Notable Quotables - 06/15/1998

Intelligent Subversion of the Law

"Stonewalling happens to be good lawyering and I'm glad the President and Monica Lewinsky have good lawyers."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on FNC's Hannity & Colmes, June 3.

"I think if a married man commits adultery, lying sort of goes with it, and committing perjury in a civil case that's been thrown out of court, I think you'd have to look long and hard to find anybody in this country who has suffered a penalty because of that....Now Sean, I've been around Washington long enough that I've heard lots of politicians tell lots of lies. And I don't know that I put lies about sex in a higher category than lies about public policy that might affect my life."
- Clift, same show.

Matthew Miller, U.S. News & World Report: "He [Clinton] either has to say the truth or decide to lie about adultery, or an affair...I don't think that the American people will actually care about that."
Suzy DeFrancis, GOP consultant: "He [Miller] thinks American people are the most lawless people..."
Miller: "Not lawless. Intelligent."
- Exchange on CNBC's Hardball, June 9.


Put On Blinders, Not Binoculars

Ted Koppel: "It has the potential of being a terrific conspiracy story. Several members of Congress, including Speaker Gingrich, have called on President Clinton not to go to China this month as planned until he answers to Congress. But the story may not have the additional advantage of being true."
Chris Bury: "For all the sound and fury here in Washington, no concrete evidence has yet emerged to support the two most damaging allegations. It is not certain any classified missile technology was transferred to China. And no one has produced any proof that President Clinton changed policy because of campaign contributions."
- ABC's Nightline, June 3.


Unserious, Imbalanced Borger

"Translation [of GOP policy]: We can't get Bill Clinton to tell the truth about Monica Lewinsky, so let's get him to fess up to cavorting with the Chinese. Please. Through their blunderbuss tactics, Republicans are undermining their own pledges to conduct serious and balanced inquiries."
- U.S. News & World Report columnist Gloria Borger in a June 8 article titled "Commies! Treason! Yippee!"


Rather's Prosecutorial Attack

"Good evening. There is new information tonight about President Clinton's response to Ken Starr's hard press in his investigation of the President's personal life. As CBS News White House correspondent Scott Pelley reports, the President has declined Starr's unprecedented request for his testimony."
- Dan Rather, May 27 CBS Evening News.

"Good evening. There are these important developments tonight in Ken Starr's prosecutorial attack against President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky."
- Dan Rather, June 2 CBS Evening News.


Monica's New Lawyer: Exhibit A for Why Starr Should Quit

"He is a walking, talking precedent for prosecutorial forebearance. It took [Jacob] Stein just six months and $312,000 to wrap up his investigation and decide not to bring any indictments against [then-Attorney General Ed] Meese. So when he finally sits down with Starr, Stein won't be just Lewinsky's defender. He'll be Exhibit A in the argument that it may be time for Starr's nearly four-year odyssey to come to an end."
- Time reporter Adam Cohen ending June 15 Stein profile.


Starr Appeal Threatens America

"You've always thought when you talked to your lawyer it was confidential, even after you die. But not if the independent counsel has his way....Once you die, whatever you told your attorney in absolute confidence suddenly becomes fair game. What you said may hurt your reputation, or implicate your child in drug abuse or embarrass your family, it doesn't matter. A prosecutor should, Starr argues, be able to make your lawyer talk. Whatever the Supreme Court's ruling may mean to Starr's investigation of the White House, it could profoundly affect how you deal with your attorney from now on."
- ABC's Forrest Sawyer, June 8 Nightline.

"For many terminally ill people, it is one of life's final acts: talking to a lawyer and feeling safe that their secrets are protected, even in death, by the attorney-client privilege....Now the attorney-client privilege is facing its biggest challenge yet here at the Supreme Court. The case has set off alarm bells among lawyers and clients, the worry that what they discuss in the strictest confidence may one day be revealed."
- CBS reporter Stephanie Lambidakis, June 7 CBS Evening News.


We'd Sooner Forget Public Eye

"The idea of a national apology for slavery has been floated regularly over the past year, but always shot down, often by Americans who would sooner forget it ever existed."
- Bryant Gumbel at beginning of a June 3 story about Ed Ball, a wealthy Southerner who wrote a book about coming to terms with the fact his family owned slaves, June 3 Public Eye.


