Notable Quotables - 02/13/1995


Clueless in Manhattan

"This is basically a canard used by politicians, and I understand why - because they want to blame somebody, anybody but themselves, for people's anger and frustration. It's one of the great political myths, about press bias. Most reporters are interested in a story. Most reporters don't know whether they're Republican or Democrat, and vote every which way. Now, a lot of politicians would like you to believe otherwise, but that's the truth of the matter. I've worked around journalism all of my life, Tom Snyder has as well, and I think he'll agree with this, that most reporters, when you get to know them, would fall in the general category of kind of common-sense moderates. And also, let me say that I don't think that `liberal' or `conservative' means very much any more, except to those kind of inside-the-Beltway people who want to use it for their own partisan political advantage. I don't think it holds up."
- Dan Rather answering a caller's question about liberal bias on CBS's Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, February 8.

"That perception is inside the Beltway, and perhaps inside about 10 blocks of New York and 10 blocks of L.A. I don't think the American public gives a whit about it."
- NBC News President Andy Lack, when asked about the liberal bias displayed on PBS by Bill Moyers, in February 1 New York Times story on Moyers becoming the NBC Nightly News commentator.


Yeah - from Bernard Sanders' Point of View

"Clinton Budget Takes GOP Flavor: Plan would cut taxes, federal bureaucracy"
- Philadelphia Inquirer, February 7.


More Room Than There Is for Pro-Life Democrats

"Does this decision [Jack Kemp not running for President] mean that there's just no room in the Republican candidate field for someone who disagrees with the Newt Gingrich vision for America?...[Kemp] was also known as someone with conservative fiscal views, but with a, if you will, a passionate social agenda. Does that mean that, again, that that view is not one that's welcome in the Republican Party?"
- Judy Woodruff to Sen. Trent Lott on CNN's Inside Politics, January 30.


Midnight Basketball or Die, Honky

"He has hope of staying out [of a gang] as long as he has a basketball in his hands....Without the basketball this kid is running drugs, carrying a gun and soon to kill somebody. And that's true in place after place. Now we get to decide: Do you want a basketball in his hands, to continue trying to convince him to stay out of a gang, or do you want to face him in a dark street some night with a nine-millimeter Glock in his hands?"
- Dan Rather on the January 26 CBS This Morning promoting the prime time special on youth violence In the Killing Fields of America.


The Wonderful World of Urine and Bullwhips

"House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and other bully-boy congressional denouncers of failed government won't be beating up the agency on account of its 30-year record of failure. No, they want the NEA gone because of its record of success. A chief accomplishment of public-arts support has been that the American cultural landscape today is far more diverse that it ever was before the 1965 birth of the National Endowment for the Arts, when the private funding so dear to Gingrich was art's sole engine."
- Los Angeles Times arts critic Christopher Knight, January 8.


Mean-Spirited, Fraudulent Conservatives

"The 1994 elections proved, yet again, that the electorate offers little thanks to those who make a serious run at deficit reduction. The Republicans ran on a pretend program - more tax cuts, a rollback of some of the painful parts of the Clinton budget, and, oh yes, a balanced budget amendment....Anyone who tries to grapple this tar baby [deficit] suffers - as both George Bush and Bill Clinton have learned. With a few honorable exceptions - New York Rep. Gerry Solomon, for example - the conservative wing of the Republican Party has never made a serious effort to balance the books. The Republican right made Bush's life miserable after he tried doing so in 1990."
- Former New York Times and Washington Post political reporter E.J. Dionne, February 7 Post column.

"It sure is exciting to think about that balanced budget everyone wants...It's exciting - until you wonder how it will affect you and your family and your neighbors and your town. Then, it's scary. For that big government that everyone is complaining about finances an awful lot of important things....Without it, a lot of poor children wouldn't have breakfasts. A lot of professors wouldn't have grants. A lot of needy people wouldn't have medical care - or food....

"What Congress should do, of course, is raise taxes. It obviously won't, though, so budget-balancers are left with no choice but to shrink many services my neighbors and I have come to rely on....We might ask: Is big government really bad? Is Newt Gingrich really good?"
- Former NBC News President Michael Gartner, January 17 USA Today column.


Contract? What's That?

"[Clinton] won passage of a $500 billion plan to raise taxes and cut the deficit in 1993, but received little political credit for it. Many Republicans were elected in November by attacking his plan, but have yet to give specifics of what they would do differently."
- Boston Globe reporter Peter G. Gosselin, February 6 story.


Clinton's Not Liberal Enough

"Part of the case against Bill Clinton that will be made even by your friends from time to time, is that you talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. Take minimum wage. Our poll shows that there is an overwhelming majority for it. But you made it clear from the White House that you're not going to go up and make the fight to the last breath for minimum wage....What do you think of Newt Gingrich?...Do you think he plays fair?"
- Tom Brokaw's questions to Bill Clinton, January 26 Nightly News.

"If Clinton could learn from Gingrich to say what he really believes and fight for it, he will be better off. If Gingrich can learn from Clinton that he ought to have a little more empathy for people and their everyday problems, he would benefit, I think, from that."
- Washington Post reporter and columnist David Broder on Meet the Press, January 22.


Barney's Got a Gun

"I'd say NPR's newscasts are the jewel of public broadcasting - I would say children's programming on television are another - you want to make them more commercial, here's what we're going to see. We're going to see a whole lot more gratuitous pornography of violence. We're going to see a whole lot of celebrity news. And you're going to watch Big Bird chasing Barney with a gun pretty soon."
- Former Wall Street Journal reporter Ellen Hume on CNN's Reliable Sources, January 22.

"In the end, though, it would be a shame if right-wing critics prevail and public broadcasting is severely wounded or turned into just another commercial network."
- Conclusion to story by Knight-Ridder Washington reporter Marc Gunther, January 23 Boston Globe.


Smearing a Movement

"Still ahead, the latest round of bloodshed and violence at abortion clinics. The anti-abortion movement has been creeping to the edge of bloody fanaticism for a decade."
- Dateline NBC's Jane Pauley, January 3.


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