Notable Quotables - 03/13/1995


Frightened Friedman

Thomas Friedman, New York Times reporter and columnist: "Governor, I'm kind of a foreign policy wonk, and it scares the bejesus out of me to have someone as President of the United States, Commander-in-Chief, and finger on the nuclear button who is such an outsider to Washington and American foreign policy."
Lamar Alexander: "Well, did Ronald Reagan scare you, Tom?"
Friedman: "He sure did."
Alexander: "Did he? He didn't scare me. I thought he was the best national defense and Commander-in-Chief and foreign policy President we've had since Eisenhower."
Friedman: "Ask 245 Marines in Beirut about that."
- Exchange on CBS's Face the Nation, March 5.


We're Waving Goodbye

"I think that capitalism is inherently amoral and it is folly to expect that a system run on greed will be able to adopt some virtuous precepts to prevent the violations of human rights."
- ABC News correspondent and former NPR reporter John Hockenberry, in an America Online auditorium, March 2.

"Faced with a choice of a crowd-pleasing fanatic trying to look like a Republican and about a hundred real Repubs it looks tough to me."
- Hockenberry on Clinton's re-election chances.

"I think American politics thrives on ignorance today. I think American policy works without a backup plan as long as people are so unrepentantly uninformed."
- Hockenberry on whether public well informed.

"Yes. I'm moving to Switzerland."
- When asked if the Contract with America will work.


One of Those Socialist Editorials Newt Talked About

"The Republican jihad against the poor, the young and the helpless rolls on. So far no legislative assault has been too cruel, no budget cut too loathsome for the party that took control of Congress at the beginning of the year and has spent all its time since then stomping on the last dying embers of idealism and compassion in government....If anything is funny in this dismal period, it's that the Republicans are touchy about being called heartless and cold. That's a riot. Has anyone listened to Newt Gingrich lately? To Dick Armey? To Phil Gramm? This is the coldest crew to come down the pike since the Ice Age."
- Former NBC News reporter Bob Herbert in his February 25 New York Times column.


...And A Pointy White Hood Over His Head

"In addition to Senate rules, Byrd is master of many other bodies of knowledge. He reads the ancient Greeks and Romans and is an avid student of their culture, lecturing the Senate regularly on its lessons for contemporary America. He is on intimate terms with the Bible. And he is a constitutional scholar who carries a dog-eared copy of the U.S. Constitution in his breast pocket, over his heart."
- Los Angeles Times reporter Melissa Healy introducing Sen. Robert Byrd in interview titled "A Master of the Senate Universe," January 30.


Pat Robertson's Seductive Snake Dance

"Let's put it in biblical terms. The NEA is the head of John the Baptist, which will be served on a golden platter to that seductive Salome, Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition, whose Nov. 8 snake-dance so charmed Republican Herods in Congress that they are lining up to grant the ruinous wish....Eager candidates for the [presidential] nomination agree that the party's extreme right wing, a minority prominently featured on the podium at the 1992 convention in Houston, will be necessary to its delivery. So they're ready to deal, in order to keep the extremists happy."
- Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight, February 27.

That Cowardly Amendment

"Good evening. Politicians like to talk a lot about their courage, but when it comes to the really tough choices in cutting the federal budget, courage gives way to finding cover. And many believe they have an answer: a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget by the year 2002."
- NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, February 28 Nightly News.

"Some see the Simpson trial as symptomatic of the legal system's failure in this country, and in Washington, the Balanced Budget Amendment as political cowardice."
- Brokaw introducing Bill Moyers, same evening.


The Contract's Not Done Until Every Child's Dead

"There was no doubt Republicans in the House had enough votes tonight to pass another key item in their agenda to rip up or rewrite government programs going back to the Franklin Roosevelt era. It is a bill making it harder, much harder, to protect health, safety, and the environment. For example: the benefit of any new regulation would be required to outweigh the financial cost."
- Dan Rather, February 28 CBS Evening News.

"The fate of the school lunch program is still unclear. Key Republicans in the Senate still haven't publicly staked out their positions, and the GOP must battle the perception that the Contract with America is a contract against children."
- CNN reporter Eugenia Halsey, February 23 World News.

"The school lunch program, by all accounts, has been incredibly successful, as has the WIC program, and obviously provides good nutrition for children, which is so crucial for development and education. Since the states won't have to adhere to any federal guidelines and they can basically do their own thing, aren't you worried that we're going to go back to the days when Ronald Reagan suggested that ketchup and relish be designated as vegetables?"
- Katie Couric to Rep. Duke Cunningham, February 22 Today. (Reagan never suggested that).

Placing Themselves on the Far Left

"While others in the GOP pack are running as Mr. Right, or Mr. Far Right, Senator Lugar is stressing his foreign policy expertise."
- Dan Rather, March 3 CBS Evening News.

"You've been known in the past as a moderate Republican, but some of your views could be considered by some to be extreme. For example, you would shut down the U.S. Education Department. You would shut down welfare and Medicaid for the poor, eventually. Aren't you just advocating shifting some enormous problems to states that may not be well-equipped to deal with them?"
- Today substitute host Elizabeth Vargas to Lamar Alexander, February 28.

"And now joining us from Philadelphia, Senator Arlen Specter, who casts himself as an alternative candidate to the far-right fringe."
- Today weekend host Giselle Fernandez, February 19.


CNN Pays for This "Analysis"?

"The Reaganites allowed themselves to believe a cockamamie theory called supply-side economics - which held that if they cut taxes and increased defense spending, government revenues would go up."
- CNN analyst William Schneider in the February 26 Los Angeles Times.

Smarmy Calls for Equality

"The reaction of the black community is likely to be cold fury, incendiary rhetoric - and a deep sense of despair. `You are putting a formula together to maintain white America in total control so that racial-minority America can never be part of the system,' Willie Brown, the state Assembly speaker, has said. The response from white America is likely to be a disingenuous and slightly smarmy call for a `colorblind society.'"
- Newsweek Senior Writer Joe Klein on California's anti-quota ballot initiative, February 13.


- L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher;
-Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- James Forbes, Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig, Steve Kaminski, Gesele Rey, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager;
-Melissa Gordon, Anna Johnson; Interns