Notable Quotables - 09/02/1991


Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

"If suddenly a true, two-party or multi-party system were to be formed in the Soviet Union, the Communist Party would still win in a real free election. Except for certain small pockets of resistance to the Communist regime, the people have been truly converted in the last 68 years."
- CNN then-Moscow Bureau Chief (and current World Report Editor-in-Chief) Stuart Loory in a letter to The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 1986.

"Despite what many Americans think, most Soviets do not yearn for capitalism or Western-style democracy."
- Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News, June 17, 1987.

"The problem is many Soviets don't want Western-style human rights, which they tend to equate with anarchy."
- ABC reporter Walter Rodgers on World News Tonight, December 23, 1986.

"Many Soviets viewing the current chaos and nationalist unrest under Gorbachev look back almost longingly to the era of brutal order under Stalin."
- Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes, February 11, 1990.

"The Soviets call it a worker's paradise. Americans call it a police state. And we think if only the Iron Curtain were lifted, they'd be at the border in a New York minute. Well, we'd be wrong....Freedom to most Russians is living in a country where the unemployment rate is zero, where state health care costs nothing, where nobody is homeless, and crime is not epidemic."
- Reporter Bernard Goldberg on the CBS Evening News, March 4, 1986.

"Soviet people have become accustomed to security if nothing else. Life isn't good here, but people don't go hungry, homeless; a job has always been guaranteed. Now all socialist bets are off. A market economy looms, and the social contract that has held Soviet society together for 72 years no longer applies. The people seem baffled, disappointed, let down. Many don't like the prospect of their nation becoming just another capitalist machine."
- CNN reporter Steve Hurst on PrimeNews, May 24, 1990.

"But there may be even more significant backers for a crackdown: the general public. After five years of waiting for perestroika to bear fruit, most Soviet citizens have lost faith. Appalled by the disintegrating economy and the sharp rise of violent crime, convinced that the country is falling into the hands of the black market mafia and fearful that the dissolution of the union will bring deeper chaos and poverty, they are ready to sacrifice - or at least postpone - the pursuit of lofty democratic goals so that order can be restored."
- Time Senior Writer Bruce Nelan, December 31, 1990.


Rather Wacky

"One airplane is carrying the coup leaders trying to make their getaway. They're on the run like Thelma and Louise, if you will."
- Dan Rather in a mid-morning special report, August 21.

"The Defense Ministry said to the military get out of town, the coup leaders have already high diddle-diddled out of here and we're getting out of Moscow."
- Rather, minutes later.

Boris Yeltsin, So-Called Democrat

"Yeah, one thing I don't like is he's shut down Pravda. Not that I'm any big fan of Pravda, but I think that is flirting with censorship."
- Newsweek reporter Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, August 24.

"A purge is a purge, and even if it's Boris Yeltsin conducting the purge and the coup plotters who are purged, I think that's a setback for the Soviet Union because in a country where people can't walk out of office and into their own homes and expect not to be shot or arrested, that's not a country that's really free."
- National Public Radio news anchor Linda Wertheimer on CNN's Capital Gang, August 24.

Soviet Shortages: Communism Has Nothing To Do With It

"It's short of soap, so there are lice in hospitals. It's short of pantyhose, so women's legs go bare. It's short snowsuits, so babies stay home in winter...The problem isn't communism; nobody even talked about communism this week. The problem is shortages."
- NBC's John Chancellor, August 21.


Still Pining for Gorby

"It seems that Gorbachev, although he's played a role, can't leave the stage quite yet. This country is going under too rapid a change for him to simply disappear right now. Although he's politically weakened, he has to stay on as President. To have a national election now would be to throw the country into a chaos that it doesn't need."
- CBS Moscow reporter Jonathan Sanders, August 23 Evening News.


Fighting Back Could Be Unpopular

"The Baltic states throughout this crisis have always tried to deal from the point of law. They say that they were annexed illegally and they have tried to use law to regain their independence. If they start shooting at Soviet troops they would lose some sympathy, they'd lose world sympathy."
- CBS reporter Peter Van Sant, August 20 CBS Evening News.


Sam Slams Conservatives

"George, the right wing is going to have to hang it up as an anti-communist boom-boom-boom-boom-boom. You're gonna have to find someone else to hate and someone else to say is a great threat to the United States. You don't have the commies anymore."
- Sam Donaldson on This Week, August 25.


Fidel's Better Potholed Roads

"The Roads Are Potholed and the Luxuries Few, Yet Many People Say They're Better Off"
- New York Times, August 18

"Across Cuba's Countryside: Better Roads, Pure Air and Sympathy for Castro"
- Same story, inside page


Loving Lowell

"My star [of the week] is Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker. He forced the legislature to institute an income tax for the first time in that state."
- Boston Globe reporter Michael K. Frisby on Fox's talk show Off the Record, August 25.


Abortion Better Than Life

"How can you who protest abortion be so certain that we aren't swimming toward a fate worse than death? Is homicide in the womb, swift and merciful, not better than the slow death that lies ahead for some of us once our lives begin?...Better to die now, before we can feel real pain, than to enter a world where life is so painful it's criminal to be born."
- USA Today Inquiry Editor Barbara Reynolds, August 16.


Dahmer's Murders: Yes, They're Society's Fault

"There is a 'logic' too to Dahmer's crime. Raised in a culture that condoned racial prejudice and despised homosexuals, Dahmer appeared to believe he could preserve a place in mainstream society - with all its furtive hopes of family, friends, and future - by destroying the evidence of his homosexuality. He killed his 'lovers' - mostly blacks - dismembered them, and in some cases, may have devoured their remains. Crime is a logical, if messy, quick fix to the shortcomings of society. Is that the lesson then? That we get the criminals our societies deserve? Yes, of course."
- Time Associate Editor Howard G. Chua-Eoan in the magazine's "Essay," August 19.


- 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