Notable Quotables - 04/10/1995


In the Unbiased News Tonight...

"The new Republican majority in Congress took a big step today on its legislative agenda to demolish or damage government aid programs, many of them designed to help children and the poor."
- Dan Rather, March 16 CBS Evening News.

"March madness has begun on Capitol Hill, and almost as predictable as a B horror film, the slashing has begun. House Republicans have made a small down payment on their plan to make massive budget cuts."
- CNN anchor Judy Woodruff on Inside Politics, same day.

"When NBC Nightly News continues: in Washington, if they cut food stamps, who doesn't eat?"
- Tom Brokaw, March 22.

"House Republicans denied any impropriety when they approved federal budget reductions of $17 billion and outlined $190 billion more, slashing programs that largely benefit women, children, and the poor, to pay for that `pouting sex kitten' mistress of their dreams - tax cuts."
- U.S. News & World Report Senior Writer Gerald Parshall, March 27.

"Cuts" in Social Spending: O.J.'s Fault?

"Perhaps emboldened by November's results and maybe even covered by the public's fascination with the O.J. Simpson trial, Republicans have succeeded in attacking a variety of social programs without much of a public outcry. Are you disappointed that the public seems to - I don't know if `care so little' is the appropriate term - but not seem to care as much as they have in the past?"
- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel to Sen. Ted Kennedy, March 15.

"If this is, as many Democrats are claiming, a war on the poor and children and the elderly, why haven't we heard more outrage from the general public? Are we too concerned with what's happening in a Los Angeles courtroom to know what's happening in the Congress?"
- Today substitute host Matt Lauer to political panelists Peggy Noonan and Bob Herbert, March 27.

At Least They Don't Pretend to Be Objective

"It was really unseemly to hear Rush Limbaugh asking for support for something. I mean, that just doesn't work. Talk radio is about venting, it's about anger, it's about tearing down."
- Former Wall Street Journal reporter Ellen Hume on CNN's Reliable Sources, March 5.

"Some people are very concerned about talk shows, radio talk shows in general, of course. Most of them around the country have a decidedly conservative bent. The rap that some people give them is that they reflect the views of a very vocal minority, the extremists in this country, and don't really reflect the true nature of political debate in the United States. And, as a matter of fact, they tend to be quite divisive and sort of have a bad, a negative impact on the country."
- Katie Couric to Oliver North, March 13 Today.


News Is Like a Box of Chocolates

"It was easy for the Republican right to use Gump as part of its strategy of exploiting white male anger....There will be a natural corrective to the 1994 election results as soon as the electorate calms down and notices who gets the money the newly empowered Republicans are busy redirecting away from such shocking frills as school lunches and toward more traditional expenditures, like welfare for the rich."
- Boston Globe movie reviewer Jay Carr, March 26.


Lady Bird Johnson's Legacy

"But as her legacy of 250,000 tulips and 42,000 daffodils transforms the face of Washington again this spring, her work in conservation seems more significant than ever in an age of assaults on environmental spending...And today, now that both Kennedys and both Nixons are gone, Lady Bird is the only living White House link to a more optimistic time, an era in mid-20th century America when government played a central role in bringing about social justice."
- Washington Post writer Elizabeth Bumiller, March 23.


If Social Darwinism Worked, How Did These "Reporters" Survive?

"By allowing a kind of social Darwinism - aka Reaganism - to go mostly unchallenged, and by failing on the other hand to adequately expose the inane contradictions of supply-side theories, aka Reaganomics, I believe journalism deserves some of the blame for ills that now afflict us. These include a deficit that hobbles us and a debt load that will bend us low for years to come."
- Former Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Osborn Elliott in the John Hershey Memorial Lecture, quoted in the March/April Columbia Journalism Review.

"Ronald Reagan thought he could curb the country's spending - and thereby reduce the debt - by cutting taxes. People would like the tax cuts, he thought, and if government didn't have as much money coming in, he figured it would have to cut its spending, too. But Reagan also wanted to spend on defense instead of social programs, so his idea didn't work out. The government kept on borrowing and spending and the country went even further into debt."
- Boston Globe's Wendy Fox, March 6 "Student Newsline."


Conspiratorial Gumbel: Qualified for the O.J. Jury?

"Janet Reno has asked for an independent counsel to investigate charges against HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown is being investigated. Questions have been raised about Transportation Secretary Federico Pena. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy resigned under pressure, as did Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. The Clinton White House seems to be having a hard time retaining high-profile minorities particularly. Do you think, Senator, they are being held to a higher standard in Washington than their white predecessors?"
- Bryant Gumbel to Sen. Ted Kennedy, March 15 Today.

Aren't Liberals for Change?

"This is some of the greatest redistribution of income I've ever seen, from have-nots to the haves...This is enough to put Robin Hood to shame."
- Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt on CNN's Capital Gang, March 18.

"There are statistics and there are statistics that lie, and we can sit and fight about that all we want, but if you know that the number of children who have to be fed is going up X percent and you do not increase the money that percentage, you are in fact cutting."
- NPR's Nina Totenberg, March 25 Inside Washington.

"When you look at the reality of cutting people off, of saying you can't have more benefits if you have children while you are on welfare, you're talking about putting children on the street who are hungry and naked, and that's a sin."
- Washington Post writer Juan Williams on CNN's Capital Gang, March 25.

"I think the Republicans have pushed it too far. So you have measures that are actually cruel, that are going to cause some suffering for young people, for children, for women, for the elderly, for the homeless, for AIDS victims and that sort of thing....they are moving resources, financial resources, from the poor and middle class up to the rich and the big business community, and I just don't think that's the right thing to do."
- Former NBC reporter Bob Herbert in his new role as Today show political analyst, March 27.


Drain Lake Wobegon

"[Clinton] can get in high dudgeon about mean-spiritedness, and when the Republicans get feverish and clammy and speak in tongues and handle snakes, he can go out to Omaha and Houston and be charming and graceful....The Republicans are going to be the Party That Canceled the Clean Air Act and Took Hot Lunches from Children, the Orphanage Party of Large White Men Who Feel Uneasy Around Gals."
- Time commentary by public radio omnipresence Garrison Keillor, March 13.


- L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher;
-Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- James Forbes, Andrew Gabron, Mark Honig, Steve Kaminski, Gesele Rey, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager;
-Melissa Gordon, Anna Johnson; Interns