Notable Quotables - 05/19/1997


False Choices from Network Pollsters


"According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll a majority would rather see a budget that forgoes tax cuts so we can eliminate the deficit. Less than a third said they would rather keep the deficit in order to have a tax cut."
- Tom Brokaw, May 2 NBC Nightly News.

Cutting Our Way Up to a $2 Trillion Annual Budget


"Good evening. President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders reached a landmark deal today - agreement on a five year plan which is designed to actually balance the federal budget. This plan features both tax breaks and cuts in spending."
- Dan Rather, May 2 CBS Evening News.

"The budget deal includes $135 billion in tax cuts, $350 billion in spending cuts. The largest spending cuts will come from restraining the growth of Medicare, the second largest savings is in defense spending."
- Peter Jennings on ABC's World News Tonight, May 2.

"In addition to $85 billion in tax cuts, the plan calls for $115 billion savings in Medicare. It's the biggest reduction in a social program ever endorsed by a President. Even President Reagan, painted by critics as the destroyer of the social safety net, didn't rein in Medicare spending. It grew from $45 billion to $90 billion during his two terms."
- ABC News reporter Karla Davis on World News Tonight/Saturday, May 3.

Reality Check:
"[The deal] endorses discretionary spending levels from 1998 - 2002 at $70 billion above a freeze. This is well above inflation. In fact, the deal is to the left of the Clinton White House circa 1996: It envisions spending some $80 billion more over the next five years on domestic agencies than Bill Clinton agreed to in his own budget last year."
- Cato Institute budget analyst Stephen Moore in the May 12 Weekly Standard.

Tax Cuts "Explode," Spending Hikes Don't Count


"This balanced budget deal was on again, off again over the last 48 hours, but today when Republican leaders in Congress agreed that the tax cuts in the plan would not explode over the next five to ten years, well the deal got done."
- NBC White House reporter David Bloom, May 2 Nightly News.

"Even as budget negotiators slapped one another on the back for finally closing a deal, fiscal experts cautioned that yesterday's agreement would do little to hold the budget in balance beyond 2002 when retiring baby boomers stop paying taxes and begin to claim Medicare, Social Security and other costly federal benefits. And many experts warned that the tax cuts outlined in yesterday's agreement - a package estimated to lower federal revenue by $250 billion over the next ten years - could make the long-term deficit outlook considerably worse."
- "News analysis" by Clay Chandler, May 3 Washington Post.

Reality Check:
"Taxpayers will receive just 67 cents in tax cuts for every dollar of new spending earmarked for White House and congressional priorities."
- Scott Hodge in a May 12 Heritage Foundation Backgrounder.

No Rush to Thought


"Mr. Wiesel's conversation with Mr. Goldhagen about his thesis that hundreds of thousands of Germans were implicated in the Holocaust is better grounded. The men's reflections on such tangled issues as guilt and responsibility may even get one thinking. When was the last time Rush Limbaugh did that?"
- New York Times TV critic Walter Goodman in review of specials on talk radio and The World of Elie Wiesel, May 7.

When a Cut is Not a Cut


"Weld governed as a foil to his Democratic predecessor, the workaholic Democrat Michael S. Dukakis, who raised taxes and cut spending as the recession devastated this state and deficits ballooned in the late 1980s. Weld, narrowly elected in 1990, spurned tax increases and took a machete to spending and human services, drawing almost daily attacks as 'Governor Weld To Do' from the poor, the elderly and state employees. His 1992 budget was the first in a decade to cut spending from the previous year."
- Washington Post reporter Dale Russakoff's profile of Gov. Bill Weld (R-Mass.), May 3.

Forget Whitewater, Let's Talk Bananas


"That answer, which the President has given before, will no doubt be scrutinized back in Washington but it has not ruined this Mexico trip. Mexicans could care less about Whitewater. They are joining the administration in calling this summit a success."
- ABC's John Donvan referring to Bill Clinton's insistence that "I know of no factual discrepancy, period" in Hillary's statements. May 6 World News Tonight.

"When the President fended off a Whitewater question by saying, 'Look, I'm just down here doing my job,' the Caribbean journalists burst into applause, in part because they had heard enough about Whitewater and wanted to talk more about bananas."
- Donvan from Barbados, May 10 World News Tonight/Saturday.

Don't Offend Communist Oppressors


Chris Matthews: "I will now take a shot at Janet Reno. She calls the White House to say the Chinese government, the Chinese government, the communist Reds are trying to infiltrate and interrupt and exploit our campaigns to their advantage. She makes one call to Tony Lake, the President's advisor, and doesn't get through to him and she just drops it!"
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift: "What is this, the Chinese Reds? What decade are you in, Chris?...That's not the issue anymore. It's outdated language. It's Cold War language..."
Steve Roberts, New York Daily News: "This whole business of the Chinese Reds. Eleanor is absolutely right, Chris. You are wallowing in it. You need the Reds to be an enemy. And you know you don't have the Russians to kick around anymore. The fact is they are more capitalist than we are in many ways."
- Exchange from CNBC's Hardball, April 30.

Let's All Raise Taxes and Take More Time Off


"Well, for centuries, I mean, Scandinavia has really been known, all these countries, for their innovative and their progressive social systems. But when it comes to protecting women's rights and children's rights, Norway could really teach most other countries a thing or two. They are the top priorities here. Largely responsible for this, former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, and she is the first woman to hold that post...

"She's been very instrumental in pioneering some of these sweeping changes that have really greatly improved the quality of life for women and for children in Norway. Nice to have you here. I think most women, when they hear that, they just want to pack up and come right over here. But these have been sweeping changes that really have improved life here for women and children. Why do you think it happened in such a short time?....And they also have the lowest crime rate in the world. This is a very, very interesting country that we could learn a little bit from. Hopefully, we can get some of those programs instituted in America. Thank you for having us here."
- Good Morning America co-host Joan Lunden interviewing former Labour Party Prime Minister Brundtland during May 13 show from Norway.

CNN's Moral Authority: A Drug-Besotted Girlfriend-Beating Crook


Reporter Anne McDermott: "King thinks the police are improving...But what about the rest of us? Us blacks and whites and browns and yellows? Are we improving?"
Rodney King: "As far as individuals, we have a lot of work to do. A lot."
- CNN's The World Today on the fifth anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, April 28.


L. Brent Bozell, Publisher
Brent Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, Jim Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
Kristina Sewell, Research Associate
Carey Evans, Circulation Director
Jessica Anderson, Intern