Notable Quotables - 01/15/1996


Minister Gumbel's Morning Sermons

"They obviously haven't heard there's still bad news coming out of Washington, where it seems we've not only got hard-headedness at work, but some hard-heartedness too."
- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel on jubilant fans outside the studio, December 29.

"Then we're going to look to the continuing government shutdown. Although some legislators have foolishly suggested the fact that we are going on about our business despite the absence of the workers says maybe they weren't needed anyway. We will show you how some average Americans are suffering every day as a result of what is now 20 days of the government shutdown."
- Gumbel, January 4 Today.


Washington's Agenda of Death

"In April, terrorists tried to kill them. Today politicians stopped their paychecks. In Oklahoma City's Social Security office, they're being ordered to work for nothing."
- Beginning of CBS reporter Scott Pelley's January 2 Evening News story.

"Remember, even with a budget deal, the government would still be nearly $6 trillion in hock in 2002. How will our children's children ever pay that back? The same way our leaders tried to enact fiscal discipline back in 1996 - by short-changing the poor....Fortunately, both sides remain fierce in their determination to enact a middle class tax cut. That way, all of us will have a little more pocket change to dole out to the shivering knots of beggars on the street."
- USA Today reporter Walter Shapiro in his January 10 "Hype & Glory" news section column.

"With 4 million to 10 million children scheduled to be cut from the nation's welfare rolls in the next seven years through caps on AFDC and Supplemental Security Income, two major assistance programs, [Los Angeles County child welfare official Peter] Digre predicts that Los Angeles will see more than 17,000 new cases of child abuse due to poverty and family stress. `Funding cuts will mean more abuse and more deaths,' says Nancy Daly, who heads the county's 50-member family-preservation committee."
- Time national correspondent Margot Hornblower, December 11 issue.


Newt, the Thuggish Car Bomber

"What will turn on - or turn off - the voters in 1996? Bob Dole's back-and-forth position on abortion? Bill Clinton's taste for the fast lane and fast food? The Gingrich who stole Medicare?"
- First paragraph of New York Times economics writer Peter Passell's January 2 story on the role of the economy in the 1996 election.

"Under pressure he reverted to the pompous thug of late-night cable, the backbencher lobbing grenades on C-SPAN about sick Democrats who were enemies of normal Americans....[Voters have] learned how far he is willing to go to achieve his larger goals: shut the government down to make a point with the President; invite lobbyists not just to lobby, but to draft the laws themselves; and give a huge tax break to his party's allies at the expense of services for the poor, with the explanation that this is what it takes to keep his Republican coalition together."
- Time Senior Editor Nancy Gibbs and Washington reporter Karen Tumulty, December 25/January 1 Man of the Year cover story on House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

"If you look at the polls and look at where most people in the street are or in any barroom in this country are saying Bill Clinton seems like a grownup for once and Newt Gingrich looks like some crazy guy. A car bomber who wants to blow the country up! With that sort of idiot grin on his face! And the people look at Newt Gingrich's face on Time magazine this week and say `wanted poster.'"
- San Francisco Examiner's Christopher Matthews, December 27 ABC Good Morning America.

Courage vs. Clueless

"Fortunately the exceptions give us hope - in this case the Republicans who stood up to the gun lobby and party pressure to vote their consciences and for their constituents last week. You can agree or disagree with their position on the issue, but these 11 Republicans are by definition independent people with true grit and guts under intense pressure. Exhibit A is Peter Blute from Worcester....Blute's courage stands in dramatic contrast to the smarmy move of his GOP colleague, Peter Torkildsen of the North Shore."
- Boston Globe Washington columnist Tom Oliphant in an August 14, 1994 column on Clinton's crime bill which U.S. Rep. Peter Blute supported and U.S. Rep. Peter Torkildsen opposed (both Massachusetts Republicans).


"Congressional candidate Jim McGovern, almost sheepishly, calls it `my applause line.' As one of the Democratic Party's comeback kids for 1996, McGovern can get a serious rise out of any collection of the fellow-minded by intoning a truism: `to dump Newt you have to dump Blute.' That reference is to the inconsequential incumbent, Peter Blute....The failings of go-alongs like Blute is not that they are Gingrich clones; it's that there's no detectable core."
- Oliphant, December 17, 1995 column.

Cokie's Kooky Constitution

George Will: "What the conservatives are doing [on a flag amendment], bless their hearts, misguidedly this time is exactly what the left wing tried to do with the Equal Rights Amendment. That was a perfectly pointless abuse of the Constitution as a political gesture."
Cokie Roberts: "I would disagree with you there as a mother of a son who is protected by the Constitution and a daughter who is not."
- Exchange on This Week with David Brinkley, December 10.


Read Those Memos

"The Globe's Nov. 30 chart explaining where Weld and Kerry stand on `Medicare cuts' prompted complaints that the word `cuts' buys into Democratic budget propaganda. They've got a point, which is why [national editor Jim] Concannon recently sent out a memo endorsing the phrase `slow the rate of growth' instead of `cuts.' Yeah, it's a little awkward. But it's one way - among many - that the Globe can do its part to prevent the rumbling guns of political warfare from demolishing the barrier between rhetoric and reality."
- Boston Globe Ombudsman Mark Jurkowitz, December 25.


"The loss of influence couldn't come at a worse time, since many [Congressional Black] Caucus members represent poor urban or rural districts that will be hit most harshly by shrinking government services and cutbacks in social welfare programs."
- Globe Washington bureau reporter Jill Zuckman in a news story two days later.


Many Analysts Say Many Reporters Are Wrong

"He invokes the logic of supply side economics: cuts in the tax rate would lead to stunning growth in the economy that would, in turn, lead to increased tax collections....But many economists, including many conservative economists, are skeptical of this Alice-in-Wonderland optimism, and they note that when supply side thinking was put to the test during the Reagan presidency, revenues declined and staggering deficits were produced."
- New York Times reporter Elizabeth Kolbert in a January 1 profile of Steve Forbes.

Reality Check:
"With the recovery beginning in late 1982, budget receipts expanded rapidly, on the average by slightly over 8 percent a year, through fiscal 1990."
- Norman Ture in The Right Data, edited by Edwin Rubenstein.


Carlson's Liberal Letdown

"The biggest letdown [of 1995] - that as a journalist, as a citizen, that Colin Powell decided not to run. That he was bullied by those conservatives who said, `We're gonna take you apart like we've taken apart no other candidate` and other things."
- Time's Margaret Carlson, December 30 CNN Capital Gang.


- 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