Notable Quotables - 04/29/1991


Nuke-Managua Robocops

"Nancy [Reagan] thought Watergate was a stupid, immoral, illegal thing to do. She opposed aid to the Contras. She was against a pardon for Ollie North. She also pushed Babar [Ronald Reagan] into an arms treaty with the Russians, because she wanted him to win a Nobel Prize. On some things, at least, I'm glad he listened more to her than to the fast-buck thugees and nuke-Managua robocops. Even astrology's better than whatever those wise guys were smoking."
- CBS Sunday Morning literary critic John Leonard on Kitty Kelley's book Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography, April 14.


Newsweek Loves Kitty

"If privacy ends where hypocrisy begins, Kitty Kelley's steamy expose of Nancy Reagan is a contribution to contemporary history."
- Newsweek Washington reporter Eleanor Clift, April 15.

"If even a small fraction of the material amassed and borrowed here turns out to be true, Ronald Reagan and his wife had to be among the most hypocritical people ever to live in the White House. Anyone who vaguely followed the events of his administration already knew that. But millions of others still don't. While Kitty Kelley's sensationalism may undermine their ability to find and believe the truth, her popularity may encourage them to explore more of the real history of that era without her."
- Newsweek media reporter Jonathan Alter, April 22 issue.


More Solid Investigative Reporting

"So the world, it seems, must know. Did Nancy Reagan really recycle gifts to her own grandchildren? Is the stuff in the book true or just vindictive tales? Who knows? Who cares?"
- CBS reporter Mark Phillips on the CBS Evening News, April 8.


Kitty's Comeuppance

"[Kelley] brandished this year's high-minded credo: 'the '80s [were] an era of greed and avarice with no moral compass. It's important to know who was at the helm.'....There's something odd about excoriating sleazy Reaganite greed after being paid $4 million to retail unverifiable allegations about private lives. And Kitty's breathless revelation that a 70-year-old man dyed his hair only draws unwanted attention to her own coif, which has been redone to resemble a spray of electrical wiring."
- Scripps-Howard editorial writer Andrew Ferguson in The Wall Street Journal, April 16.

Raining on the Victory Parade

"Well, they [U.S. soldiers] really didn't risk that much, number one. And second, to honor people who believe in violence is to honor the ethic of violence. And if you believe violence solves problems, you overlook quite a lot of morality. You overlook what Gandhi said: 'An eye for an eye and we all go blind.' So why celebrate that? Why honor these people?....Instead of celebrating, we ought to have a national month of mourning for what we did in that area of the world. We supplied them weapons endlessly and they used them. And then after we mourn, we ought to ask them to forgive us for what they did."
- Washington Post columnist Colman McCarthy on CNN's Crossfire, April 19.

"Miss Saigon insists on revisiting the most calamitous and morally dubious military adventure in American history and, through an unfortunate accident of timing, arrives in New York even as the jingoistic celebrations of a successful American war are going full blast."
- New York Times theater critic Frank Rich, April 12.


But At Least He Didn't Name Rape Victims

"Cannon starts off by proclaiming that Reagan is not a dunce, a point that can be questioned by the very fact that it has to be made, a point we all want to believe but a point that Cannon tends to undercut every few pages....Acting might be all right if you're a king, but it just won't work for a President....the nation needed more than inspiration in the 1980s. It needed leadership - moral leadership, intellectual leadership, political leadership. It needed a manager, not a cheerleader. It needed a statesman, not a star. It needed answers, not anecdotes. It needed ideas as well as ideals. And Ronald Reagan wasn't up to that task.

"The Reagan years had their accomplishments, especially abroad. But by many measures, the Reagan Administration was a failure. It left us with a huge debt and an unfocused domestic policy. It got us in a moral mess with Irangate and a military disaster in Lebanon."
- NBC News President Michael Gartner reviewing Lou Cannon's book President Reagan: Role of a Lifetime in The Washington Post, April 21.


Meanwhile, What Do You Think of Ted?

"Once, long ago, he was the Prince Hal of American politics: high-spirited, youthful, heedless. He never evolved, like Prince Hal, into the ideal king. Instead he did something that was in its way just as impressive. He became one of the great lawmakers of the century, a Senate leader whose liberal mark upon American government has been prominent and permanent. The tabloid version does not do him justice. The public that knows Kennedy by his misadventures alone may vastly underrate him."
- Time Senior Writer Lance Morrow, April 29 issue.


CBS Homeless Hype vs. Census Count

"In New York there are an estimated 70,000 homeless people, 3 million across America. A problem that got a lot worse during the boom times of the '80s."
- Reporter Harold Dow on CBS Evening News, March 26.

"Census Spotted Nearly 230,000 Homeless People"
- Washington Post, April 7.


Think Tank Thinking

"Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Well-respected for its defense of programs that benefit poor people. Liberals in Congress depend heavily on the center for analysis of the budget and its impact on the poor."

"Center for Strategic and International Studies: Conservative Cold Warriors with ties to military-industrial complex."
- Descriptions by Boston Globe Washington reporter Michael Kranish, April 7.


Genuine Forced Sincerity

"Attendance at this [pro-Castro] rally is, if not mandatory, then highly recommended. But this rally is more than just a way to maintain control. It's also a sincere demonstration of national pride and independence. For thirty years, Cuba has resisted a superpower. They believe America spends most of its time trying to bring down their revolution."
- Actor James Earl Jones narrating Portrait of Castro's Cuba on Ted Turner's Superstation TBS, April 7.


Close Encounters

"But many [fan] clubs are more ambitious, even to the point of abstraction. The Great Lakes Gaylaxians are gay fans who gather monthly in Royal Oak, Mich. to worship at the altar of science fiction, thus filling a sort of it's-a-floor-cleaner-and-a- dessert-topping void in this burgeoning American fan club movement (sample Gaylaxian lecture: 'Screaming Queens: Gays and Lesbians and Horror'). Gaylaxians, says member Cecil Young, are adults 'talking about gnomes, owls, elves, rockets, comic books, and skin-tight tights for superheroes.' Read: people helping people."
- Newsweek Associate Editor Ned Zeman, April 22.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Brant Clifton, Nicholas Damask, Steve Kaminski, Marian Kelley, Tim Lamer; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Circulation Manager