Notable Quotables - 03/10/1997


Work-Nots Before Workers


"But isn't that going to only exacerbate the feeling, especially in the cities in this country, that there is a growing schism between the haves and the have nots because we're going to mandate welfare reform. We're going to mandate a lot of immigration reform but there's going to be no money that comes in behind it."
- NBC anchor Tom Brokaw on welfare and immigration reform, to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, March 3 MSNBC InterNight.

"[Food] stamps, a blessing, allowed them [able-bodied adults without children] to purchase about $25 worth of food a week. They would not be able to eat like a President or member of Congress, but they could have some soup, maybe a little pasta, some tuna, some beans. They wouldn't starve, and they would have enough energy to continue looking for a job...After 90 days, the following notice is to be disseminated: Put down that soup spoon, poor person, the Clinton administration and the Republican-led Congress are clearing the table."
- New York Times columnist (and former NBC reporter) Bob Herbert, February 21.


End Public Cynicism: Lie to Your Constituents


"Here was Torricelli defying such facile media labels ["poll-directed"] with an unpopular vote against a gaudily wrapped package of constitutional mischief....Why do political weather vanes sometimes point true north? What prompts a pragmatic legislator to courageously resist, at the last moment, the siren song of expediency?...Two freshman Senators, so different in style and temperament, deserve plaudits for sticking their necks out to block a constitutional calamity. Despite my cynical doubts, sometimes the system works."
- USA Today Politics columnist and former Time reporter Walter Shapiro praising Senators Bob Torricelli and Tim Johnson, who campaigned for and then voted against the Balanced Budget Amendment, Feb. 28.


Clinton Just Wanted to Get Re-Elected


Larry King on White House fundraising zeal: "A little Nixonian?"
Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward: "...Well, sure. It was all about raising money, in part, for Nixon. But it's not Nixonian, because Nixon was clearly a criminal President. What Clinton wanted to do was be re-elected, and in that burning desire did he cross a line? Did he kind of open the flood gates? Well, he did the money, did he watch the boundaries of the law? We're gonna see."
- Feb. 28 Larry King Live on CNN.


Oh, Everybody Does It


How can you keep a straight face when you talk about this President, who is a Democrat, inviting people to the White House - big, heavy rollers, contributors - when the same thing was done by Republican Presidents?"
- CNN's Bernard Shaw to U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), February 25 Inside Politics.

"President Clinton's best defense for any campaign fundraising excesses or irregularities by Democrats appears to be that the Republicans do it too. And even more."
- NBC's Jim Miklaszewski, February 19 Today.

"Democratic National Committee documents show that Mr. Gore's appearances at dozens of fundraisers brought millions into Democratic Party coffers. But White House aides point out that Vice President Dan Quayle was also a super-active fundraiser during the Bush years."
- Rita Braver, March 3 CBS Evening News.

"Clinton did not invent a new system. He milked the old one for all it's worth. But you still don't have any proof that is illegal...What the Democrats did was modeled after what the Republicans had done."
- Newsweek contributor Eleanor Clift, March 1 McLaughlin Group.


Kissinger's "Conservative"?

"Dr. Kissinger, the death of Deng Xiaoping has triggered an interesting intellectual debate on the conservative right, with a lot of conservative journals now and writers coming and saying that to be a conservative, and you were associated with a conservative administration, to be a conservative on China is to understand that you have to stand up strategically, to contain this burgeoning giant, and morally, to contain this very oppressive regime. How do you as a conservative, and who has been an object of some of these attacks, react to that argument?"
- New York Times columnist Tom Friedman to Henry Kissinger, February 23 Face the Nation.


Great Killer's Record Marred by Runaway Capitalism


"Deng Xiaoping. He was one of the most remarkable and controversial men of the 20th century. An intel- lectual giant in a tiny frame who helped shape the modern China, from the long march to the communist revolution to the mix of communist ideology and free enterprise."
- Tom Brokaw, Feb. 19 NBC Nightly News.

"And finally, there was the most troublesome shadow of all, Mao Zedong, Deng's friend and foe, his rival for the soul of a country so ancient it has had the misfortune both to forget its history many times over and to repeat it again and again. Only history will decide who was the greater."
- Time Senior Editor Howard Chua-Eoan and Senior Writer James Walsh, March 3.

"For all of China's economic success, much of the vast country is still either desperately poor or suffering from the excesses of runaway capitalism - or both."
- Newsweek's Bill Powell, March 3.


Only Craig Livingstone Can See Those


"Remember the outcry from conservatives eight years ago when the Senate looked at summaries of FBI reports on John Tower, the unsuccessful nominee for Defense Secretary? Now, Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Shelby wants to go much further, demanding CIA nominee Tony Lake's raw FBI files. As Senators Dick Lugar and Bob Kerrey have said, this is outrageous. It's time to end Shelby's McCarthyite witch-hunt."
- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt's Outrage of the Week, March 1 Capital Gang.


Plenty of Clinton Scandal Coverage


"It seems to be pretty tough; it seems to be pretty thorough; it seems to be that there's been no laziness on the part of the media with this one."
- ABC's John Cochran to independent journalist Marc Morano at a Feb. 27 National Press Club dinner. ABC did not air a story the night the Gore fundraising story broke.

"There's no question that [Clinton] had extremely intense scrutiny on this issue. No one can argue that anybody in the press, right, left, center, above or below, has failed to cover everything in Whitewater to the maximum extent and continue to do so. And the same thing with these new and what I consider to be very serious questions about campaign contributions."
- Dan Rather to Morano. CBS didn't report the March 4 issuing of subpoenas to White House staff for documents on hush money payments to Webster Hubbell.

"I think in a way, the press is paying the price here for the frenzy of some of its past scandals because the tone of the stories now is identical to that of Travelgate and Filegate and Mena, Arkansasgate and other things which really didn't go anywhere in terms of their significance. So I think there is a crying-wolf problem which we in our business have when it comes to unveiling this sort of thing."
- U.S. News & World Report Editor James Fallows on CNBC's Equal Time, February 26.


Rather Hard on Mr. Nuts

"I think it's inappropriate for our competitors, who have gone through their own incarnations - including moments like Connie Chung anchoring from Tonya Harding's rink - to judge us."

"Whenever there is the first hint of a counter-clockwise symbol on a weather map that a hurricane might hit land, `Mr. Hard News' is down there wrapped around a lamp post."
- Tom Brokaw reacting to Dan Rather calling NBC Nightly News "news-lite," quoted by Gail Shister in the March 5 Philadelphia Inquirer.


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