Notable Quotables - 02/18/1991


Selective Media Outrage

"The script process is very normal for war time, I would say....We write our scripts, we find one of the censors who's down in the hotel lobby, and we show it to the censor, who reads it, and sometimes there's a slight change of a word here or there. Very often you may say something you didn't realize would touch a sensitivity, but there's not been any kind of heavy censorship in my experience here so far. It's a fairly easy understanding we have."
- Baghdad-based ABC reporter Bill Blakemore on Iraqi censorship, February 11 World News Tonight.

ABC reporter Morton Dean: "The growing concern here [Saudi Arabia] is that this continuing crackdown by the military is limiting what Americans are hearing about the war."
Chris Hedges, New York Times: "You never see any problems. You're never allowed to report. Nothing's ever wrong. This entire war has become videotapes of planes always hitting their targets like giant Nintendo games and soldiers up front eating turkey and waving flags and it's all a lie."
- Same show, next story.


Praising Arnett, Condemning the Pentagon

"Arnett remains on the job in Baghdad, reporting as best he can under tight restrictions. The Iraqi government evidently decides what he can report, much as the U.S. government decides what the media may report from the other side of the war. Since both governments so tightly manage news coverage of the war, it is important to have journalists of integrity such as Arnett at every possible vantage point."
- UPI Chief Correspondent Leon Daniel in a commentary from Dhahran, February 10.

"But if the Pentagon succeeds in severely restricting access to information, all the air time imaginable won't fill the gap in what the public needs to know about the war."
- Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter, February 4.


Inside Time

Hays Gorey, Senior Correspondent: "Well, (Republican Sen. John) McCain has got this ad hoc group of superpatriots that he's organizing."
Jerome Cramer, NASA & Technology Correspondent: "They wear brown shirts and march around. Small potatoes."
- Exchange from February 8 Time Washington bureau meeting aired on C-SPAN.


Accumulating Cloud

"Though most Americans have pondered their country's march to war with a certain amount of common sense, the same cannot be said for all their representatives on Capitol Hill. In recent weeks the halls of Congress have been fouled by superpatriotic blasts from a small band of conservative legislators."
- Cloud in the February 18 Time.

"By the way, this is not a war with the Viet Cong. As far as I know, the Viet Cong is supported by the Soviet Union, which supports the U.S. in this war. So it's absurd."
- Time Washington Bureau Chief Stanley Cloud on charges that Peter Arnett was sympathetic to the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, in February 8 meeting aired on C-SPAN.

"Questions about the pool system are 'like asking whether a smoothly functioning dictatorship is working well,' said Stanley Cloud, Time magazine's Washington Bureau Chief. 'Yeah, it's working well, but we shouldn't have to put up with it. We're only getting the information the government wants us to get. This is an intolerable effort by the government to manage and control the press.'"
- Cloud quoted by Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz, February 11.


Making Enemies

"We've already dumped more bombs on them than we used throughout all of World War II. And every day that we bomb we create more enemies over there."
- Newsweek Washington reporter Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, February 10.


Going to War to Defend Masculinity

"And why do they do these unnatural, unhuman things, these soldiers? Not for God or country or freedom or even because they've been ordered to. They do them, finally, as James Jones, the author put it, because they don't want to appear unmanly in front of their friends."
- CBS reporter Richard Threlkeld on U.S. soldiers, February 8 Evening News.


CNN: Better Than America

"You must avoid the appearance of cheerleading. We are, after all at CNN, a global network. We have many nations to serve and it is part of our responsibility and our obligation to do so, if not as objectivity as possible, as fairly as possible."
- CNN Vice President Ed Turner on Larry King Live, January 30.


Flag-Burning Patriots

"Antiwar demonstrators are waving flags, not burning them....Devotion to America, peace activists argue, is what inspires them to march."
- Time Associate Editor Nancy Gibbs, February 11.

"At every anti-war demonstration, they carry the flag high to make the point, they say, that American troops in the Gulf have their support. They object to the government policy that sent the troops there."
- Peter Jennings on the February 7 World News Tonight.

"The demonstrators burned pictures of President Bush, and then they set fire to an American flag."
- Reporter Dale Solly of Washington ABC affiliate WJLA-TV on fires in Lafayette Park during January 19 protests.

"Vietnam Was A Victory! 2, 3, Many Defeats for U.S. Imperialism!"
- Sign at same protest, shown by WJLA.


Cut Defense, Not Taxes

"The increases [in domestic programs] are so modest that they will probably have little impact on the range of problems they are trying to address, from poverty to slowdown in the development of new technology. To make that sort of difference, Bush would have to make severe cuts in the defense budget, but because of the Gulf War, Bush is able to avert that kind of politically risky choice again this year."
- Boston Globe reporter Stephen Kurkjian in a February 5 "news analysis."

"The proposal to cut the capital-gains tax rate is deja voodoo economics all over again. What is novel this time is that the plan is dead on arrival."
- Time Senior Writer Margaret Carlson, February 11.


Remembering A Democratic Republican

"In an era when the ranks of House Republicans are increasingly dominated by somewhat humorless conservatives who seem more interested in confrontation with Democrats than in influencing legislation, Conte was something of a throwback....Conte frequently voted with the Democratic majority."
- Washington Post political reporter Tom Kenworthy in obituary of Rep. Silvio Conte (R-MA), February 9.


Compassionate Reagan-Haters

"Okay, I'll jump in any line formed to question the Reagan presidency's compassion."
- Washington Post reporter Donna Britt, January 21.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Brant Clifton, Nicholas Damask, Steve Kaminski, Marian Kelley, Tim Lamer; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Circulation Manager