Notable Quotables - 09/30/1991


Sexual Harassment: Reagan's Fault

"Tonight, the NBC News program Expose looks at incidences of sexual harassment in [federal low-income] housing. It's reported by correspondent Michele Gillen....Well, I guess that's where the problem began. Actually, it was when the budget was taken out of the affordable housing market during the Reagan years and thus, the problem came about."
- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, September 20.


Making Excuses for Harkin

"[Presidential candidate Tom Harkin] often declines to let accuracy ruin a witty line or blunt a political dart...But voters tend to ignore such details, and Harkin's obviously heartfelt commitment to his causes overshadows his lapses."
- Time political correspondent Laurence Barrett, September 23.


Natural Law Conflicts with Individual Rights?

"On the same day major groups announced their opposition, Thomas's friends from Georgia showed up on Capitol Hill. But Thomas has taken controversial positions, such as suggesting that natural laws may supersede individual rights."
- NBC congressional reporter Andrea Mitchell, September 9 Nightly News.


Two Takes on Thomas Hearings

"Biden chides critic of Thomas"
- Washington Times, September 20

"Rights Groups, Black Caucus Urge Senate Panel Not to Confirm Thomas"
- Washington Post, same day


Spending $1.4 Trillion Just Not Enough

"Social problems exist, Americans keep telling pollsters, but there's no sign of any great national willingness to do much about them...The national response is a yawn. The President is preoccupied with foreign affairs, the Congress is willing to do almost anything except spend money, state and local governments are broke and the citizens don't seem to care very much."
- CBS political reporter Bruce Morton's Evening News commentary, September 21.


Flattering Fidel

"The government points out rightly that Cuba's standard of living is better than in many other countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. There are no filthy children scrambling over garbage heaps to compete with vultures for scraps of food, as in El Salvador. There are no death squads preying upon the weakest and poorest, as in Guatemala. There is none of the festering disease and crushing poverty that is on display in any village in Haiti or Honduras or Nicaragua. The violent crime, random killing, and manic drug trade that are Colombia's scourge, and Jamaica's, are practically unknown in Cuba."
- Washington Post reporter Lee Hockstader, September 12.

Reporter Charles Bierbauer: "U.S. officials do not see a severe threat to Castro inside Cuba. Cubans do not seem to hate him."
Wayne Smith, Johns Hopkins University: "While there's disgruntlement in Havana, if you go out in the countryside, you find continuing and widespread support for Mr. Castro."
- CNN World News, September 11.


Mondale Could Have Won Cold War

"I don't want Charles [Krauthammer] to get the last word on this question of who won the cold war and to leave hanging in the air the suggestion that Ronald Reagan and the conservatives won the cold war by producing all these policies that put a lot of pressure on the Kremlin. The difference from the Kremlin standpoint, a Soviet Union standpoint, between a conservative Republican administration and a liberal Democratic administration was not that great. The Soviet Union collapsed, the cold war ended almost overwhelmingly because of internal contradictions and pressures within the Soviet Union and the Soviet system itself. And even if Jimmy Carter had been reelected and been followed by Walter Mondale, something like what we have now seen probably would have happened."
- Time Editor-at-Large Strobe Talbott on Inside Washington, September 21.


Oh No, the End of Communism

"In towns like Pushkino (pop. 90,000), many Russians view the tumult sweeping Moscow with more anxiety and skepticism than do their big-city compatriots...they wonde if the destruction of Soviet communism will bring them anything more than uncertainty and hardship."
- Time reporter James Carney, September 9.


The Trains Didn't Even Run On Time

"Inefficient as the old communist economy was, it did provide jobs of a sort for everybody and a steady, if meager, supply of basic goods at low, subsidized prices; Soviet citizens for more than 70 years were conditioned to expect that from their government. Says a Moscow worker: 'We had everything during [Leonid] Brezhnev's times. There was sausage in the stores. We could buy vodka. Things were normal.'"
- Time Associate Editor George J. Church, September 23.

"Communists have controlled every factory, every local government, every school. Many of them are able organizers and administrators."
- NBC Moscow reporter Bob Abernethy, August 29 Today.


I Dunno

"Can the Brain Provide Clues to Intelligence?"
- New York Times, September 24


Racist Ridiculousness

"I think the Willie Horton ads were quite effective. These things [the Thomas ads] are terrible. They're puerile, they're stupid, they're childish. My first thought about this was there are some conservatives, believe it or not, Bob, who don't like black people, and in fact are worried about Clarence Thomas being on the Court. I had the feeling that these might have been subversive ads to get rid of Thomas. Thomas is worth more to the conservative movement dead than alive."
- Roll Call Publisher Jim Glassman on Fox's Off the Record, September 8.


Next Time Let Them Shoot Us

"My goat [of the week] is the U.S. military. The Pentagon acknowledged this week that they had bulldozed over thousands of Iraqis during the war, burying them alive."
- Boston Globe reporter Michael K. Frisby on Fox's Off the Record, September 15.


Getting Even

"My goat or bozo of the week is Brent Bozell. He put out that sleazy Thomas ad, and he regularly puts out a newsletter that zings journalists, including myself. This zing's for you!"
- Boston Globe reporter (and August MediaWatch Janet Cooke Award recipient) Michael K. Frisby on Fox's Off the Record, September 8.


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