.S. Rep. Bob Dornan (R-CA) on Inside Politics, April 12, 1995.
"Speaking of shooting, has the tide gone so much against the
National Rifle Association that, at last, you members of Congress will
pass federal hand gun control?"
-- To Senators Bob Dole and George Mitchell, September 7, 1993.
"Very frankly, I am very puzzled by one paragraph, one sentence in
the Vice President's speech on page six. In a very petulant voice, and
listen to the words: he said, `To Governor Clinton I say this: America
is the greatest nation in the world and that's one thing you're not
going to change.' Implying that Clinton is some kind of guerrilla,
saboteur, or what have you. That's my reaction to that line Ken Bode, I
don't know about you. It implies something that, it seems that he's
saying you're not as American as I am, your blood is not as red as
-- After VP Quayle's convention speech, August 20, 1992.
"Two years ago the American voters gave Bill Clinton a mandate for
change. He went to Washington, sought to create change. He had internal
problems with his staff, he had external problems. There were questions
about his personality, his character, et cetera. But I don't think
anyone can question that this man and his staff sought what was best
for the United States. Tonight, it is clear voters coast to coast in
this country have said `We want a change.' Now Republicans had voted
this Democrat to be virtually, or described him as a monster. My
question is essentially this: Where did he go wrong? What did he do so
wrong that was against the American body politic, considering that he
loves this country as much as you and I do?"
-- To Pat Buchanan during 1994 election night coverage.
Co-host of Dateline NBC
"Hillary Rodham Clinton, here in this studio, she'll be here to talk about her new book, which is really terrific actually..."
-- Substitute hosting Today, January 16, 1996.
"In the book, one of the chapters of the book, you said the most important thing we can give a child is a shovel and I want to ask you to explain that in a second, but you also quote a letter in there that Nelson Mandela wrote to one of his daughters while he was in prison, and I'm paraphrasing a bit, but he wrote that there is no personal misfortune that one cannot turn into a personal triumph if one has the iron will and the necessary skills. You clearly have an iron will, you clearly are skilled. How are you going to turn this personal misfortune into a personal triumph?"
"You think government should do a lot more than it's doing in terms
of making children a priority, doing things for kids. We're clearly
living in an age where people are anti-government. How do you get
across the message that we all need to see everybody's kids as our own,
we need to have more programs, the government needs to be more
-- Questions to Hillary Clinton, January 16, 1996 Today.
"You place the responsibility for the death of your daughter
squarely at the feet of the Reagan Administration. Do you believe that
they're responsible for that?"
-- To AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser during 1992 GOP convention.
"Craig, we were talking about family values. That is the theme here.
A lot of people are saying, by the Republicans saying that as the theme
of their campaign, they're really excluding everybody but the people
who fit into the traditional nuclear family, the `Ozzie and Harriet'
image...People also want to know where in this big image do people who
are single mothers, who are blacks, who are people on welfare, who are
homosexuals -- they don't seem to be included in this `family
values'!...But they do [feel excluded]!"
-- To Bush adviser Craig Fuller, PBS convention special, August 19, 1992.
Newsweek Washington Bureau
Chief; panelist on Inside Washington
"She [Hillary] is really convinced that the right wing is incredibly
well-organized, and there is kind of a hate campaign going on in this
country that is, is deeply and well-organized, and it poses a real
threat to government and the Clinton's personally. And I mean, she may
-- Inside Washington, August 13, 1994.
"Look, America is in a heartless mood. They would throw all those
babies in the snow if they could. We will see how they feel after it
happens, but the impulse right now is to just take away all their
benefits and kick them out. Now, four years from now, after people are
dying in the streets, we'll have a different debate."
-- Inside Washington, November 19, 1994.
"Yes, the case is being fomented by right-wing nuts, and yes, she is
not a very credible witness, and it's really not a law case at
all...some sleazy woman with big hair coming out of the trailer
parks...I think she's a dubious witness, I really do."
-- On Paula Jones, Inside Washington, May 7, 1994.
