Notable Quotables - 01/03/1994


Talk About a Media Bias Conspiracy...

"The American Spectator broke the story, as Gwen mentioned, because they're a very right-wing ideological publication....What really happened was there was a conspiracy, in my opinion, by right-wingers, including some right-wing journalists, to press this newspaper [the Los Angeles Times] into running this story before it was ready to, trying to get it out, and so they spread the rumor all around town that I had threatened to resign if it did run...I know one of the guys who was spreading it: Brit Hume of ABC, who covers the White House, who writes for The American Spectator. I know there's another conservative journalist who covers the White House, Fred Barnes, who's on the editorial board of The American Spectator...So they were all promoting this story."
- Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau Chief Jack Nelson on PBS' Washington Week in Review, December 24.


Demeaning David Brock

"One of my losers of the year is David Brock, who wrote that slimy magazine article that revived all those charges about Bill Clinton's personal behavior, and I regarded that as journalism which is truly out of bounds."
- PBS Washington Week in Review moderator Paul Duke, December 31.

"About the only individual man who gets seriously bloodied in Fire With Fire is David Brock, whose screed The Real Anita Hill is reexamined, persuasively, as a closet study of its author's political castration fantasies."
- New York Times Magazine columnist Frank Rich on feminist Naomi Wolf's new book, December 19.


Defending the Clintons

"When the American people hired Bill Clinton for this job, they knew he was no saint. He virtually told them he was a sinner. It's not at all clear to me that the Clintons did anything illegal or even improper at Whitewater. But because of the records they haven't turned over, there remain questions and there may remain questions forever. This is the kind of thing that's never resolved 100 percent."
- NPR reporter Nina Totenberg on Inside Washington, December 25.

"It runs counter to the notion about the Clintons, somehow the fact that they are somehow in this for personal or financial gain, doesn't ring true....The Brock article appears in a publication with very ideological leanings of the conservative persuasion. It is full of innuendo and bias."
- Newsweek reporter Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, December 25.

"I suspect that as long as the peccadilloes remain within reason, the American people will have great tolerance for a president who has not only seen the sunshine of Oxford, but also the dusky Dunkin' Donuts of the soul."
- Newsweek Senior Writer Joe Klein, January 3.


Excusing the Menendez Brothers

"It seems to me we really don't believe in bad seeds anymore much in this country. We think there are psychiatric reasons, biological reasons for a lot of behaviors. So I keep saying to him, why doesn't the law begin to acknowledge that basically people are not entirely responsible for the things they do if they were victimized in the past?"
- ABC's Diane Sawyer to Professor Arthur Miller, December 15 Good Morning America.

"Handsome, but vulnerable enough to cry on the witness stand; rich, but facing an early death in the gas chamber, 25-year-old Lyle and his 23-year-old brother are the prototypical defendants of the Age of Recovery: people who kill as a cry for help."
- Newsweek Senior Editor Jerry Adler, December 20.


Miss Clueless

"A liberal bias? I don't know what a liberal bias is. Do you mean we care about the poor, the sick, and the maimed? Do we care whether people are being shot every day on the streets of America? If that's liberal, so be it. I think it's everything that's good in life - that we do care. And also for the solutions - we seek solutions and we do think that we are all responsible for what happens in this country."
- UPI White House correspondent Helen Thomas on C-SPAN's Journalists' Roundtable, December 31.


Newsweek Through the Decades

"It is odd to hear conservatives say that the '60s caused dis-respect for authority - this from people who applauded Ronald Reagan as he said, while in government, that government is the problem not the solution, that it must be starved and mocked. This position used to be called anarchism."
- Former Time essayist Garry Wills' review of the 1960s for Newsweek's 60th anniversary issue, January 3.

"But some specifics were splendid: the Camp David peace treaty between Israel and Egypt welded by Jimmy Carter; his human-rights policy too. But when the imperial Shah of Shahs, our protege in the Middle East, was deposed in Iran in 1979 and the Ayatollah Khomeini reigned, this decent man went down in flames."
- Former New York Times reporter Gloria Emerson, reviewing the 1970s, same issue.

"The Rambo mentality [of Reagan] harked back to a gunfighter readiness to do battle with an `evil' empire at nearly any cost. And the unapologetic retrenchment took the form of making people more comfortable with their prejudices and reducing public focus on the disadvantaged."

"The major economic legacy of Reaganomics was to increase the disparity between rich and poor and to downsize the American middle class. Our social structure began to look less like a diamond and more like an hourglass. More hours of work were required to sustain a decent standard of living even an un-deniable decline in the quality of life set in - with increased crime, violence, disease (e.g., AIDS), tensions over race, gender and sexual orientation, decrepit public schools, ecological abuse and a faltering physical infrastructure."
- From Princeton Professor Cornel West's review of the 1980s, same issue.

Kinder, Gentler Canucks

"The array of assistance Canada provides is little different than that in the social democracies of Western Europe, which also are facing budget problems. But the social safety net here has two additional elements. It ties the country's fractious regions to the central government, and it differentiates Canada from its less kind, less gentle neighbor to the south, reflecting a nation with more faith in government as a solver of problems and an easer of pain."
- From news story by Anne Swardson on Canada's huge deficit, January 2 Washington Post.


Orphans of the Mother State?

"Soviet society had the Mother State above and the safety net beneath. Neither worked really well, but that was the deal between the state and the people...Not communism, but the old Communist Party, ran through society like the bones through a herring. Extract the bones and you've got a pretty limp herring. Once the proud masters of the Soviet empire, Russians now see themselves in its fragments; while change consumes the jobs, savings, and pensions of the orphans of the Mother State. For 50 million older Russians, the new dawn will come too late."
- CNN reporter Richard Blystone, December 10 World News.


Praising Inman by Insult

"He served as Deputy Director of the CIA under `Wild Bill' Casey and came away with his reputation unscathed, which was quite an accomplishment."
- ABC reporter Bob Zelnick on the new defense secretary nominee, December 16 Good Morning America.


Publisher: 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 Felton