Notable Quotables - 06/01/1998


"Republican" Kenneth Starr Drops Another Distracting "Load"

"Ken Starr drops another load on President Clinton....Good evening. Just as President Clinton was enjoying a day talking up the economy, officially announcing the first U.S. budget surplus in three decades, Ken Starr hit him again. The Republican independent counsel and special prosecutor decided late in the day to announce his decision to press his subpoena for samples of Monica Lewinsky's handwriting, fingerprints and her voice."
- Dan Rather at the top of the May 26 CBS Evening News.


Newt's Strange Words: "Chinese Communist" and "Threat"

"Newt loves to be able to roll those words on his tongue, Chinese communist, you know, the bear's back in the woods. You know, he loves bringing up these issues and he loves talking about, you know, threats to national security. There are even Republicans saying this could mean that missiles would fall on America. Give me a break!"
- Former New York Times and U.S. News reporter Steve Roberts reacting to Gingrich's recommendation that Clinton cancel his trip to China, May 24 Late Edition on CNN.


The Right's Need for Red Meat

Ted Koppel: "He tried being a nice guy...Now he's dishing out red meat again..."

Chris Bury: "So his new attacks on the President, if nothing else, will be heard by the audience that matters most to him. Those Republicans made restless by their leaders' silence on Bill Clinton and hungry for some red meat on the party menu."
- ABC's Nightline, May 13.


Eternally Defending Clinton

"Republicans will get scorched if they pursue the China money because Republicans lobbied for technological transfers along with the Clinton administration."
- Newsweek' s Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, May 23.

"The administration may have made the wrong decision. I don't know and we may never be absolutely able to decide that. But I think to equate this with treason or quid pro quo at this point is going a little far. Because if they bought something, they got it awful cheap."
- NPR's Nina Totenberg on Inside Washington, May 23.


Helping Arm Our Enemies: Just Another Partisan Food Fight?

"Chinese Connection Has GOP Drooling."
- Headline to Time's daily Internet update, May 22.


Geraldo Hates Scandal-Mongers...

"This man has scarcely had a day in office untainted by accusations of scandal. His very frustrated political enemies have tried every imaginable attack on the President's so-far impenetrable armor. There's been Whitewater, Filegate, and Travelgate, each trumpeted in its time as the scandal that would bring down his presidency. All now revealed basically as next to nonsense. Miserable flops costing taxpayers millions."
- Geraldo Rivera, who has joined NBC News and will cover Clinton's China trip for the Today show, hosting his CNBC show Rivera Live, May 19.


...Loves Bill Clinton...

"How much of his vital attention is being consumed by Ken Starr's endless probe, by the Monica Lewinsky saga, by the fears that his trusted Secret Service agents will be forced to rat out the maybe gory details of his private life....And finally, and most importantly, how can our bridge to the 21st century feel about the slanderous charge amounting almost to treason, that for Johnny Chung's bribe of 100,000 lousy dollars he sold America's missile secrets to the Chinese, who now aim their deadly devices at America's children?....I watch him and I wonder how he does it. I watch him and wonder how much is too much for any man."
- Rivera, same show.


Matt Lauer: "As a journalist, now a member of NBC News, why should I expect that Geraldo Rivera is going to be objective when covering a story about O.J. Simpson or Ken Starr in the future?"
Geraldo Rivera: "I think objectivity is a fantasy. I don't believe reporters are objective. Everyone comes to a story with their own bundle of personal experiences."
Lauer: "But most keep it secret or keep it private."
Rivera: "But they secretly influence the take on the story or the angle, even if only subconciously. What I do is lay out, 'Here I am.' I am - my heart is right here on my arm. Read it. The question to ask is whether I misrepresent anything? Am I factually correct? Is my program balanced and fair?"
- Exchange on Today, May 7.


Forced Abortion: Worth a Try?

"China has a one-child policy. Is that a good idea for all countries?"
- Good Morning America co-host Lisa McRee to Bill McKibben, author of Maybe One: A Personal and Environmental Argument for Single-Child Families, May 20.


