The Best of Notable Quotables; December 20, 1993

Vol. Six; No. 26

Dumbest Quote of the Year

“Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”

Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf, February 1 news story.


“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.”

Newsweek reporters Howard Fineman and Eleanor Clift, August 9.

“If either of the two [Madonna or Michael Jackson] is the logical heir to Marilyn Monroe, it is clearly Michael Jackson, who is the more bruised and authentically vulnerable of the two....Not only is he black and white, male and female, but also young and old, hip and square, the crotch-grabbing self-appointed guardian of the world’s children.”

MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour essayist Anne Taylor Fleming, April 7.

“Roger [Clinton]’s life is in some ways the story of any younger sibling clobbered by the spectacular success of the one who came before. The presidential brother syndrome. If your brother is Christ, you have a choice: become a disciple, or become an anti-christ, or find yourself caught somewhere between the two.”

Washington Post reporter Laura Blumenfeld, January 24 “Style” section story.


Post-Balloting Entry for Dumbest Question of the Year

Reporter Nina Totenberg: “Have you ever cried over these cases?”
Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun: “Have I ever what?”
Totenberg: “Have you ever cried over them?”
Blackmun: “No.”

– Exchange about capital punishment cases on ABC’s Nightline, November 18.


Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig, Kristin Johnson, Steve Kaminski, Mark Rogers; Media Analysts