Notable Quotables - 04/06/1998

Jonesboro Feedback

"Time now for Feedback and some of what you've been e-mailing us since we came on the air tonight. From Richard M. in Quincy, Massachusetts on school shootings like the one in Arkansas. He writes:' Some wonder if weve raised a generation of bad children. I think were a generation of bad parents.' And he asks, 'How did those kids get the weapons?' We'll send his letter to the NRA."
Bryant Gumbel at the end of Public Eye, March 24.

"Let me ask you because there's a lot of schools, I think of my own district, there's one social worker for 1,200 kids. I think the average is there's one guidance counselor for every 800 middle school students in this country. Are we just under-funding our schools for this kind of problem?"
Good Morning America co-host Kevin Newman to Dr. Dennis Kenney of the Police Executive Research Forum, March 26.

"May I add here that in this particular case all the victims except one of the shooting yesterday were female. Does this raise in your mind the possibility of a notion of domestic violence of some sort, of a reaction of young boys to young girls, or a sense of trying to control young girls in their actions toward a young man?"
CNN anchor Joie Chen to child psychiatrist Mathis Abrams, March 25 The World Today.

"The National Rifle Association says the tragedy at Jonesboro is a social issue, not a gun issue, yet the gun lobby, like the tobacco lobby, targets kids. The NRA says, quote, 'The future of shooting sports rests on our grandchildren,' close quote. They sponsor gun camps. Another group says age 10 isn't too young to start shooting. The three school massacres happened in the states with the weakest juvenile gun control. Guns don't kill kids, true, but guns in the hands of kids do."
Time columnist Margaret Carlson on CNN's Capital Gang, March 28.


No Label for the ACLU

"The apparent decision by the White House to claim executive privilege for the First Lady is running into heavy opposition this morning. The White House wants to protect conversations White House aides had with Hillary Clinton about the Monica Lewinsky matter. Organizations from the ACLU to the conservative Independent Women's Forum are opposing the claim."
Good Morning America co-host Lisa McRee, March 25.


Which Way Is It on America's School Violence?

"Kids killing kids. Just last week the White House released a report on violence in American schools, which in recent years has escalated to terrifying proportions."
Tom Brokaw beginning a NBC Nightly News piece, March 24.


"Despite the national perception that American schools are turning into combat zones, a national report released just last week found that most American schools are indeed safe: 43 percent reported no crimes whatsoever."
ABC's Michele Norris opening a World News Tonight story on the same report, same night.


Campaigning for Liberal Reform

Peter Jennings: "On World News Tonight this Monday. All that money in politics. So many promises about change. They'll be no reform from this Congress. All that money in politics and what is it doing to the debate about drunk driving? Is the liquor industry calling the shots?"
Linda Douglass: "For the first time it appears there are enough votes in both houses of Congress to pass sweeping campaign finance legislation. But today top Republican leaders made sure it will not happen, prompting outrage among reform supporters ....For nearly three years House Speaker Newt Gingrich has promised to follow up on a deal he made with President Clinton to clean up the money in politics....Some Republicans...say they'd rather defy their leaders than try to explain to the voters at home why they failed once more to get the big money out of politics."
ABC's World News Tonight, March 30.

"And on Capitol Hill, after all the political lightning and thunder about the need to reform the way campaigns are financed in this country. In the House of Representatives tonight a maneuver to kill off any chance of reform for this year. The Republican leadership decided to put forward watered-down bills and limit debate with no amendments and everyone says that will end campaign finance reform efforts."
Tom Brokaw, March 30 NBC Nightly News.

"For those of us who worship the constitutional guarantee of free press and speech, the spectacle of political hustlers like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) using the First Amendment to justify legalized bribery is offensive."
Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt, March 12 column.


Bella Abzug, National Treasure

"One of the most influential leaders of the women's liberation movement in the 1970s, Bella Abzug, died Tuesday of complications from heart surgery. Today she is being remembered as a national treasure and a true pioneer in the struggle for women's equality. Bella Abzug was 77."
Today news anchor Ann Curry, April 1.


