Notable Quotables - 01/01/1996


Beyond Pathetic

"Monuments and national parks are shut. So are museums. A long-awaited rare exhibit of the Dutch painter Vermeer at the National Gallery, eight years in the making, is closed. And the shutdown now has a human face. Joe Skattleberry and his wife Lisa both work for the government. Both have been furloughed. They can't afford a Christmas tree."
- ABC reporter Jack Smith, December 22 World News Tonight, the fifth day of the shutdown.

Dan Rather: All Dork, All the Time

"I'm all news, all the time. Full power, tall tower. I want to break in when news breaks out. That's my agenda. Now respectfully, when you start talking about a liberal agenda and all the, quote, liberal bias in the media, I quite frankly, and I say this respectfully but candidly to you, I don't know what you're talking about. Now if you want to talk about an issue, what do I believe as a citizen of the United States of America, I can tell you what I believe in. I believe in a strong defense, clean water, and tight money. Now whatever that makes me politically, that's what I am. What I don't like, and if you want to see my neck swell or the hair begin to rise on the back of my neck, is to be tagged by someone else's label. I try really hard not to do that with other people, particularly people who are in public service and politics."
- Dan Rather to talk radio host Mike Rosen of KOA in Denver, November 28.

Reality Check:
"It is not just Congress that is taking a sharp turn to the right. The surge to the right on Capitol Hill is making waves all over the country on openly politically partisan and sometimes racist radio."
- Rather, January 4, 1995 CBS Evening News.

"While others in the GOP pack are running as Mr. Right or Mr. Far Right, Senator Lugar is stressing his foreign policy expertise."
- Rather on the March 3, 1995 CBS Evening News.

"Even after Oklahoma City, you can turn on your radio in any city and still dial up hate talk: extremist, racist, and violent rhetoric from the host and those who call in."
- Rather, April 27, 1995 CBS Evening News.

"Powell did say he is planning to be active in Republican politics, a shot at the party's hard right."
- Rather, November 8, 1995 CBS Evening News.

Seething Hatred for Tax Cuts

"We're all deficit hawks here. Let's scrap the tax cut. Let us not have ice cream before the spinach because we have to take so much more spinach in as a result of these tax cuts. I thought one of Clinton's worst moments was proposing his tax cut back in December. It was a weak one, and it didn't really get him anything and it looked like a copycat crime more or less."
- Time columnist Margaret Carlson on CNBC's Tim Russert, December 5.

"If there is going to be a deal since both sides have tax cuts on the table, I'm afraid we'll end up with some tax cut, even though that's the last thing we need when we're trying to fix the deficit."
- Time contributing writer Matt Miller on C-SPAN's Sunday Journal, December 10.

"Is it too much to ask this: That both sides spare us those declarations about how the government must start operating like a family with a financial problem. Because what family, with more bills to pay than money to pay them...would say, `Even though we have to cut back, let's take what money we can scrape together now and give ourselves a big gift.' But that's exactly what both sides are saying when they propose a major tax cut."
- CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer in an end-of-show commentary, December 17.

Enid vs. Hillary

"If you look at what was written about her when she was campaigning, it talks about how detail-oriented and meticulous and forceful she was, and how she campaigned on an issue of personal responsibility, as well as family values, and attacked her opponent - a very vicious campaign. All of those chickens are coming home to roost, and I don't know whether she was blinded by love or by ambition, she saw that money coming and she said `Come right in here'....She's either a greedy fool or a stupid fool, but people don't want their Congressperson to be either one."
- Time Washington reporter Elaine Shannon on Rep. Enid Waldholtz's financial and legal troubles over husband Joe on PBS's To The Contrary, December 16.


"I believe her story that it was smarts and luck and some good advice. Who of us at the age of 30 hasn't taken a few risks, and I wish my risks had been that successful...Of course, maybe she took some advice of some people who later ran into legal problems in terms of lawsuits, but I think all of us may have done that at one time or another. You can't be responsible for the lives of every broker and banker you ever run across."
- Shannon on Hillary Clinton's $100,000 cattle futures profit, Fox Morning News on March 31, 1994.


Vietnam Doves Turn Bosnia Hawks

"I think Vietnam was a paper tiger that we were fighting over there. I think this is more justified."
- Newsweek contributor Eleanor Clift, December 2 McLaughlin Group.


Too Many Conservatives

"Senator Mark Hatfield, Representative Pat Schroeder, leaving the Congress, joining others like Bill Bradley and Sam Nunn. Drowned out by the sound of one hand clapping, and they are all right hands. On the other hand, there's Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone from Minnesota. He calls himself a liberal progressive, and he's a lonely voice in the Senate of Bob Dole and Phil Gramm. What happened to the opposition? To the whole idea of opposition in America?"
- ABC reporter John Hockenberry's essay, December 3 Good Morning America.


NPR's Christmas Wish

"The Rapture, and I quote, `is the immediate departure from this Earth of over four million people in less than a fifth of a second,' unquote. This happily-volatilized mass of the saved were born again in Jesus Christ. Everybody left behind will basically go to Hell, but not before experiencing Armageddon, which is a really bad end of the world. If you find yourself in this situation, there isn't much you can do except one, starve yourself, and two, get your head cut off. This loving Christmas message coming as it did amid the jingle of the mall Santa and the twinkling manger at the corner of Canal and the Ramparts made it clear that the Rapture is indeed necessary. The evaporation of four million people who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place."
- New Orleans-based National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu, December 19 All Things Considered.


David Brinkley Scolds Paula Zahn

Cal Thomas: "Could you get away, for example, with asking a question like this, that was recently asked by a major network anchor of Pat Buchanan, who happened to be the guest on the program: `You've got political enemies calling you an isolationist, a bigot, you're anti-gay, and some even go so far as saying your social stands are reminiscent of Nazi Germany.' Now that's the kind of ideologically loaded stuff that turns a lot of people off, isn't it?
David Brinkley: "That is so loaded, it's overloaded, and it destroys itself in its own excess. Nobody would ever take that question seriously. I wouldn't even bother to answer it."
- December 7 exchange on CNBC's Cal Thomas about CBS This Morning co-host Paula Zahn's July 5 question to Buchanan, a quote which appeared in the Best Notable Quotables of 1995.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Gesele Rey, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager; Gene Eliasen; Intern