Notable Quotables - 11/25/1991


Today on Flammable Jammies: Reagan's Fault

Reporter Lea Thompson: "The Consumer Product Safety Commission can stop manufacturing; it can fine; it can even seize clothes right off the rack if PJ's don't meet flammability standards. None of that's happened. So far the agency has only hoped a manufacturer will take its advice. So you can't depend on government to police this for you. We did find this flammable sleepwear everywhere we went."
Bryant Gumbel: "Lea, Lea, real quick. Why is the government abdicating its responsibility on this? Is this another holdover from the Reagan years and the cutbacks?"
Thompson: "Absolutely. And somebody's gotta do something."
- Exchange on Today, November 13.


Today's Tough Questions for Carter

"And finally President Carter, you are now considered one of the world's foremost statesmen. You've been called the best ex-President this country has ever had. Your reputation has been bolstered tremendously since you left office. How does that make you feel?"
- Today co-host Katie Couric to Jimmy Carter, same day.


Clift Clips Buchanan

"He is David Duke with a word processor and without the sheet, although sometimes he comes close to putting on the sheet. His views on immigration, he talks about it as suicide of a nation, where he talks about the hordes of immigrants coming to dilute our Western civilization to me is thinly veiled racism."
- Newsweek Washington reporter Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, November 17.


Mississippi Mud

"In Mississippi, a rising star of the Democratic Party, reform Governor Ray Mabus, lost to businessman Kirk Fordice, the first Republican Governor elected there in more than a century. Although George Bush led the cheering today for Fordice's victory, he won partly by playing the race card, appealing to some of the same white fears David Duke is exploiting in neighboring Louisiana."
- NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell, November 6 Nightly News.

"In Mississippi, Mr. Fordice, the GOP winner, rode to victory by echoing Mr. Duke's rhetoric in Louisiana, attacking job quotas and calling for `workfare, not welfare.'"
- Wall Street Journal reporter James M. Perry, November 7.

"The weakness in the Democrats' argument is that, first, local news coverage and reports from good political sources on the ground in Mississippi do not corroborate the story that race was an important aspect of the campaign."
- Political consultant Charles Cook in Roll Call, November 18.


The Reagan Recovery

"The wealth boom that the Democrats decry started before Reagan and would have occurred without his policies."
- U.S. News & World Report Atlanta correspondent Matthew Cooper, November 18.

"It's been called a legacy of the '80s, left on the sidewalks of America. An economic lesson about shrinking resources and growing needs in every major city. In Los Angeles, the welfare line starts at dawn and grows all day."
- Reporter Richard Roth on the November 7 CBS Evening News.


Taxing and Spending

"The obvious solution is to raise taxes, but polls show that the people of Florida, like Americans everywhere, are in no mood to dig deeper into their pockets, even for education."
- CBS reporter Juan Vasquez on the decrease in tax revenue to schools caused by the recession, October 17 Evening News.

"The solution, according to most economists, probably involves raising taxes. But no politician will say that."
- Jack Smith on how to provide people with better services, October 20 This Week with David Brinkley.


More Government Costs Less

"Here in Washington, a new national health care plan was announced Tuesday - not by Congress, but by a coalition of major corporations, labor unions, and consumer health groups. The plan would guarantee all Americans health care, and at the same time save the United States billions of dollars."
- CNN anchor Bernard Shaw leading off World News, November 12.


Incredible Capital Gains Cuts

"Recently (and, indeed, every time the economy sniffles) the White House has trotted out plans to cut the capital gains tax rate, which it says would stimulate long-term investments and help put American back to work. Let's get serious, folks."
- Baltimore Sun Business Editor Phil Moeller in a column in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, October 28.


Conservatives: Fathers and Sons of Duke

"Duke is exploiting the same politics of resentment that Ronald Reagan mastered. Reagan rose to power as a critic of government waste and excess, and he regaled audiences during his successful presidential campaign in 1980 with accounts of a `welfare queen' who bought vodka with food stamps. Duke has developed his own constituency with a theme of `welfare parasites' who are said to use their government checks to buy drugs and lottery tickets."
- Boston Globe reporter Curtis Wilkie, November 15.

"Demagogues don't yell `nigger' or `Jew boy' anymore. They've learned better...[Duke] traded in his bigoted rhetoric for a slick new glossary of coded appeals to racial resentment, market tested over the past two decades by mainstream conservative politicians."
- Time Washington reporter Dan Goodgame, November 25 issue.

"The 1988 presidential campaign offered the classic in racial innuendo with the Willie Horton ad, produced by the supporters of George Bush...Political observers think that whether it was intended or not, the Willie Horton ad opened the door for the use of more blatant racial issues and prepared the way for David Duke."
- CBS reporter David Culhane on Sunday Morning, November 17.

"Since [1968], every Republican presidential candidate has run on some issue that raised racial overtones. Richard Nixon preached law and order in the wake of the Watts riots....Ronald Reagan told the story of the welfare queen....George Bush was accused of playing racial politics when he made a national figure out of this Massachusetts convict."
- NBC reporter Lisa Myers on Today, November 13.

"Duke's coded message, refined in three political contests, enjoyed a major boost from the GOP's skillful exploitation of racial fears during the [1988] presidential campaign."
- Newsweek reporter Bill Turque, November 18.

Among Next Year's NEA Grantees...

"Themis Klotz's neighbors say the 1966 station wagon she buried under a mound of sand is nothing but junk. Klotz says it's art and calls it `The Monument To Humanity No One Will Be Left To Build After George Bush Has His Winnable Limited Protracted Nuclear War with 20 Million Americans Acceptable Loss.'"
- Lead of United Press International story on Glencoe, Illinois woman, November 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