Notable Quotables - 12/10/1990


They Never Knew They Had It So Good

"Under communism few grew rich, but few went hungry; in many cases people enjoyed surprisingly high levels of prosperity. In Poland, for example, wealthy entrepreneurs were able to afford Western luxury automobiles; in Czechoslovakia ownership of second homes was common. Now many may no longer be able to enjoy such extravagance."
- Time Warsaw correspondent John Borrell, December 3 news story.

"Poles had hoped that the long wait had ended, but it has not. After four decades of standing in communism's food lines, capitalism has created a new place to wait: at the unemployment office."
- NBC reporter Mike Boettcher, November 16 Nightly News.


Pummeling the Prime Minister

"Margaret Thatcher leaves behind a unique and complicated legacy. She came to office promising to 'renew the spirit and solidarity of the nation,' yet divided Britain between north and south, haves and have-nots, winners and losers."
- Washington Post reporter Glenn Frankel, November 25.

"A Thatcher revolution has brought great prosperity to some, but such basic elements in Britain's welfare state as health service, education, and housing have all deteriorated under Thatcher."
- ABC reporter Barrie Dunsmore on World News Tonight, November 20.

"Thatcher is (one yearns to finally say 'was') an instructive example to Americans of what happens when the mechanics of a parliamentary democracy unite a right-wing extremist with an automatic majority of constitutionally docile legislators - hell. In 11 years, she never could persuade a majority of her country's voters to support her, and thus her policies, for the simple reason that she and her policies never ceased being inimical to their welfare."
- Boston Globe columnist and former reporter Tom Oliphant, November 28.


Ted Turner's Israel

"Turner, after describing a recent trip to the Mideast, noted that he 'raised millions for Jewish causes' but feels Israel now has 'apartheid just like in South Africa.'"
- Editor & Publisher reporter David Astor on CNN founder's speech to the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, November 17 E & P.


Paying for Reagan

"Some say Ronald Reagan won the Cold War by spending so much on defense that the Kremlin went bankrupt trying to keep up. That won't wash. During Reagan's presidency the United States itself became a bankrupt country."
- NBC commentator John Chancellor, November 20 Nightly News.

"Bush was saddled with a lot of the supply-side voodooism of the Reagan era, but just as Herbert Hoover could not escape the excesses of Warren Harding and doltishness of Calvin Coolidge, no one will even remember the dish that Bush was served up by Reagan....Reagan was not the President of morning in America: he was President of the free lunch. He gave us growth, but the cost was borrowed money, more than a trillion dollars of debt."
- Retired Boston Globe Washington Bureau Chief Robert Healy, October 11.


Offsetting Those Damaging Credentials

"His service as an Assistant Attorney General in the Reagan Administration is offset by his strong support for abortion rights and the environment."
- New York Times reporter Fox Butterfield on Massachusetts Governor-Elect William Weld, November 1.


People Not Doing What Time Wants

"The defeat of California's Big Green and other ecological initiatives in the recent election demonstrated that voters are still confused about the best way to deal with environmental concerns."
- Time New York reporter Eugene Linden, December 3.

"In no area did Congress show less courage than on gasoline levies. The new deal will raise the present 9 cent-per-gal. tax by a nickel, costing the average driver a mere $34 a year. The plan rejected four weeks ago by the House had proposed a 10-cent hike. Even that was only half the amount economists say is needed to significantly discourage fuel conservation."
- Time Associate Editor Richard Lacayo, Nov. 5.

"Americans are aware of their problems but refuse to confront the fact that in order to maintain their influence in the world, they have to change their life-style. Americans have no constitutional right, for example, to cheap gasoline. In Europe we pay the same price for a liter of gas as Americans pay for a gallon - or four times as much. The additional amount we lay out goes to taxes that provide the infrastructures that make our cities civilized and safe. Yet we do not feel cheated at the pump. Instead of being lulled by a reassuring Reagan line or a comforting Bush stance, Americans should accept the necessary: sacrifices and more taxes."
- Dominique Moisi of the French Institute of International Relations, in Time's "Essay," October 29.

"Today, with the health-care situation moving rapidly beyond crisis to near catastrophe, the age-old and obvious solution has the tone of a desperate whine: Why can't we have national health insurance - like just about everybody else in the civilized world, please?"
- Time Essayist Barbara Ehrenreich, Dec. 10.


No Good Ideas

"But the GOP is clearly using fears about quotas to stir up white resentment and white votes....If no-new-quotas becomes the Republican mantra, it will reveal how desperate the party is for ideas."
- Newsweek Washington reporter Eleanor Clift, December 3.


A World Without Cuomo

"When the economy heads south, as it now has, the kind of government that spends lavishly to protect the environment and help the less fortunate may be seen as threatening the interests of the middle class. If in fact, that is where the majority is at in 1992, Cuomo will be left without a winning national message and the country will be left with George Bush's inane points of light."
- Time Special Correspondent Michael Kramer, November 19.


Cokie's Crazies

"Picking the sanctions against South Africa as an example, Cokie Roberts, congressional correspondent for National Public Radio, explained the lengths to which she had to go to be fair when reporting a congressional debate on the subject. 'Even if only a few people were against sanctions,' she noted, 'you have to give equal time to those two or three crazies as to all those who were in favor. That creates a kind of distortion.'"
- Quoted by Helle Bering-Jensen in Insight, December 10.


The Green Time Machine

Mock Newscast: "By 2005, 40 million are dead of starvation...epidemics rage in New York; toxic waste spills throughout Europe; evacuation is ordered from New Orleans; greater temperatures are still to come."
James Burke [pretending he's in 2050]: "I found that the other day in some old library. It's a videotape from 1990, and that was how they thought we'd turn out. Funny how they would miss one of the changes that we would really care about. I mean, do you remember hamburgers, traffic jams, log fires in winter, a place called Miami, a time when the Japanese weren't running everything?"
- From the PBS special After the Warming, November 21.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Callista Gould, Jim Heiser, Marian Kelley, Gerard Scimeca; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Administrative Assistant