"And to many women, Hillary Clinton is not a cold-eyed conspirator
but a martyr. Last week, 1,200 professional women clambered into a
$250,000 fundraiser for the Democratic Party in Boston to see Hillary
speak. Women teetered on high heels standing on precarious plastic
folding chairs to catch a glimpse of the First Lady as she worked the
crowd. Is there anything to Whitewater? `Noooo, she's just being bashed
by the press,' said Joan McGrath, a retired telephone worker. Why? `A
lot of people don't like a strong woman.' To voters like McGrath,
Hillary looks just the way she does to her philosopher friend, Dr.
Houston -- as a Joan of Arc figure, persecuted for her righteous
-- In the July 1, 1996 Newsweek.
"Who has played the politics of paranoia better in this country in
the last twenty or thirty years? Answer? Republican
Party...Politically, starting with Richard Nixon in 1968, the
Republicans have very skillfully exploited fear."
-- Inside Washington, April 29, 1995.
National Public Radio and
ABC News reporter; panelist
on Inside Washington
"The Republicans have no shame at all. Bob Dole, for example, bailed
out the Reagan administration in 1982 by restoring a lot of the tax
money that had been lopped off. We'd probably have a five-times-higher
deficit otherwise, and this `Contract with America' is nothing but
gimmicks and silly stuff, and nobody can govern with it."
-- Inside Washington, October 1, 1994.
"I think he ought to be worried about what's going on in the Good
Lord's mind, because if there is retributive justice, he'll get AIDS
from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it."
-- Reacting to Senator Jesse Helms' claim that the government spends disproportionately on AIDS research, July 8, 1995 Inside Washington.
"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
-- Inside Washington, November 18, 1995.
"In practice, personally, I think it will destroy the future
competitiveness and security of the country, in terms of education,
infrastructure, and medical practice as we know it today."
-- On the balanced budget amendment, May 13, 1995 Inside Washington.
"I think in some ways this is the natural payback from a Republican
Party that has flirted too much with code words and Willie Horton-type
ads, and when you incite that kind of feeling, don't be surprised when
it comes up and hits you in the face."
-- About racists linked to Pat Buchanan, February 24, 1996 Inside Washington.
NBC News White House
reporter; anchor of NBC Nightly
News on Saturday; anchor of
MSNBC's The News with Brian
"A passionate and out-of-character defense of animals produced our
Moment of the Week this week. It was Thursday on the floor of the House
of Representatives. In the midst of a week that saw close to $10
billion in proposed cuts, House Speaker Newt Gingrich suddenly rose in
defense of a comparatively tiny $800,000. But the cause was apparently
dear to him, preserving endangered animals....Humans, however, didn't
fare that well: funding for the National Endowment for the Arts was
voted out of existence in two years."
-- Anchoring NBC Nightly News, July 15, 1995.
"The religious right is continuing a political offensive it started
a few years ago but there is a growing number of religious people who
find the conservative agenda offensive. NBC'S Bob Abernethy tonight on
the fight of who speaks for whom."
-- NBC Nightly News, May 20, 1995.
"Also here in Washington, there was a rare late-night session for
some in Congress in the effort to make a deal and avoid an impasse on
Medicare. It involved a Republican-led effort in the Senate Finance
Committee to make what some have labelled unkind cuts to trim a
troubled program. In the end the cuts were approved, our report tonight
from NBC's Cassandra Clayton on Capitol Hill."
-- NBC Nightly News, September 30, 1995.
"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...."
-- CBS's Late Late Show, November 17, 1995.
"The politics of Campaign '96 are getting very ugly, very early.
Today Bob Dole accused the White House of using the FBI to wage war
against its political enemies, and if that sounds like another
political scandal, that's the point."
-- On the FBI files, June 8, 1996 Nightly News.
Washington Post reporter;
panelist on CNN's Capital Gang
"It seems to me that you have angry white men here, sort of in their
natural state, and you know, gone berserk...This is the essence of the
angry white men taken to some extreme, some fanatic extreme, and I will
grant you that. But it's the same kind of idea that has fueled so much
of the right-wing triumph over the agenda here in Washington."
-- After Oklahoma City, CNN's Capital Gang, April 23, 1995.
"When you look at the reality of cutting people off, of saying you
can't have more benefits if you have children while you are on welfare,
you're talking about putting children on the street who are hungry and
naked, and that's a sin."
