Notable Quotables - 01/17/1994


Who's More Menacing?

"Menacing undertones: The troopers are silenced for now, but Clinton's political enemies may be just regrouping. Arkansas attorney Cliff Jackson, who represents Perry and Patterson, circulated an 'open letter' to the President last week that, while couched as an apology for inflicting 'public pain,' had menacing undertones. Referring to Clinton's 'casual willingness to deceive,' Jackson warned darkly that the presidency is at stake if Clinton doesn't change his `fundamental nature.'"
- Newsweek reporter Eleanor Clift, January 10 story on Clinton reaction to troopers' sex allegations.

"Jackson has become Clinton's nemesis, his Lex Luthor. 'I regard him as a pest that needs to be gotten rid of,' says Wright."
- Clift quoting Clinton damage-control helper Betsey Wright, one sentence later.


Capitalism Causes Poverty

"In Bucharest, the train station provides not only a means of transport, but a place of refuge from the cold. In the shadow of kiosks selling American cigarettes are the casualties of Romanian capitalism - the poor, the homeless, the children....Most of Bucharest's 500 homeless children have parents, but the days of state subsidies for large families are gone. Poor families like Marion's are falling apart. Children are abandoned. Others run away."
- ABC reporter Richard Gizbert, December 23 World News Tonight.


Clinton's Deficit-Reduction Plan and Spending Cuts?

"With most federal spending programs constrained by Clinton's own five-year deficit reduction plan, the White House has less and less direct control over the economy. The President is gambling, instead, that deficit reduction will keep interest rates down, giving businesses and consumers an incentive to spend and invest. That strategy has paid off handsomely for the administration so far."
- Los Angeles Times reporter James Risen, December 22.

"Few economists see the bogey of inflation or another recession returning anytime soon. In large part that's because of the widespread belief that Clinton will continue to push hard for health-care reform and budget-deficit reduction."
- Time Associate Editor John Greenwald, January 10.

"He has been willing to use his political capital in the service of abstractions - to reduce the deficit, to pass a free-trade agreement - that are likely to produce more pain than progress between now and 1996...His central gamble, pushing a budget that emphasized deficit reduction over new spending, paid off: the bond market was placated, interest rates remained low and the economy's natural, cyclical tide wasn't impeded."
- Newsweek Senior Writer Joe Klein, January 17.

Reality check:
"Before you conclude that the federal government is going on a crash diet, consider this: even if the President sticks with spending limits, overall spending still will increase over the next five years by 23 percent."
- NBC reporter Lisa Myers, December 21 Nightly News.


...And Eliminate Accident Deaths By Banning Cars

"Criminologists warn that nothing short of stopping the manufacture and sale of guns will make a real dent in America's crime problem."
- CBS reporter Jacqueline Adams in story about Times Square "Gun Fighters Death Clock," January 1 CBS Evening News.

Remembering a Partisan Hack

"His contempt for President Reagan was palpable and his last years as Speaker were frustrating because he had to battle both Reagan and a Congress with a powerful Republican presence. Horrified at policies that favored the rich and punished the poor, O'Neill let it fly."
- Former Style writer Myra MacPherson's "Appreciation" story on former House Speaker Tip O'Neill, January 7 Washington Post.

"I toed the party line until my pencil reached the space reserved for `Congress.' I voted for the Socialist-Workers candidate, a man I had never heard of but whose party affiliation had the requisite shock appeal. My father gasped, and then reached into his shirt pocket and handed me another pencil, eraser end first. He said nothing. He did not need to; there was a limit, even to adolescent rebellion. I erased my ballot and cast my vote for Thomas P. O'Neill Jr."
- Boston Globe reporter Eileen McNamara recalling the first time she voted, January 7.


Ad Hominem Attacks

"To his fans, David Brock, the writer who ruined the Clintons' Christmas, is a hard-hitting investigative reporter. To everyone else, he is a smear artist with a right-wing agenda. But a reading of Mr. Brock's oeuvre in the conservative journal The American Spectator suggests that his motives are at least as twisted as his facts. It's women, not liberals, who really get him going. The slightest sighting of female sexuality whips him into a frenzy of misogynist zeal. All women are the same to Mr. Brock: terrifying, gutter-tongued sexual omnivores."
- New York Times columnist (and former theater critic) Frank Rich, January 6.

"More likely, it is the American Spectator being true to its witless self. This is not the first time it has embarrassed conservatives with its juvenile behavior. Its 25th anniversary feast last year was marked by crude Bill-and-Hillary jokes - the draft-dodging, pot-smoking, Hillary-is-a-witch jokes that send these fellows into belly laughs no matter how many times they hear them."
- Syndicated column by Newsday Washington Bureau Chief Lars-Erik Nelson, December 26 Middlesex (Mass.) News.


Terrorist as Moral Pillar

"One final criticism: The Book of Virtues contains almost nothing original from the 20th century. Bennett acknowledges this in his introduction, saying that modern stories cost more to reprint, but without them the book seems to suggest that moral behavior is entirely a thing of the past. Excerpts from poet Maya Angelou and author Madeleine L'Engle, a speech by Nelson Mandela or any one of several other modern heroes could have helped children see that over thousands of years, right up until the present, people have struggled with issues of right and wrong." - Washington Post "Style" writer Laura Sessions Stepp reviewing William Bennett's best-selling compilation, January 2 "Book World."


"It was just a few months after then-ANC leader Chief Albert Luthuli was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize that Mandela urged the party leadership to take up arms....As a founder of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, the young Mandela participated in acts of 1962 Mandela was under arrest, and two years later he was sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage."
- Time Senior Writer Paul Gray, January 3.


The Culture at ABC

"This afternoon it's not the pressure of the job that's getting to [now-fired World News Tonight Executive Producer Emily] Rooney. It's Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh read from a story in TV which Rooney gently chastises the media for its liberal vision. It's the truth, of course - media executives know it, correspondents know it and the viewers out in TV-land certainly know it. But for a television executive to come out and say it is a real no-no, a violation of clan rules. And to have Limbaugh on your side - what could be worse? Within the liberal orthodoxy of ABC News, being championed by Rush Limbaugh is akin to being seen huddling with a child molester."
- Writer Jeffrey Goodell in the January Elle.


Publisher: L. Brent Bozell III
Editors: Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham
Media Analysts: Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig,
Kristin Johnson, Steve Kaminski, Mark Rogers
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