Goldwater, the Great Ex-Senator

"Goldwater was always honest, even when honesty didn't pay. My appreciation of Goldwater came in his and my later years when he called on Nixon to resign and when he said that Reagan was either a liar or incompetent for not knowing about Iran-Contra. He told the party to let abortion alone and to quote 'boot Jerry Falwell in the ass,' closed quote. He summed up gays in the military brilliantly. 'You don't have to be straight to shoot straight.' You don't get more honest than that."
- Time's Margaret Carlson, May 30 CNN Capital Gang.

"He was also a dangerous extremist...It [the "Daisy" ad] was a gross exaggeration and it was demagogic and it was an effective ad, but there was some truth to it. Goldwater was a guy who was in favor of unleashing the Strategic Air Command."
- Newsweek reporter (and former Washington Bureau Chief) Evan Thomas, May 30 Inside Washington.

Moderator Ken Bode: "Fast, quick trigger-finger, yes, quick to shoot."
Robert Greenberger, The Wall Street Journal: "But don't you think as Barry Goldwater aged, now maybe this is a reflection on the country, maybe the country moved center or Barry Goldwater moved left. But he seems, in his later years he seemed a lot less unreasonable than some of the rhetoric you hear coming out of contemporaries on Capitol Hill."
- Exchange on PBS's Washington Week in Review, May 29.

"In 1992, Barry Goldwater came out in favor of lifting the ban on gays in the military - on the exquisitely conservative grounds that sexuality was none of the government's business. The tongue-clucking from the right was deafening. Gary Bauer, the President of the Family Research Council and now a kingmaker of the GOP's religious right, lamented publicly that 'it's sad...Sen. Goldwater was once the authentic voice of American conservatism.' Ah, but Goldwater didn't change his stripes, the GOP did. Bauer is the "authentic voice" of something else entirely: a radical faction that is fast taking over the party - and trampling the philosophy - to which Goldwater dedicated his political life."
- Time Daily online writer Frank Pellegrini, May 29.


Good Morning, Gun Nut

"Speaking of gun safety and children, Mr. Heston, as you well know and in fact as everyone in this country knows there has been a spate of school shootings recently that have been quite disturbing to all Americans. Given the fact that these seem to be happening with greater frequency has it caused you to rethink your philosophy about children and guns and the accessibility of guns for children?"
- Katie Couric to the NRA's new President, June 8 Today.

Katie Couric: "Getting back to kids and guns, if you will indulge me for a moment. You cannot think of any other position the NRA could take in terms of trying to decrease the number of school shootings? You feel like this is not your bailiwick, this is not your problem?"
Charlton Heston: "Not at all. As I told you the NRA spends more money, more time..."
Couric, cutting him off: "Other than education."
Heston: "Well what would you suppose? What would you suggest?"
Couric: "I don't know, perhaps greater restrictions."
- Exchange on the June 8 Today.

"The Bill of Rights was written over 200 years ago. There weren't semi-automatic weapons out there. There weren't AK-47s out there. There were people who had one-shot rifles, one-shot revolvers. What do you say to people who say, 'We're in a different time right now and we are awash in guns'?"
- CBS host Mark McEwen to Heston, June 8 This Morning.

"Mr. Heston, is there no room for some limited gun control laws in this country?"
- ABC host Lisa McRee, June 8 Good Morning America.


I Always Think the Worst of Newt

"I assume the worst when Newt opens his mouth but I have no idea on this issue whether Newt was wrong."
- Newsweek's Evan Thomas on Speaker Gingrich saying Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel.


Site of Deadly Easter Egg Rolls

"Let's make it clear, though, that is the official welcoming spot in Beijing. It's a little bit like the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. That's where world leaders come for state visits."
- Today host Matt Lauer responding to Sen. Tim Hutchinson's claim that Clinton visiting Tiananmen Square "demeans the lives of those who were killed" in democracy protests, June 9.

Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
Jessica Anderson, Eric Darbe, Geoffrey Dickens,
Tom Roop, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
Kristina Sewell, Research Associate
Michelle Baetz, Circulation Manager
Stacey Felzenberg, Carrie Hale, Interns