Notable Quotables - 06/30/1997


Clinton's Negative Press from the Left


"Is this welfare bill your great vulnerability on this subject? Your supporters, your critics, they all say that, perhaps, you are abandoning minorities and the poor."
- NBC's Gwen Ifill interviewing President Clinton about his race-relations speech, June 16 Today.

"Is there risk involved in that, though, sir, if you have people speaking frankly?Do you really want people to say what they think about others? We have something of that kind that goes on talk radio all the time and people say what they think, but it's not always very constructive....Do you think that today the United States is a racist country and is it mainly white racism?"
- CBS Sunday Morning host Charles Osgood to President Clinton, June 15.

"When you ask them what the President's really done on race they talk about the Memphis speech, they talk about the church burning speech, they talk about the 'mend it but don't end it' and what have you. But really, if you look at the welfare bill he signed and you look at the budget deal right now which gives you very little opportunity for much money for jobs in the inner cities and things like that, or job training and what have you, it reminds me of an old Texas saying that 'it's all hat and no cattle.' You know, that there really isn't much possible that's going to be done by the government, it's all Clinton."
- Ken Bode, Washington Week in Review host and former aide to Morris Udall, June 13 edition of the PBS show.

Deep Cuts? On Which Planet?


"Not all of the leaders here are going to be anxious to follow the American economic model. The Europeans in particular say that their publics expect much more in the way of social service spending and the American economy had to make deep government spending cuts."
- Bill Plante from the economic summit in Denver, June 20 CBS This Morning. In the balanced budget plan, annual "spending will rise from $1.6 to $1.9 trillion" by 2002, Jim Glassman pointed out in the May 20 Washington Post.

Winning the Public to the Liberal Side


Peter Jennings: "On Capitol Hill tonight, a Senate panel is putting the finishing touches on an $85 billion bill. It includes tax cuts for families, for investors, and for education. But it also leaves out millions of Americans, and passage of the bill very much depends on winning over the public. Here's ABC's John Cochran."
John Cochran: "....And Old Democrats, the liberals, fear Gingrich is right, that the President ultimately will sign a tax bill that provides relief for the wealthy and the middle class, but does nothing for the rest."
- Introduction and conclusion to ABC's June 19 World News Tonight story.

Enjoying the Disaster Relief Battle


"If they had stood and fought for it longer, we would enjoy this debacle for many more weeks. Oh, that they would have!...The rift that it exposes, I mean, Newt Gingrich emerges as the good guy. He was warning against carrying this too far. Dick Armey is the evil strategist here."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, June 14.

"I notice that the Republicans tried to shut down the government. In fact, they did it in 1995 twice. And the American people rose up and smoked them. And now they tried to do it with disaster relief, the flood bill. The American people was rising up to smite them. Now I understand they are going to try to do it with the tax bill. Three strikes and you're out!"
- Sam Donaldson on CNN's Larry King Live, June 16.

Raging Capitalism Makes it Difficult to Oppress


"In a way, the business boom here fueled today's protest. A thin layer of the top of Chinese society has made tons of money, but the masses have been left behind and increasingly lack of housing and unemployment makes those at the bottom very restless. That's why some 200 people boldly demonstrated for about three hours today in a symbolic park in the heart of Beijing....This protest today is a reminder to the Chinese leadership, and all who watch, that this is a complicated country, which even for the Chinese, is hard to understand and difficult to rule. Dan Rather, CBS News, Beijing."
- June 20 CBS Evening News.

In Mao's China, They Only Killed People and Ate Them


"When the Khmer Rouge ruled the country, they took Maoist theory to an extreme, driving the population from the cities, abolishing education, destroying factories, and killing intellectuals, civil servants, monks, and artists."
- New York Times reporter Seth Mydans, June 16.

If Only McGovern Had Been Allowed to End Our War on Communism


"What if Watergate had elected McGovern?....The Cold War would have ended in the '70s rather than in the '90s. McGovern, in his campaign, debunked the threat and invincibility of the so-called evil Soviet empire. Republican and Democratic Presidents preached that myth for four decades, until the USSR self-destructed.....George McGovern. A man before his time. Prescient. Decisive, but decent. The USA and the world would have been far better off if we'd been heedful of his early Watergate warnings and had put McGovern in the White House in 1972."
- USA Today founder Al Neuharth in his June 20 column.

Today's Lineup: A Conservative and Two Non-Liberals


"Joining us now the Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition, long-time civil rights activist, former presidential candidate and host of CNN's Both Sides; William Bennett of Empower America, leading conservative activist and former Secretary of Education; and Linda Chavez-Thompson, Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO, just named to the President's advisory board on race."
- CNN Late Edition host Frank Sesno, June 15.

Republicans Disturbed by Minorities


"What liberals can't understand is why can't Republicans be honest about their discomfort with the advancement of women and minorities...The ideological pulse of the party, the Conservative Action Team, is backing its own candidate for the Republican Conference's vice chair. And nary a woman was ever in the running. The message from the crowd is clear: only anti-abortion, right-wing males need apply."
PBS To the Contrary host and Westwood One reporter Bonnie Erbe, June 7 column in The Washington Times.

Scandal Obsessed?


"But are members of the media, do you think, Bob, too scandal-obsessed, looking for something at every corner?"
- Katie Couric to Bob Woodward, June 17 Today.

Washington Post ombudsman Geneva Overholser: "In the end, despite all the ink and air time, Donorgate probably won't go down in history as President Clinton's Watergate. After all, so far there's no smoking gun. Selling the White House made a great story, but with all the fuss over who slept over in the Lincoln Bedroom, reporters may have shortchanged the bigger story: that our nation's whole system of campaign finance is badly broken, and will the press finally focus on that scandal? Maybe, but only if there are no beds making headlines." Former New York Times reporter Alex Jones: "A legitimate story, like the coverage of the Lincoln Bedroom can be overplayed, making the public suspicious of reporters' intentions. Too much coverage can be as bad as too little...But in this particular story, it's not difficult to see why a lot of people thought the line was crossed."
- From a story on the PBS series Media Matters about overcoverage of Clinton scandals, June 13.


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