Notable Quotables - 04/30/1990


Tough Love for Lithuania

"Free at last, the temptation is to exercise all that freedom - fully, quickly and sometimes unwisely. Often, it means biting the hand that freed and fed you. Lithuania is the latest and most ludicrous example....There is little more logic to Lithuania being permitted to unilaterally and unlawfully declare its independence from the USSR than there would be for Texas to secede from the USA. Both were grabbed during a war. But both owe much to their modern-day mother country. Gorby has a right to feel livid about Lithuania. The way you might feel about a runaway child, tempted to beat him within an inch of his life."
- USA Today founder Al Neuharth in an April 20 column.

"I eagerly look forward to his next column about how Anne Frank should have been grateful to the Gestapo for providing her with the opportunity to write her best-selling diary."

"Stop humoring that fool [Neuharth]. That he founded the paper should not override the appalling quality of the article."

"In the name of humanity and decency, how could you print such drivel?"
- Reader reactions printed in USA Today, April 25.


What Have They Got Now?

"The Alternative Is Dictatorship"
- Time headline over story on alternatives to Gorbachev


Earth Day Reasoning

"This generation knows it's been born into a dying world."
- ABC's Bill Blakemore beginning story on high school students, April 19 World News Tonight.

"The missteps, poor efforts and setbacks brought on by the Reagan years have made this a more sober Earth Day. The task seems larger now."
- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, April 20.

"We need to re-educate ourselves that the natural organic grown fruits are sometimes a little smaller, sometimes they have a bruise on them, but they are the ones that are truly beautiful."
- Good Morning America entertainment reporter Chantal, April 20.

"Any time a transition is made there's going to be a loss of jobs during that transition period. Let's face it: people were unemployed when they closed down Auschwitz."
- Earth First! spokesman Howie Wolke on job losses caused by environmental regulations on Good Morning America, April 20.


Ortega: Champion of Democracy

"Ortega's defeat is something American Presidents had sought for ten years. Yet Ortega's statesman-like acceptance of the voters' decision has prompted some in Washington to call the Sandinista leader a champion of democracy."
- Today co-host Deborah Norville before interview with Daniel Ortega, April 24.

"We talked to one observer who told us that if he were awarding the Nobel Prize, he would nominate Mikhail Gorbachev and Daniel Ortega. What do you think of that?"
- one of Norville's questions to Ortega.


Unemployment Down, But...

"The federal government says the nation's unemployment rate dipped one-tenth of a point in March to 5.2 percent. That's the first drop in nine months now. Some analysts, however, are calling that a quirk. They point out that the creation of new jobs was at the lowest level in four years."
- Tom Brokaw on the NBC Nightly News, April 6.

"The Labor Department today said the economy generated only 26,000 new jobs in March, the smallest increase in almost four years. But that was enough to help push the civilian unemployment rate down one-tenth of a point to 5.2 percent."
- Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, same night.

Post-Communist Misery

"This is Marlboro country, southeastern Poland, a place where the transition from communism to capitalism is making more people more miserable every day....No lines at the shops now, but plenty at some of the first unemployment centers in a part of the world where socialism used to guarantee everybody a job."
- CBS News reporter Burt Quint on the April 11 CBS Evening News.


No Respect for the Secret Police

"Once employment by the elite Stasi was a way of life. Now it is the curse of Dieter's existence. 'Everybody ha forgotten that we worked to make this country safe,' he says...Though the Stasis propped up an unpopular communist regime for more than four decades and were notorious for their disregard of privacy and occasional beatings of prisoners, Dieter cannot understand why so much loathing is aimed his way."
- Unbylined story in Time, April 23.


Havel's Role Models

"[Havel] persisted unwavering toward that lightness of being. Think of Adlai Stevenson, and Martin Luther King, and Joan Baez, and maybe even Woody Allen. But there aren't really any exact American analogues for such a poet hero, who strikes us with laughter instead of a sword."
- CBS Sunday Morning cultural critic John Leonard, April 15.


Taxes Are Just Too Low

"The overall tax burden for Americans, local, state and federal, is actually quite low....The fact is Americans could pay more taxes and the country wouldn't go down the tube. Taxpayers don't believe this because they are being conned by the politicians....The truth is that the United States needs higher taxes and can afford them. Some political leaders are now starting to say that, but until more say it, the country will remain in trouble."
- Commentator John Chancellor on the NBC Nightly News, April 17.


Reagan's Awful Axe

"Private not stepping in with its 'thousand points of light' to replace the programs of human service that the Reaganite axe so mercilessly beheaded."
- Washington Post book reviewer Jonathan Yardley, April 8.


Nixon on His Friends

"The press and the politicians they cover are frequently at odds, but they have one thing in common: a very low rating in the public opinion polls. Most people believe that the press is biased toward liberal causes, and I agree."
- Richard Nixon in the April 2 Time.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Jim Heiser, Gerard Scimeca, Stewart Verdery, Dorothy Warner; Media Analysts
- Kristin Kelly; Administrative Assistant