Notable Quotables - 06/29/1998

 Time Unleashed Online

"President Clinton is taking heat over China's human rights violations, but some people maintain that human rights is a culturally biased idea. While Americans attack China over freedom of speech and multi-party democracy, China accuses the U.S. of inhumane treatment of the homeless. Does the U.S. have the right to impose its idea of human rights on China?"
- Time Daily online poll, June 22.

"Not A Lott of Tolerance: But the power of Majority Leader gives Lott immunity from offensive comments."
- Time Daily headline on Trent Lott's comments on homosexuality as a sin, June 16.

"The Tobacco Bill is Dead: John McCain's noble effort just got too big and bloated to live."
- Time Daily headline, June 18.

"High Court Turns Rightward: Two pragmatic conservative decisions have a troubling aspect."
- Time Daily headline, June 22.


Ken Starr: Illegal or Unethical?

"So despite all his earlier statements Kenneth Starr is now in the position of acknowledging he has given information to reporters in private, although he still maintains he has done nothing illegal. In a statement today Mr. Starr said nothing his office has done violates the law or Department of Justice policy. That's his legal argument. But legal issues aside, Kenneth Starr has really handed the White House an incredible political gift, one they've already started to use against him."
- Charles Gibson anchoring ABC's World News Tonight, June 15.

"Well I think Ken Starr's candor might actually cost him this time. You can look at this and say, 'What's the big deal? So he's leaking, everybody leaks, the White House leaks.' But the law is very clear. It's okay for the White House to leak, as sleazy as it might be in P.R. terms. It's not okay under the law for Ken Starr or his people to leak. The law is very clear. It says they cannot talk about quote, 'matters before the grand jury,' unquote. And that covers a lot of territory."
- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, June 15 Today.

"What would determine, Mr. Walsh, whether a law was broken or whether it was simply an ethical violation?"
- CNN's Judy Woodruff to Iran-Contra counsel Lawrence Walsh on Inside Politics, June 15.

Brill's Shills

"Starr's is a shameful story - as shameful as the conduct of almost all television news programs and some of the press....Starr's leaks, whose purpose is to condition the public to believe in the President's guilt, are of a piece with other practices that reek of abuse....The real spinning is taking place in the graves of our Founding Fathers. When they wrote the First Amendment, they imagined a press corps as a curb on power. They did not anticipate an independent counsel free from checks and balances. They had no role for a chief inquisitor. Nor should we."
- U.S. News & World Report Editor-in-Chief Mort Zuckerman in his editorial titled, "Starr Has Hit a New Low," June 29 issue.

"An important break on an important story."
- Dan Rather on Brill's article, June 18 Philadelphia Inquirer.


CBS Toes the White House Line

John Roberts: "How much of a case independent counsel Kenneth Starr has against the President is in question tonight after a report Monica Lewinsky is ready to admit she had intimate relations with Mr. Clinton but that he did not tell her to lie about it. Sharyl Attkisson reports if Lewinsky testifies to that, the investigation could end up nothing more than he said, she said."
Sharyl Attkisson: "...The nation's capital is abuzz over the report in The Washington Post that Monica Lewinsky is ready to deal, willing to testify that she did have sex with the President despite his vehement denial. But if that's all she's willing to say, a noted Democratic attorney insists independent counsel Ken Starr doesn't have a case."
- CBS Evening News, June 21.

"It appears tonight that carefully orchestrated leaks of secretly recorded tapes of Monica Lewinsky, that were damaging to the Clinton camp, may not have told the whole story...."
- Dan Rather on the initial Tripp-Lewinsky tapes, June 22.


It Ain't Watergate

"People around the President were terribly concerned that the parallel with Richard Nixon and Watergate would be drawn, when in fact these are two very different situations. One about a pervasive abuse of power by a President in office, the other relating, for the most part here, to the private sexual conduct of the President."
- CBS News consultant and famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, June 7 Sunday Morning.