-- Capital Gang, March 25, 1995.
"I am absolutely stunned. I mean, it sounds like to me that you're
telling a bedtime story. It sounds like you're a conspiracy theorist. I
mean you're just looking for anything to dredge up to say, 'Oh the
Clinton people are bad folks and Bob Dole, you know, elect Bob
Dole....Look it's not good!....Right, but it also happens to be the
case that they are the White House and there was a legitimate reason
for them to try to get their files in order."
-- On the FBI files in White House hands, Capital Gang Sunday, June 9, 1996.
"You [Frank Luntz] want the American people to trust Newt Gingrich,
who would quickly slash away that safety net, who would really say that
our children don't need this kind of protection and who, as Celinda
[Lake] just pointed out, was absolutely behaving badly when he told his
wife who was in the hospital, look this is it, I'm out of here."
-- Crossfire, June 30, 1996.
"Welcome to the Hall of Shame, Congressman Steve Chabot of Ohio.
Chabot this week called the National Endowment for the Humanities a
`boondoggle' while leading the House to cut the NEH budget by 40
percent. The House also cut funding for the Smithsonian, the Kennedy
Center, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. These are the prize
jewels of our national culture."
-- Capital Gang Sunday, July 23, 1995.
CNN anchor and co-anchor of
"March madness has begun on Capitol Hill, and almost as predictable
as a B horror film, the slashing has begun. House Republicans have made
a small down payment on their plan to make massive budget cuts."
-- March 16, 1995 Inside Politics.
"Coming up, Republicans in Congress get the ball rolling in their plan to slash federal spending. We'll see how the Democrats are reacting to planned cuts in some popular programs."
"We're in Columbus, Georgia, but back in Washington on Capitol Hill,
the Republican push for a slash in federal spending is picking up
steam. CNN's Bob Franken has the latest on the Republican plan to cut
federal spending, including some popular programs."
-- CNN Inside Politics, February 24, 1995.
"Americans tend not to be too enthusiastic about having their taxes
raised again....But if the American people aren't going to accept it,
if the politicians don't have the courage to raise taxes, what are we
facing down the road?"
-- Interviewing Paul Samuelson, March 10, 1992 MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour.
"The Clinton budget goes to Capitol Hill, and from the President on
down, the administration goes all out to defend one of the tightest
fiscal proposals in memory."
-- Beginning Inside Politics, February 7, 1994.
"But I guess I still don't understand what bringing up draft dodging
and some of the other points you made has to do with this election?"
-- To Marilyn Quayle, August 20, 1992 MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour on PBS.
ABC News national
"In Nashville today, at a family conference, Mrs. Clinton put a
humorous spin on the story....Still no one has challenged the account
in Woodward's book of the First Lady's imaginary conversations in the
White House, last year, with Mrs. Roosevelt. No one including Jean
Houston, the self-styled counselor, who suggested it and was
there...The unwritten subtext here, of course, is that even here at the
end of the 20th century there is a political price to be paid for those
in public life who seek help for their private problems. Jim Wooten,
ABC News, Washington."
-- ABC's World News Tonight, June 24, 1996.
"That's the ticket. Not a liberal in sight and that's the picture Clinton wants the convention to leave with the country. Democrats happily moving from their liberal past to their centrist future..."
"So Clinton and his moderates have captured the Democratic party for
the moment. How they managed it over the next four days will have a lot
to say with whether they can keep it. Peter."
-- On the 1992 Democratic convention, July 13, 1992 World News Tonight.
"There may be some small points here and there that Clinton might
have preferred not be there [in the platform] and some others that he
might have preferred would be there that aren't there. But basically he
wants to move the party back toward the middle. He's comfortable there
and he believes that that's where most Americans are. So what you've
got in this convention is Clinton and the moderates doing what McGovern
and the liberals did twenty years ago. They've taken over the
convention; they took over the platform process, the rules process,
they've moved the party. In turns of its image, at least, on paper and
what we've been seeing on television here in the convention hall for
the last few days, they have moved the party, picked it up and moved it
back toward the center. It depends on Clinton and Al Gore as to whether
or not they can sell that to the country..."
-- Good Morning America, July 15, 1992.