The Federal Government "Saves" Better Than Average Americans

"The smart thing to do with the money, says Adam Pozen of the Institute for International Economics? Save it...A tax cut, Pozen says, is simply not what the economy needs right now. While the federal government may be getting better at saving money, Americans are not. Our savings rate recently hit a record low."
- CBS reporter Anthony Mason concluding a May 26 Evening News story on the irresponsibility of tax cuts.


A Tough Choice: Dan Burton or Felon/Female Impersonator?

"As he suffers through a disastrous year in Washington, Representative Dan Burton is facing the ultimate in the politics of disrespect here at home: Democrats have chosen a convicted felon and occasional female impersonator to challenge the flamboyant Republican incumbent....Some local residents despair at the choice between Mr. Kern, as the idiosyncratic insurgent, or Mr. Burton, as the entrenched incumbent whose campaign finance investigation in Washington has run into problems of chronic ineptitude and his own vulgar prejudging of President Clinton."
- New York Times news story by Francis X. Clines, May 24.


Enthusiastically Gullible

Larry King: Your thoughts on how good this White House spins?"
ABC's Cokie Roberts: "Oh, it's fabulous. It is so good. It just unbelievably good. Look at how they've managed to turn around this whole question about the President's behavior to one of Ken Starr's behavior, you know, just taken the whole focus off of the President and put it onto the prosecutor. That's remarkable."
- April 28 CNN Larry King Live.


We Must Control the Internet

"And we'll take A Closer Look tonight at gambling in America. Betting on the Internet. No regulations and as of now no way to control it."
- Peter Jennings plugging an upcoming story, May 5.


Guns Don't Kill, Politicians Who Back the NRA Kill

"Jonesboro, Arkansas; Edinboro, Pennsylvania; Fayetteville, Tennessee; Springfield, Oregon - all towns that live in infamy because a troubled teenager with access to a deadly gun went on a killing spree. There are no panaceas to stop such violence but there are too many guns and too many teenagers have too easy access to them. It is an outrage to deny that as too many politicians in the back pocket of the National Rifle Association are too wont to do."
- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt, May 23 CNN Capital Gang.

Starr's Ridiculous Indictment

"And although Starr indicted Clinton pal Webster Hubbell last week (along with his wife Suzanna, his lawyer, and his accountant), it was only for alleged tax crimes that are typically handled as civil matters, which even some of Starr's supporters felt was a stretch."
- Time Senior Editor Nancy Gibbs, May 11.

"A lot of tax lawyers told me today...this is kind of a ridiculous, marginal indictment, that normally this kind of thing, someone who declares most of his income, he didn't declare all of the $900,000, but he declared almost all of it, would be dealt with in a civil penalty kind of way. Or they'd find a way to make a deal with him. The thing was is that he, there is some evidence or there's a charge that he hid some of his assets and did a little bit of evasion. And on that little hook, Starr has gone on a criminal route."
- Time Washington Bureau Chief Michael Duffy on the PBS show Washington Week in Review, May 1.


Newsweek's Isikoff: Obsessed?

"He's been kicking around a Clinton book project for months. It's a dicey proposition in a press culture still deeply ambivalent about going tabloid. If Clinton falls, Isikoff may win a Pulitzer. But if Monicagate fizzles, Isikoff may find himself in the dock. Rather than All the President's Men, the Michael Isikoff story may end up titled How One Man's Obsession with Blow Jobs Turned Off the Country."
- Former American Spectator writer David Brock, June George.


Four Years Didn't Dissuade Them

"I know a lot of Washington journalists, and my guess is that more than 90 percent of them voted for Clinton in both 1992 and 1996."
- New Republic Editor (and former Newsweek reporter) Charles Lane, May 25 TRB column.


L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher
Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
Eric Darbe, Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen,
Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
Kristina Sewell, Research Associate
Michelle Baetz, Circulation Manager
Rebecca Hinnershitz, Karen Sanjines, Interns