Notable Quotables - 05/20/1996


Dan vs. Dan

"Just as the U.S. economy looked like it might be headed into winter hibernation, it suddenly sprang to life. The government reports today that the Gross Domestic Product grew in the first quarter of this year at a brisk annual rate of 2.8 percent."
- Dan Rather on the May 2 CBS Evening News.


"The country, it now appears, may be pulling out of the recession. If so, it is doing so very slowly. The Commerce Department says the economy grew in the first quarter of this year at an annual rate of two percent. That's the strongest growth in three years, but private economists say it is hardly enough to create many jobs."
- Rather on the April 28, 1992 CBS Evening News.

"You Mean the Camera Was On When I Admitted That!"

"There is a liberal bias. It's demonstrable. You look at some statistics. About 85 percent of the reporters who cover the White House vote Democratic, they have for a long time. There is a, particularly at the networks, at the lower levels, among the editors and the so-called infrastructure, there is a liberal bias. There is a liberal bias at Newsweek, the magazine I work for - most of the people who work at Newsweek live on the upper West Side in New York and they have a liberal bias....[ABC White House reporter] Brit Hume's bosses are liberal and they're always quietly denouncing him as being a right-wing nut."
- Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Evan Thomas in an amazing admission on Inside Washington, May 12.


Brokaw's Great Men: Gorbachev Yes, Reagan No

NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw: "I think Gorbachev is a great man in the 20th century because he forced his country to look at the hypocrisy and the fraudulence of communism and to begin slowly to make a turn away from it....He can still light up any room that he walks into. The eyes are flashy, you know, and the great command of the language and the feel that he has, the very physical presence of him. It's still fun to be around him."
- From the PBS talk show Charlie Rose, May 2.

Tom Brokaw: "People will still be looking at Ronald Reagan I think, too, fifty years from now."
Charlie Rose: "A great man?"
Brokaw: "I think that history will have to be the judge of that. I think that he was the right man at the time. I think the country was adrift and he came along with his simple, in the best sense of the word, philosophy about what was required to get the country back on track, to kind of give the country a sense of itself again. You can look at the economics of Reaganism, for example, or some of the bombast of his foreign policy and look at Iran-Contra and find all manner of flaws in there. But what he did was give this sense that this is a great nation and we're a great people and that we've got to get on with being that once again. So I don't think he'll be a complicated Roosevelt-like figure."
- Exchange later on the same show.


I'm Not Saying That About You, Bill (...To Your Face)

"[Dole's] got the nomination now. It would seem to me the obvious thing to do is pull together and get behind the nominee. And instead you have someone like Bill Bennett sniping from one direction, somebody like Bill Kristol sniping from another direction, and everybody seems to be already writing the stories of `It's not my fault that he lost.'"
- ABC reporter Cokie Roberts on This Week with David Brinkley, April 28.


"I think that there is cause for paying attention, and if that's what Bill [Kristol] has in mind that's one thing. It's another thing though, and I'm not saying that Bill did this, but some of his party colleagues certainly seem to be doing this. There's a difference between getting Dole energized and writing him off."
- Roberts, sitting next to Kristol two days later on Good Morning America.


I Got These Cliches From Bob Schieffer

"The legacy of the Reagan administration will be with us for years. The deficit under Reagan totaled more than a trillion dollars. Someday we're going to have to pay those bills. As officials look to cut spending and taxes at the same time, we can't afford another round of voodoo economics....I remember that campaign slogan one year `It's morning again in America.' Well, it may have been morning for some, but for a lot of people in this country it's become a nightmare."
- CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley in an April 28 speech to Benedictine University in Illinois, aired May 11 on C-SPAN.


And They Say Gingrich is Too Mean-Spirited and Shrill

"What the public now thinks is that the White House, the President, brought the Republicans back from this extremist program. They really didn't want that. It was a mistake to think there was a huge mandate for, you know, poisoning the water, tainting the meat, removing all these regulations."
- Margaret Carlson on CNN's Capital Gang, April 27.


Shooting Clifts in a Barrel

"I was a White House correspondent for the Carter years, six years of Ronald Reagan, two years of Bill Clinton, and I would challenge you to point to unfairness throughout then."
- Newsweek contributor Eleanor Clift to the MRC's Brent Bozell on CNN's Crossfire, April 26.

Reality Check:
"Clinton is much craftier than George Bush in avoiding the kind of `Read My Lips' vow that allows no maneuvering room. He can rewrite his promises to adjust to reality. That opens him up to `Slick Willie' catcalls. It also leaves him the option to do the right thing."
- Clift in February 8, 1993 Newsweek story.

"Clinton's giving the best evidence yet of his approach to leadership. It's about understanding, not threats; accommodation, not confrontation; about getting people (or at least Democrats) to sing the same song. The style is reminiscent of another patient, nonjudgmental figure given to hugging in public: Barney the Dinosaur."
- Clift in August 9, 1993 Newsweek story.

"The public might even be tickled to learn that the prim and preachy First Lady has a gambler's streak. Hillary's brief fling in commodities was possibly reckless, but it shows a glimmering of a more credible, if more flawed, human being."
- Clift with Mark Miller in an April 11, 1994 Newsweek news story.


USA Today's Foul Sport

"Leftovers from my hate mail bag: to those who say [NBA player] Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf can't criticize our country because he makes $2 million a year - Since when does becoming rich preclude anyone from speaking out for the disadvantaged? What would you call our politicians if they started thinking like that? Oops, I forgot. Republicans."
- USA Today sports columnist Bryan Burwell, April 5.


Gentle Teenage Menstrual Jokes

"Al Franken was very funny. He's very politically astute....It was not like the radio and television one where Don Imus sort of went a little too far. There were jabs at Clinton. There were jabs at Newt Gingrich, who was there at the dinner and others, but they were funny and gentle...within the bounds of propriety, in my opinion."
- Time Managing Editor Walter Isaacson on C-SPAN's Sunday Journal, May 5.

Reality Check:
"But the Speaker is nothing if not a man of ideas, some of which have been very controversial, for example his gender theories. You'll remember that Newt said, and I quote, `If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections.' Now I read this and the image that immediately came to mind was that of Newt, about 15 years ago, explaining to his 13-year- old daughter that she had just gotten her first infection."
- Al Franken to the White House Correspondents Association dinner, May 4, as shown live on C-SPAN.


- 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, Intern