Heroic Scandal-Squashers

"Everybody at this table at one time or another has covered the Clinton White House, more closely than we'd like, probably. The question is, and we've all been subject as panelists on Washington Week in Review, in the interest of full disclosure, to spin on Friday afternoons. They call you up and say 'What are you going to say? This is really what you ought to say.' Are they rogues for trying to infiltrate our thinking or are they heroes for getting the subject back to what the American people want to hear about?"
NBC reporter Gwen Ifill on the PBS show Washington Week in Review, March 20.


That Hypercritical Liberal Media

"You say that scandal follows President Clinton, but aren't we also in a time of media saturation and we're hypercritical about every single news item that comes out?"
Good Morning America co-host Lisa McRee to Spin Cycle author Howard Kurtz, March 12.

"What's creeping into the coverage, the subtext here. I mean, they tried so hard to make the country care about Whitewater. People didn't care. They tried very hard to make the country care about John Huang and Charlie Trie. People greet it with a collective yawn. Suddenly Monica Lewinsky comes along and you can almost see between the lines journalists say 'Aha, now we can show people what weve been telling you about Bill Clinton is true.' And that is why this is the perfect scandal for the press. Because it's interesting to the people."
Howard Kurtz on CNBC's Hardball, March 16.


Disgraceful Ken Starr

"Starr has stood Watergate on its head. It is not the President who is doing the taping; it is the prosecutor. It is not the President who is assembling the dossiers and leaking dirt on the intimate practices of an ideological opponent; it is the prosecutor. It is not the President who is involved in the politically motivated abuse of power; it is the politically motivated counsel. It is not the President who is insufficiently accountable; it is the prosecutor."
U.S. News Editor-in-Chief Mortimer Zuckerman, April 6 issue.


Which Way Is It? Clinton Apology for Allowing Apartheid

"Would President Clinton today offer regrets for past U.S. support for the old white apartheid government? He did not refer to it, offering a new partnership instead....Some people here clearly hoped the President would offer some kind of apology for past U.S. cooperation with the old apartheid government. But after lamenting the U.S. role in slavery and timidity in halting Rwandan genocide, Mr. Clinton may be through with what some reporters have dubbed his contrition tour. From now on, say his aides, he'll talk about the future, not the past."
ABC's Sam Donaldson, March 26 World News Tonight.


Tom Brokaw: "Once an outcast in the international community, the new South Africa now wins high praise for overcoming years of racial division. And today it also got an apology from President Clinton. More now from NBC's Claire Shipman."
Shipman: "Clinton and Mandela met for the first time today on South African soil and just before that historic visit, the President made an unusual admission to an independent television network. He said that the U.S. was, quote, 'complicit in the racist apartheid' regime by cooperating for so long with the South African government. But the President also said that the U.S. fought to dismantle apartheid."
NBC Nightly News, same night.


President Huckleberry

John McLaughlin: "Do you think Bill Clinton can be properly described as Satan, or is there another way you think he could better be described?"
Eleanor Clift, Newsweek: "...I think he's a charming rogue. He's closer to Huck Finn than Satan."
Exchange about a New York Times column by Maureen Dowd on The McLaughlin Group, March 14.


Primary Colors Primarily Great for Bill Clinton

Fred Barnes, The Weekly Standard: "I'd give the film a B+. It was enthralling, pretty good. But my objection is that it is pro-Clinton, that it says though he's a philanderer, that he's a liar and so on that because he's a compassionate liberal that makes everything alright."
Eleanor Clift, Newsweek: "Beautifully said, Fred. It's a good movie, it's not a great movie. John Travolta's characterization of the Clinton character is a little overdrawn, a little too much of the Southern bumpkin. But his empathy with people trumps his personal flaws. I'd say it's a B+ too."
Exchange on The McLaughlin Group, March 21.


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