Notable Quotables - 08/05/1991


The Mother of All Anchormen

"Now, walking down the red-carpeted staircase, President Bush, President Gorbachev, with Gorbachev's interpreter in between. You can just see at the top of your picture that huge chandelier, almost 4,000 pounds. It's the older sister of all chandeliers."
- Dan Rather before START treaty signing ceremony, July 31.


Staged vs. Unstaged

"Suddenly, from about half the way across the square, I heard this 'Peter, Peter, come I want you to meet some people.' And he [Gorbachev] plunged into this crowd and it was again impressionistic, right? But it was clear to me that in touching these was clear that he wanted us to see that here were people who on a one-to-one basis really felt positively about him."
- Peter Jennings on Nightline, July 29.

"We came to this village called Spinoria, 40 kilometers outside Moscow, to measure as best we could the impact that Gorbachev has had on the lives of these Russian peasants....No one we talked to had anything positive to say about Gorbachev. They hold him responsible for their daily struggle."
- Dan Rather, July 31 CBS Evening News.


Japanese Ideology

"Japan's Socialist Party Picks Moderate Leader"
- Washington Post, July 24

"Japan's Socialists Elect Right-Wingers as Chief"
- Los Angeles Times, same day


Let's Aid the Communists

Dan Rather: "American taxpayers have spent billions over the years preparing for any Soviet attack. Now with the Soviet Union on the verge of collapse, its leader is here in London asking for help, including America's. In tonight's Eye on America, is it time to lend a hand or turn our backs?"
CBS News Consultant Stephen Cohen: "...Now that that moment has come, if we close our arms, if we push them away, it tells us something terribly profound about ourselves. It's something rather sad and historians will judge us terribly harsh if we're indifferent or unable to do now what should be done."
- Report on CBS Evening News, July 16.


Jay Rockefeller, Compassionate and Moderate

"He brushes away all the psychological theories of guilt and expiation that surround the Rockefeller family, the getting of its fortune and the giving away. But he clearly wants a place in the family pantheon. His niche, if he has his way, will be as the voice of compassionate government, provider of health care, nurturer of children."
- Reporter Robin Toner in the New York Times Magazine, July 21.

"Another Democrat who is now thinking about running is West Virginia's moderate Senator Jay Rockefeller."
- CBS anchor Bob Schieffer, July 13 CBS Evening News.


Anti-Tax Conservatives Vs. "Better Government"

"On one side are die-hard antitax conservatives. On the other are moderate pragmatists like [California Gov. Pete] Wilson...Putting his state on the road to fiscal sanity would burnish Wilson's credentials as a can-do politician with the guts to cast aside ideology for the sake of better government."
- Time reporter Jordan Bonfante, July 15.


Conservatives With Paws

"Robert Mapplethorpe's boys-in-bondage photographs made the right wing snort and paw the ground."
- Time Associate Editor Richard Lacayo, July 29.


Still Ignoring the Census Bureau

"Q. How many homeless people are there in the U.S.? A. As many as 3 million."
- CNN "News Quiz," July 22 World News. (The census found only 230,000.)


More Old Malarkey

"The genius of the Constitution is that it sides with the citizen against the state. That's why it's such a worldwide success. But today's Supreme Court tends to favor the state over the citizen....In this Supreme Court, the state wins more often than the citizens. Something to keep in mind when they give you the old malarkey about the Court being true to the spirit of the Constitution. This Court isn't."
- NBC commentator and former anchor John Chancellor, July 23 Nightly News.


Abortion's Political Damage

"A new CNN-Time magazine poll indicates how people in the United States view abortion and other topics. Thirty-three percent of the people questioned said they would never vote for a candidate who opposes abortion. Fifty-eight percent said they would."
- CNN anchor David French, July 20 World News.

"But some analysts believe the party and the President are running a major risk, especially if the Supreme Court overturns the right to abortion before next year's elections."
- CNN reporter Deborah Potter, same show, next story.


Old-Time Religion-Bashing

"If religion, as Karl Marx wrote, is 'the opium of the people,' in Utah it is the amphetamine....For women in particular, life in Utah can be hard....A woman who wants an abortion may not be able to get one in Utah much longer. Last January the state legislature - which is 90% white, male, and Mormon - passed a law that would make virtually all abortions punishable by imprisonment."
- Time Los Angeles reporter Sally B. Donnelly, July 29.

"It's been about, oh, 15,000 years since a pregnant body was last an object of public veneration. This is the cave version of Demi Moore. No face, of course, just a sacred baby container. But when the Jews and the Christians came along, they saw it differently. Women were temptation. The only pregnancy you could celebrate was the one that didn't need sex."
- Diane Sawyer on Demi Moore's nude photo on the cover of Vanity Fair, July 18 Prime Time Live.


Peter Arnett, Self-Proclaimed Agent of Truth

"I didn't realize the degree that our reports were fueling [anti-Vietnam War sentiment], of course. Not until years later, when I covered the McGovern campaign with George McGovern in '72 and I was with him on field trips, and people were coming up and recognizing me and shaking my hand. They were the anti-war people supporting McGovern who felt that somehow I was an agent of their cause, but I really wasn't an agent of their cause....I'm an agent of the cause of truth and information, that's what I'm an agent of."
- Peter Arnett in an interview with Linda Ellerbee on NBC's Later, July 17.


Maybe Those Cows Need Jane's Workout Tape

"Buffaloes are...better looking than cows. They don't have fat all over their butts."
- Ted Turner explaining his decision to replace the cows on his ranch with more endangered buffaloes, July 26.


- 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