Notable Quotables - 05/28/1990


Read Media Lips

"The bottom line is more tax money is going to be needed. Just how much will be the primary issue on the agenda when Congressional leaders meet with the President later today, Wednesday, May the 9th, 1990. And good morning, welcome to Today. It's a Wednesday morning, a day when the budget picture, frankly, seems gloomier than ever. It now seems the time has come to pay the fiddler for our costly dance of the Reagan years."
- Bryant Gumbel opening NBC's Today, May 9.

"Could it be, though, that finally, finally, [Bush] is facing reality, or at least what a lot of people say is reality, that he's going to have to raise taxes?"
- Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau Chief Jack Nelson on Washington Week in Review, May 18.

"The Republicans made this deficit mess with their insistence on tax cuts that were too big and defense spending increases that were too large. They made the mess. It's up to them to put the plan on the table to fix it first."
- Washington Post "Outlook" Editor Jodie Allen on the talk show Money Politics, May 13.

"There's now general agreement on both sides of the aisle that the deficit is dangerously large, and spending cuts alone cannot bring it down."
- ABC's Jack Smith on This Week with David Brinkley, May 13.

"When George Bush says no new taxes, most Americans think of income taxes. Most economists ack-nowledge that while income taxes are the most effective and equitable means of reducing the deficit, it is also the most politically risky."
- Peter Jennings on the May 15 World News Tonight.


El Salvador Aid Consensus

- New York Times, May 23

"House rejects attempt to cut aid to Salvador"
- Washington Times, same day


It's One Thing or The Other

"More questions about President Bush's refusal to take a stand on tax increases or cutting programs for needy people to help deal with the huge and growing national debt."
- Dan Rather on the May 17 CBS Evening News.

"School finance is not exactly a glamorous political issue, but it could become one of the most explosive in the '90s, and it's easy to see why, because many people believe there are only two solutions to this problem of school finance: raise taxes or raise taxes."
- Reporter Jim Cummins, May 19 NBC Nightly News.


Soviet Myths

"In five years, Mikhail Gorbachev has transformed the Soviet Union from a rigid police state to what he describes as a kind of freewheeling infant democracy."
- Dan Rather's introduction to a story on making criticism of Gorbachev illegal, May 15 Evening News.

"[Russia] was not only an expansionist power but also a source of security to many small, isolated, exotic peoples and ethnic groups who would otherwise have been at the mercy of hostile neighbors."
- Soviet Communist Party analyst Igor Malashenko presenting his "personal views" in the May 21 Time.


Fortunately, They're Reporters, Not Negotiators

"No one, of course, can read Gorbachev's mind, but one can imagine him thinking something like this: 'Look, the Cold War is over. Who cares how many cruise missiles you have or how far they can fly? There isn't going to be a war. These weapons aren't going to be used. Let's cut a deal and move onward to the new age.'"
- Fred Kaplan, former aide to U.S. Rep. Les Aspin (D-WI), Institute for Policy Studies book author and current Boston Globe defense reporter, in a May 21 front page "news analysis."

"With the military threat from the Soviet Union collapsing, is it too much to hope that we might have a little domestic perestroika and glasnost? A first target could be the myths used to justify development and production of 20,000 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons of varied types and sizes, supposedly to fight a nuclear war in Europe. An honest discussion would expose the irrationality of what passed as serious thought on nuclear strategy during the past 40 years. It also might put the brakes on spending additional billions to develop newer - or more exotic - versions of these useless weapons."
- Washington Post defense reporter Walter Pincus in the "Outlook" section, May 13.


Trade Analysis

"Trade Deficit Takes Sharp Turn for Worse; Near Record March Imports Swamp Exports"
- Washington Post, May 18

"Exports Bright Spot"
- Boston Herald, same day


Straight Bashing

"While Frank was considered one of Congress' most politically skilled members before his relationship with the prostitute was known, Dannemeyer has been held in much lower regard, with many of his colleagues and outsiders viewing him as a fanatic on a mission against homosexuals."
- Boston Globe reporter Michael K. Frisby comparing Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. William Dannemeyer (R-CA), May 10.


John Chancellor Insights

"Under Reagan, there was more of a buildup of the national debt than under all previous presidents. The combination of big tax cuts, big increases in defense spending, and a hair-curling recession did the job.... The cuts in taxes and domestic spending resulted in the first redistribution of income in favor of the affluent since the 1920s and a reduction of the federal government's obligation to the poor."
- NBC commentator John Chancellor in his new book Peril and Promise.

"This book deserves to cause a big stir. It is as clear, as non-partisan, and as urgent a warning as America is likely to get."
- Robert MacNeil of the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour in an ad for the Chancellor book.

"Mr. Chancellor does have the good grace to include a 'sources' section, the honorable thing to do when you've written a volume that doesn't contain a single original thought...The book reads like a very long commencement speech given at a very small university where the speaker receives a very cheap-looking plaque for a job not very well done."
- Joe Queenan's Wall Street Journal review of Peril and Promise, May 15.


No One Here But Us Objective Reporters

"The fact of the matter is that everybody you're looking at here is a reporter, and the fellow in Moscow [Dan Rather] as well, and we report about other people. There's not a commentator on this stage, and that fellow in Moscow is not a commentator. So we simply don't do what you're saying."
- 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace defending a panel of CBS reporters against charges of liberal bias, especially on abortion coverage, on the May 18 Donahue.


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