Notable Quotables - 02/15/1993

The Czar of Bizarre

"It doesn't really matter if the culture needs another cop show. Personally I'd like to see a weekly series where social problems are solved through creative nonviolence after a Quaker meeting by a collection of vegetarian carpenters. But I am not your Czar. Another cop show is exactly what we get tonight immediately after the Super Bowl."
- CBS Sunday Morning television critic John Leonard on the new NBC cop show Homicide, January 31.


Tax Hikes: The Right Thing

"Clinton is much craftier than George Bush in avoiding the kind of `Read My Lips' vow that allows no maneuvering room. He can rewrite his promises to adjust to reality. That opens him to `Slick Willie' catcalls. It also leaves him the option to do the right thing."
- Newsweek reporter Eleanor Clift, February 8.

"The very cheapness of gas, however, makes it an ideal target for a government bent on stopping a runaway deficit....Yet while jacking up the gas tax might make good economic and ecological sense, it is unlikely to happen anytime soon."
- Time Associate Editor John Greenwald, February 15 issue.

"Next Wednesday evening at about 8:15, the President will ask the wealthy to pay higher tax rates, and then at about 8:20, he'll announce his energy tax, which is going to fall pretty heavily on the middle class. I think the Administration has decided, to their credit, that they have to be serious about taking on the budget deficit, and that's going to mean higher taxes on the middle class."
- Wall Street Journal reporter Alan Murray on NBC News at Sunrise, February 11.


Hailing Hillary

H.R. Clinton Feminaut explores gender cosmos. The most fabulous woman in U.S. history?!?!
- Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom Watch," February 15.

"It was the culmination of a remarkable seven days in the Hillary Clinton story during which she has displayed a versatility unmatched by all but the average working mother...Consensus- building is supposed to be [Mrs.] Clinton's greatest strength. Was that a sense of hope growing there on the Senate side of the Capitol, suddenly, for a moment, that these vague and mysterious but wondrous talents - along with her obvious power in the White House - could move the bureaucratic mountain?"
- Washington Post reporter Martha Sherrill on the First Lady's trip to Capitol Hill, February 5.


The New Age President

"There's no doubting that the nation is about to be led by its first sensitive male chief executive. He's the first President to have attended both Lamaze classes and family therapy (as part of his brother's drug rehabilitation.) He can speak in the rhythms and rhetoric of pop psychology and self-actualization. He can search for the inner self while seeking connectedness with the greater whole."
- Newsweek Washington reporter Howard Fineman, January 25.

"Clinton is a prime communicator, a beacon of middle-class charisma, a lover of being loved, a believer in the importance - perhaps the primacy - of image, metaphor, style....This huggy- bear President needs to feel the electromagnetism of approval - but in a New Age way. His seeming candor is an amalgam of born-again witnessing and self-help testifying, of the church and the couch; you half expect his budget package to be a 12-step program."
- Time movie critic Richard Corliss, February 1 lead story.


Bias Trend of the '90s: Insulting the Religious

"Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command."
- Washington Post reporter Michael Weisskopf, February 1.

"An article yesterday characterized followers of television evangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as `largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.' There is no factual basis for that statement."
- Post corrections box, next day.


Rigid Republicans

"At the heart of the debate is whether the GOP can erase an intolerant and rigid image after a divisive August convention that at times denounced abortion, homosexuality, and women with careers."
- USA Today reporter Richard Benedetto on the race for RNC chairman, January 29.

"Senator Kassebaum thinks the Republican Party is today still suffering from the damage done by its convention last summer, which featured aggressive stands against abortion rights and rigid conceptions of family life and social issues."
- CBS reporter David Culhane, January 24 Sunday Morning.


Elementary Homophobia

"If you wear green on Thursday you're a queer, a pansy, a sissy. How many generations of contemporary Americans, particularly American boys, entered grade school and learned homophobia casually along with their ABC's, long before discovering anything of the fluttering of the birds and the bees?"
- Beginning of Los Angeles Times reporter John Balzar's front-page story headlined "Why Does America Fear Gays?," February 4.


Hurray for International Abortion

"The Reagan Administration withdrew support for international population organizations because it refused to endorse family- planning efforts with any connection at all to abortion or abortion counseling - a tiny part of these organizations' efforts. That volatile moral issue will no doubt be raised when the funding of these programs comes up later this year. The Clinton policy shift sends a clear signal that, after a decade of politically motivated neglect, the new administration intends to treat stabilization of the population once again as a pressing global issue."
- U.S. News & World Report Senior Editor Betsy Carpenter, February 8.


Dan in the Hood

Dan Rather: "Some days I say `Why is he [Clinton] doing that?' or `Gosh, can he do it a little better?' But it may be time to, sort of as you say, chill. We know when it comes to politics and governing, whatever you think of this President, whether you voted for him or not, he can hang - which is to say he can do it...."
Arsenio Hall: "See! See! Dan is deep, ain't he? Dan in the Hood!....I thank you for being here. You're a special guy. And I hope whatever you have is contagious."
- Exchange from The Arsenio Hall Show, January 28.

Maria Shriver: Quayle's Not the Only Acceptional Speller

"I have tried to make First Person unique in that, as the name implies, we try to tackle issues, whatever they may be, from the perspective of the individual and his or her own personal story. We wanted to make an acception with our interview but it just didn't fit."
- Maria Shriver in a letter to Rev. Louis Sheldon apologizing for not using any part of a three-hour interview with him in her January 26 First Person on gays.


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