Notable Quotables - 03/23/1998


Linda Tripp: Evil Clinton-Bashing Snoop

"And Kathleen Willey also spoke about Linda Tripp, a Clinton-basher who seems to be at every ugly turn in this controversy. Tripp was outside the Oval Office when Willey emerged from her encounter with the President. Just how is it that Linda Tripp is so often conveniently involved in the President's troubles? For some clues let's bring in The New Yorker's Jane Mayer, who has profiled the controversial Miss Tripp in this week's issue. You write that co-workers often viewed her as an inveterate busybody. Has she always been a snoop and a gossip with a particular interest in other people's romantic lives?"
Bryant Gumbel on Public Eye, March 17.


Dick Scaife: Bill Clinton's Darth Vader?

"The alleged conflicts involve this man, Richard Mellon Scaife, an heir to the Mellon family fortune and the 148th richest American according to Forbes magazine. Scaife is the financial patron of conservative causes, donating tens of millions of dollars a year. To the Clinton White House Scaife is the Darth Vader of the alleged right-wing conspiracy against the President, having helped bankroll a Pittsburgh newspaper that specializes in anti-Clinton conspiracy theories; the American Spectator, which broke the story about Arkansas troopers soliciting women for Clinton; lawyers once involved in Paula Jones' suit against the President, and a group that ran ads in search of other women."
Lisa Myers on Ken Starr, March 5 NBC Nightly News.


While Clinton Slimes His Accusers, Media Paint Him As the Victim

"But ever since agents began guarding Presidents after the assassination of William McKinley, the Secret Service has kept its secrets. Now the man investigating the President may want to ask agents in the White House what they know about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. And that's made a lot of current and former agents wonder who they're supposed to protect the President from an assassin, or a character assassination?"
Reporter Josh Mankiewicz, February 27 Dateline NBC.

"I do think there is some value in [David Brock's] apology because it does illuminate some larger facts about our times. I think when historians look back on all this, they're gonna be less concerned about all the legal details of who said what to whom when, and more concerned about the way we drove this truck into the muck. And if David Brock, who helped drive the truck into the muck, wants to help push it out now, great."
Newsweek Senior Editor and NBC analyst Jonathan Alter, March 10 Today.


Putrid Poetry Corner

"The best defense it seems somehow is going on the offense now. While seedy stories in the media seem to be getting ever seedier. Each reporter in his turn sounds more and more like Howard Stern. A great investigative boom reporting who did what to whom. We see so many different styles of accusations and denials. When so much mud around you flies, you are bound to get some in your eyes. When such a war has been declared, everyone's in, nobody's spared. The jokes, the snickers, and the flippery. The slope we're on is long and slippery. And there is something in the air which this country best beware: for there is danger in the dirt and lots of people could get hurt. And what we sow, we someday reap. Last night as I laid down to sleep I dreamed an apparition swarthy, the unshaved ghost of Joe McCarthy."
Charles Osgood, CBS Saturday Morning, February 28.


Campaign "Reform" Opponents Are Like Terrorists

"It was a bill that was doomed to die. The last time you heard people so eager to claim responsibility for something like this, they were terrorists."
NBC reporter Gwen Ifill, February 27 Washington Week in Review.

Three Cheers for Clintonomics

Dan Rather: "With the economy humming, CBS's White House correspondent Scott Pelley reports, President Clinton was singing his own praises, this time with the facts and figures to back him up."

Scott Pelley: "The recovery began before Mr. Clinton took office. The fact that it's run so long is credited to what some call the great odd couple Mr. Clinton and Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve Chairman. Simply put, when Mr. Clinton made deficit reduction his top priority, Greenspan felt confident driving interest rates down. America did the rest. If the recovery continues to December, it will be the longest peacetime recovery in history."
March 6 CBS Evening News.


The Overnight Scoop: Conservatives are Losers

"It could be the Republican Party's worst nightmare as it tries to retain control of Congress and it's a recurring one in Illinois. State Republicans threw away their chance of winning a U.S. Senate seat two years ago by nominating a pro-gun, anti-abortion conservative who was crushed by a Democrat in the fall election. They may have done it again."
Associated Press reporter Mike Robinson's lead paragraph on Peter Fitzgerald winning the March 17 Illinois Republican Senate primary, March 18.

"Some Illinois Republicans say results of yesterday's Senate primary may have hurt their hopes of beating Democrat Carol Moseley-Braun in November. Conservative Peter Fitzgerald, who wants to legalize concealed weapons and ban abortions, won the GOP nomination over moderate Loleta Didrickson. Many Republicans say she would have had a better chance of beating Moseley-Braun, who's running for a second term."
Reporter John Roberts, March 18 CBS Evening News.


Public Trust in Government Waning or Growing?

"Survey Finds Americans Have Underlying Distrust of Federal Government"
Minneapolis Star Tribune headline, March 10

"Uncle Sam Gets a Tip O' the Hat from a More Trusting Public"
St. Paul Pioneer Press, same day (Thanks to Jason Lewis, KSTP Radio)


Time Turns 75: More Objective Now?

"After [Time founder Henry] Luce died in 1967, his successors gradually transformed his brainchild into a more objective, more conventional, less controversial and perhaps less lively magazine. Like so many other once-feisty publications, Time has mellowed."
Washington Post writer Peter Carlson, March 6.

Reality Check:
"In the gaudy mansion of Clinton's mind there are many rooms with heavy doors, workrooms and playrooms, rooms stuffed with trophies, rooms to stash scandals and regrets. He walks lightly amid the ironies of his talents and behavior, just by consigning them to different cubbies of his brain. It's an almost scary mind, that of a multitasking wizard who plays hearts while he talks on the phone with a head of state, who sits through a dense briefing on chemical weapons intently doing a crossword puzzle, only to take reporters' questions hours later and repeat whole sections of the briefing word for word."
Time Senior Editor Nancy Gibbs opening a news story in the March 2 issue.

"Though Starr was operating within the law, not many people have seen up close how rough the law can get when a determined prosecutor pulls out all the stops. And the very notion of turning mother against daughter plays into the hands of the critics who say the independent counsel is on a mad tear."
Time Senior Writer Richard Lacayo, February 23 issue.

Larry King, Master of Subtle Allusions

Susan McDougal: "What kind of country has a mother go in and testify against her daughter?"
Larry King: "But that they could always do, right?"
Mark Geragos, McDougals attorney: "They can always do that, but..."
King: "Germany did it, too."
Exchange on CNN's Larry King Live, February 24.


L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher
Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
Eric Darbe, Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen,
Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
Kristina Sewell, Research Associate
Michelle Baetz, Circulation Manager
Rebecca Hinnershitz, Karen Sanjines, Interns