Tobacco: What Went Wrong

"But what went so wrong? First, the tobacco companies got mad when Congress started talking about raising the price of cigarettes higher and higher....The smoking industry unleashed a $40 million ad campaign charging member of Congress just wanted to get their hands on tobacco money so they could spend it."
- ABC reporter Linda Douglass, June 17 World News Tonight.

"Another breaking story tonight with huge implications for the health of the U.S. economy and the health of smokers. The months-in-the-making multi-billion-dollar tobacco settlement bill is dead. Finished. Senate Republicans under heavy pressure and heavy money from the tobacco lobby, voted tonight to kill it."
- Dan Rather, June 17 CBS Evening News.

"I was just going to say Senator McCain, does this have something to do with Republican Senators being unable to wean themselves from the big bucks that come from the tobacco industry into their campaign coffers?"
- Katie Couric to Republican Senator and tobacco-tax hike champion John McCain, June 18 Today.

"In the end it was a procedural assassination. Republicans drove up the cost of the bill by attaching unrelated amendments then said it was too expensive."
- NBC reporter Gwen Ifill on Today, same day.

The Good Old Days in Russia, When Everyone Was Equal

"There's also this in the Miami Herald. 'Moscow minorities in fear as racist attacks increase.' As Moscow adapts to the ways of the western world they are missing - everyone was equal under communism - because they are also experiencing a growing problem with racism. Skinheads are more prevalent in Moscow than ever before. More and more minorities are being attacked simply for not being Russian. That story on the front page of the Miami Herald tomorrow morning."
- Brian Williams on MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams, June 17.


Icky Christian Conservatism

"And he dismisses suggestions the GOP is tilting heavily to the Christian conservative agenda. Are you concerned that your party is too narrowly cast?"
- Tom Brokaw to potential GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush, June 17 NBC Nightly News profile.


Persecuting Fictional Characters?

"In an era when a fictional Roman Catholic priest like the one on ABC's Nothing Sacred can be persecuted by conservative groups just for being open-minded, it's strange to consider that in 1983 [in the miniseries The Thorn Birds] there was no uproar over the story of a priest's affair with a married woman."
- New York Times writer Anita Gates, June 14.


Baptists: KKK, or Wife-Beaters?

Greta Van Susteren: "If the Southern Baptists want to do this, they have an absolute right to do it, and especially when you examine the history and see how many wars are fought in the name of religion, how many people are critical of other religions - you'll see how dangerous it is."
Larry King
: "Greta, the Ku Klux Klan said it was religious. Would it have been rude to criticize them?"
Van Susteren
: "Well, they also violated the law. They started killing people."
: "When they violated the law. But on their edict it was wrong to criticize them that whites were superior..."
- Exchange on Southern Baptist statement that a wife should "submit graciously" to her husband, who is to "love his wife as Christ loved the Church," CNN's Larry King Live, June 12.

"But I think there's a serious problem with this. Which is that I, you know, those of us who spend a lot of time worrying about domestic violence see a resolution like this going down a path that says, if you don't submit to your husband then what happens next? And, he is saying, you're not being submissive, and is that a reason to whack you around a little bit. And at what point then do you get into the courts. And at what point is the law coming in?
"For a very, very long time, we've had a problem with this in all countries, and finally in this country we're getting to a point where people are taking it seriously as a legal question. It's not just the guy slapping his wife around on Saturday night. That's illegal. He goes to jail. And to get anything that's away from that, away from the seriousness of that crime, I think is very dangerous. I think it's very dangerous for women."
- ABC This Week co-host Cokie Roberts, June 14.

Hey, We're Over Here!

"Well, my reaction was really ambivalence. I think that Evan's [Thomas] right. It's important to have this kind of a publication since there isn't any other check on us, exactly."
- ABC News/National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg reacting to Brill's Content on Inside Washington, June 20.




L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher
Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
Jessica Anderson, Eric Darbe, Geoffrey Dickens,
Tom Roop, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
Kristina Sewell, Research Associate
Michelle Baetz, Circulation Manager
Stacey Felzenberg, Carrie Hale, Interns