The Best of Notable Quotables; December 28, 1998

Vol. Eleven; No. 27

Steve Brill Media Masochism Award (for Bemoaning Monicagate’s Impact on Clinton)


“I think we can now safely conclude that this whole notion that the liberal media elite iscoddling Bill Clinton and always plays to the Democrats is absurd. I mean the fact is who’s been the undoing of Bill Clinton: Newsweek and The Washington Post, those raging conservative publications..."

– Former New York Times and U.S. News reporter Steve Roberts on CNN’s Late Edition, February 1. [82 points]


“We know from just answering the phone around here that the amount of attention we are giving this story is, at the very least, debatable. We in the news, as you can see [video of TV broadcasts], are devoting major time and resources to these events, but have we been carried away, are we doing too much and are we not being fair?”

– Peter Jennings on the January 23 World News Tonight, two days after the Lewinsky story broke. [47]

“I think, not to underestimate the American public. If you just look at one story where the press really almost entirely went one way and the public went the other way, was the whole episode of Monica Lewinsky. I mean there you had a story where the press was so consistently hostile on this story, and the public stood back and said ‘Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, we’re not going to go along with it until we’re a lot further down the road.’ The public is a lot more sophisticated because they’ve been exposed to too many stories that turned out not to be true.”

U.S. News & World Report Publisher Mortimer Zuckerman on the July 7 Good Morning America. [45]
“There is something about this story, this presidency, that has led the media to almost obliterate the standards of decency that were built up for so many years.”

Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz on CNN’s January 28 special Media Madness? [43]