Notable Quotables - 03/25/1996


A Fond Forbes Farewell

"Mr. Kemp, at a time when the Republican Party seems to be determined to be united, doesn't your endorsement of Mr. Forbes seem rather divisive?"
- Peter Jennings to Jack Kemp, March 6 World News Tonight.

"Forbes's persistence matches that of the movement he champions. For despite being largely discredited and banished by the political and economic establishment, supply-sideism has refused to disappear."
- Washington Post reporter Glenn Frankel in a front page story, March 12.


The McVeigh Update: Conservatives Still Incite Violence

"The torching of black churches throughout the South punctuates the ugly rhetoric of the Buchanan campaign....In fact, all the conservative Republicans, from Newt Gingrich to Pete Wilson, who have sought political advantage by exploiting white resentment should come and stand in the charred ruins of the New Liberty Baptist Church in Tyler [Alabama]...and wonder if their coded phrases encouraged the arsonists. Over the past 18 months, while Republicans fulminated about welfare and affirmative action, more than 20 churches in Alabama and six other Southern and Border states have been torched....there is already enough evidence to indict the cynical conservatives who build their political careers, George Wallace-style, on a foundation of race-baiting. They may not start fires, but they fan the flames."
- Time national correspondent Jack E. White, March 18 issue.

"The Republicans captured Congress by insisting that the government itself was the problem....But the Republicans played Robin Hood in reverse: taking from Medicare to finance reductions in capital gains. But no one keeps up with Buchanan, who, drunk on his early success, turns to medieval war cries. `The peasants are coming with pitchforks!' he bellows at every stop. It's comic, captivating, viscerally appealing - and scary. Those black-leather bikers and gun nuts turning up at his rallies may not have mastered the concept of metaphor. Urging them to `lock and load' - and take aim at `Jose' - is virtually a request for violence."
- Reporter Jason DeParle in a March 17 New York Times Magazine story subheaded: "The presidential contenders are falling all over themselves to identify with the lunch pail vote. But it's all talk: The remedy is more government, and no one will say that."

Pat Buchanan: Son of Willie Horton?

"I think in some ways this is the natural payback from a Republican Party that has flirted too much with code words and Willie Horton-type ads, and when you incite that kind of feeling, don't be surprised when it comes up and hits you in the face."
- NPR reporter Nina Totenberg, February 24 Inside Washington.

"Like a stain suddenly ruining the new carpet, the success of Pat Buchanan and his alarming snarl - xenophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic and racist - has sent the smug Republican family into a dither of accountability. `Who let that pit bull into the house and why wasn't he housebroken?' they must be asking, as if Buchanan is someone else's dog....This is not some mongrel outsider but rather a purebred from the kennels of Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan....Buchanan speaks for a good chunk of the party faithful who have been lured into the fold with a message of fear and hate and now demand to be heard. These are the folks who take seriously the charge that immigrants and uppity minorities are the source of all our problems."
- Former L.A. Times reporter Robert Scheer, Feb. 27 column.

"In the end, Pat Buchanan is a hater not a healer, a guerrilla not a statesman. For all his flaws, Republicans would be better off with Bob Dole, a man who thinks of his opponents as `distinguished gentlemen,' not instruments of the devil."
- United Features Syndicate column by ABC's Cokie Roberts and her husband Steven of U.S. News & World Report, February 28.


CBS News: Have You Seen Your Bizarre Anchor Today?

Dan Rather: "I don't do editorials. And about that perhaps you and I will just - I hope in good humor - agree to disagree that we don't do editorializing. And I'm either famous or infamous, depending on your point of view, saying we don't editorialize; we don't want to editorialize, in no way, shape, or form...."
King: "Over all these fifteen years, how do you react to the constant, especially, far right-wing criticism that the news on CBS is mainstream biased?"
Rather: "Well, I don't quite know what mainstream is."
King: "I don't know what it means either, but they say it. I'm just quoting 'em."
Rather: "Oh, no. I understand. Well, my answer to that is basically a good Texas phrase, which is bullfeathers....I think the fact that if someone survives for four or five years at or near the top in network television, you can just about bet they are pretty good at keeping independence in their reporting. What happens is a lot of people don't want independence. They want the news reported the way they want it for their own special political agendas or ideological reasons."
- CNN's Larry King Live, March 11.

Reality Check:
"The new Republican majority in Congress took a big step today on its legislative agenda to demolish or damage government aid programs, many of them designed to help children and the poor."
- The independent, non-editorializing Dan Rather on the March 16, 1995 Evening News.


Quite the Observant Reporter

"When you're talking about pure journalists, I mean reporters, when you're talking about reporters, not columnists, I don't think there's any liberal bias. I don't think there really ever has been."
- Los Angeles Times Senior Washington correspondent Jack Nelson on CNBC's Politics '96, March 9.


Limbaugh's Lies

"Kurtz dutifully recounts the extremist ravings of radio hosts, from the provincial Howie Carr to that nationally syndicated phenomenon Rush Limbaugh. These are nothing new, but Kurtz draws a few fresh conclusions....he looks beyond the controversy over Limbaugh's half-truths and lies (which sway listeners by the millions)..."
- Boston Globe TV critic Frederic Biddle reviewing Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz's book, Hot Air: All Talk, All the Time, February 26.


Nuts Over Nuts

"Emcee Charlayne Hunter-Gault [of the PBS NewsHour]...broke the spell of sisterhood when she pointedly called on [Sally] Quinn to explain why women participate in the trashing of Hillary....Others went on about getting your legs waxed while reading to your son (editor Tina Brown), James Carville dropping his soiled underwear in the dining room (his wife, TV talk host Mary Matalin) and the general conflicts besetting mother-magnates....When Hunter-Gault applauded the lack of wonkiness, citing a discussion of male testicles at one table, Andrea Mitchell's beeper went off, as if on cue."
- Time's Margaret Carlson in her "Washington Diary" on a lunch celebrating The New Yorker's women's issue, March 4.

Anchoring the News in High Heels

"How are women on the road different from men? `They are more meticulous, more organized. More multidimensional,' she [CBS News campaign producer Susan Zirinsky] says. `And less cynical.' Dan Rather, she insists, is the exception. What makes Rather different? `Dan's a girl,' she says. `Dan has the enthusiasm of a girl. There's a girl's soul lurking in him.'"
- March 23 TV Guide story on women covering the campaign.

CNN co-anchor Linden Soles: "Well, everybody needs a hobby. I used to collect Barbies, even made little clothes for them. Oops! I think that's your line."
CNN co-anchor Kathleen Kennedy:
"I think he still collects them...."
Soles: "Now we want to reiterate right here you were the one that used to play with the little Barbies. I made the little clothes for them."
- After story on Arkansas juror in a Star Trek uniform, March 13 World Today.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager; Jessica Anderson, Bruce Fraser, Interns