Notable Quotables - 05/27/1991


How to Save New York

"Take the $50 billion we'll spend subduing the next 'Middle East Madman' and give it to our 50,000 homeless people. Each would receive a ranch home ($250,000), store credit at Barney's ($10,000), college education ($80,000), two cars ($60,000), deluxe motor home ($45,000), country club membership ($25,000), plus golf lessons and a decent set of clubs ($5,000), speedboat ($25,000) and $500,000 in cash."
- CBS News correspondent Bill Geist on how to save New York City, May 17 New York Times survey.


Arrogance on Parade

"We made Gen. [H. Norman] Schwarzkopf what he is today, and the next Gen. Schwarzkopf would like to have similar treatment."
- Time Washington Bureau Chief Stanley Cloud in The Washington Post, May 14.


Cheering for Gun Control

"A Blow to The N.R.A.: The House takes an overdue stand for gun control"
- Time headline, May 20

"It's much too early to say whether this is going to have a real impact on crime in America. But it is nonetheless a cause for celebration because of what you mentioned, that is, it's a defeat for the National Rifle Association, which is nothing less than an American disgrace and it's really great to see them take one on the chin."
- Time Editor-At-Large Strobe Talbott on Inside Washington, May 11.

"This [Brady] bill is just to say to the NRA 'You've gone too far.' Really all this represents is just common sense winning out for the first time against the big bucks of the NRA."
- Washington Post reporter Juan Williams on CNN's Capital Gang, May 11.


Kinsley the Moderate, McLaughlin the Ultraconservative

"The conservative tilt on some shows is so pronounced that flaming moderates are passed off as hard-core liberals. Such commentators as Al Hunt, Mark Shields and Michael Kinsley hardly seem as far to the left as Robert Novak, Pat Buchanan, and John McLaughlin are to the right, but their presence provides a superficial sort of 'balance.'"
- Media reporter Howard Kurtz, May 19 Washington Post Magazine.


"Undoctrinaire Conservatism"

"[Nancy Kassebaum] is famous for the independent streak that led her to oppose Ronald Reagan on school prayer, Star Wars, and a balanced-budget amendment while supporting abortion rights and sanctions against South Africa....Her undoctrinaire conservatism could be just the thing, however, to help the G.O.P. attract suburban swing voters who may identify with the party on economics but are put off by the more strident right-wing positions on social questions like abortion rights."
- Unbylined Time story, May 20.

An Aging Whine

"But conservatives failed Americans by trying to placate both supply-siders and traditional Republicans with an economic model that included massive tax cuts and higher defense spending. The Republican legacy is a $3 trillion debt, held in large part by foreign investors, and a populace that feels cheated by a government that doesn't seem to work."
- Time Washington reporter Michael Duffy, May 20 book review.


The New York Times Mourns for Eastern Europe

"For the two dozen gypsy families living here in the ruined shell of an old army barracks, the dawning of a market economy has brought nothing but bad news - layoffs, high prices and still no relief from the discrimination that has always kept Hungary's gypsies at society's edge."
- New York Times reporter Celestine Bohlen, May 5.

"For years, the nations of the Eastern bloc grumbled that Moscow's arcane system for trade with its allies was little more than a swindle. Just give us a chance to sell our goods for cold hard dollars, they insisted, and we will show you who comes out ahead. On Jan. 1 they got their wish, and they have rued the day ever since."
- New York Times reporter Stephen Engelberg beginning a front-page article, May 6.


Reagan's Emasculation

"In the last decade, gambling has increasingly been sanctioned by the states as the ideal way out of budgetary red ink - in fact, the only way short of raising taxes or cutting services. It is rally Ronald Reagan's fault: His steady emasculation of federal domestic programs forced the states to increase their own spending on essential services although they had no accompanying source of increased revenue."
- Hearst Newspapers columnist and former reporter Marianne Means in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 29. (Thanks to Tim Ferguson.)


We Know What's Good for You

"You saw almost no casualties of this war, either American or Iraqi. That was decided. It's a decision that war for the American public, and in the way the American press will be permitted to see it, should be preferably brief, nonviolent to the extent that images can be restricted, and not debated. That's a bad system. It's particularly bad, and I find it particularly troubling, because the American public seems to have liked it."
- New York Times reporter James LeMoyne speaking at a Berkeley symposium shown on the CBS News program Sunday Morning, May 12.


What Central America Needs: More Government

"Is enough being done to help the poorest survive and find a niche in a new, more competitive environment? Could the free-market cure be pushed so far that it destroys a vital mainstay of Third World stability: the benevolent state?"
- Boston Globe Latin America correspondent Pamela Constable, May 12.


Freedom Fighters, Communists: What's the Difference?

"More than any of the other conflicts of the last decade, the struggle for Nicaragua was a contest in which the Administration seemed sure of the good guys and the bad guys, while on the ground it was almost impossible to tell the difference."
- Former Newsweek Central America reporter Christopher Dickey reviewing Stephen Kinzer's Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua in the April 28 Los Angeles Times.

We Only Care About White Disaster Victims

"I think there is racial prejudice in the media. There is a tendency to discount, or weigh less heavily, disasters to people who, not because they're remote so much, but are of a different skin color....I just mean that if there were a couple of million blonde, blue-eyed people facing starvation somewhere, I think the media coverage would be so intense we'd know their names by this time."
- Time essayist Barbara Ehrenreich on Nightline, May 1.


Hide Those Flaming Tires

"Mr. Mandela, a lawyer by profession, is a strong advocate of the rule of law..."
- Christian Science Monitor staff writer John Battersby, May 15.


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