Notable Quotables - 01/29/1996


Hillary's Tough Media Scrutiny

"You also quote a letter in [It Takes a Village] that Nelson Mandela wrote to one of his daughters while he was in prison, and I'm paraphrasing a bit, but he wrote that there is no personal misfortune that one cannot turn into a personal triumph if one has the iron will and the necessary skills. You clearly have an iron will, you clearly are skilled. How are you going to turn this personal misfortune into a personal triumph?"

"You think government should do a lot more than it's doing in terms of making children a priority, doing things for kids. We're clearly living in an age where people are anti-government. How do you get across the message that we all need to see everybody's kids as our own, we need to have more programs, the government needs to be more involved?"
- Questions to Hillary Rodham Clinton from Today substitute co-host Maria Shriver (who called the book "really terrific" and "terrific"), January 16.

"I think it's been a pretty good week for Mrs. Clinton. I think that a lot of people even listening to the program so much today keep saying `What's the crime? What did she do so wrong?' It's a little bit like the budget. Mr. Clinton's protecting us and everybody is against him. I think there is beginning to be the feeling of she's being harassed too much."
- Barbara Walters on This Week with David Brinkley, January 14.


Forbes Annoys the Media

"Well it helps to know this about a flat tax. It's a very radical notion and it's not nearly so simple as it sounds and politicians are very careful not to put all the ramifications on the table. But here are some of the basics....It is supposed to encourage savings and investment because profits would be tax free. But will plumbers be hurt more than plutocrats?....Certainly the rich would do better than the middle class....Here is something else that worries almost everyone. You see no Western country has ever tried to make such a seismic shift. How big will a flat tax need to be to raise the money which the government needs to run the country?"
- ABC News anchor Peter Jennings on the January 15 World News Tonight.

"Steve, isn't this a souped-up version of the same kind of trickle-down Reaganomics that we saw through already? Lower taxes were supposed to spur growth. Instead we got record deficits."
- Bryant Gumbel to Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes, January 18 Today.

"[Forbes] paints a vision of wealthy investors shifting their money out of T-bills and into new factories and investments. It may not have worked that way in the 1980s, when top tax rates were slashed and the deficit soared, but that's the reason supply-siders are often described as optimists."
- Time Washington Bureau Chief Dan Goodgame, January 29 issue.

"You may recall that Ronald Reagan, on whom Forbes models himself, said his tax cuts would balance the budget. Instead, they helped add trillions to the national debt."
- Newsweek reporters Howard Fineman and Mark Hosenball, January 29 issue.


Freshmen: Insane, Naive, Extreme, Mean

"The freshmen are the ones who are seen as the obstacles to sane government."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, December 30.

"More than half the GOP freshmen have never held elective office before, and critics say their newness to government makes them naive and extreme."
- NBC News reporter Joe Johns, January 2 Today.

"They don't know how people live. How could men come, be born of a woman and be as mean as some of those young Republicans are?"
- White House reporter Sarah McClendon on The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, January 4.


Old Socialists Never Die, They Just Report for ABC

Boston Globe reporter John Koch: "What's your view of the lack of universal health care in this country?"
ABC reporter Dr. Timothy Johnson: "Morally, it is outrageous that the wealthiest country in the world cannot provide at least basic care for all of its citizens, when so many other industrialized countries have accomplished just that. Economically, it's outrageous, because in fact we still do take care of people outside the insurance or managed-care systems; but because we take care of them at a later state, when they're sicker, we pay more, and it's more difficult to effectively treat them. There is no argument for anything but universal health care."
- January 14 Boston Globe Magazine interview.

Time Should Control America's Thinking

"Time magazine, to use that lingo, can be your intelligent agent. It can also help set the agenda, so that we, in a time when everything is fractured, 500 channels, you know, hundreds of thousands of places to go on the World Wide Web, what we do need in this country, and maybe in this world, is common ground.... What I think Time magazine should be looking for is the right tone, a set of core beliefs, and set of core values, and I think that those are based on sort of a sensible American common ground; an approach where we ask certain basic values we all share like what's good for the kids? You know, clean up after ourselves, certain faith in free minds and free markets and a certain sense that, whatever the proposal is, the most basic question we should ask is: yes, but does it work?"
- New Time Managing Editor Walter Isaacson on the PBS talk show Charlie Rose, January 9.

Perpetuating the Myth of "Cuts"

"In particular, these executives said, Dole expressed unhappiness about the way the networks have portrayed Republicans' efforts to cut spending on Medicare and other federal programs."
- Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi on a Dole meeting with telecommunications executives, January 12.


Joe Klein, Voice of Civil Discourse

"He talks `devolution' to the point of distraction, trying a bit too hard to stuff some interesting ideas into a dim populist straitjacket, lobotomizing himself. A more profitable route might have been to emphasize his low-key style: a calm, smart, reasonable person in a party that seems mesmerized by its lunatic fringe."
- Newsweek Senior Writer Joe Klein on GOP presidential candidate Lamar Alexander, January 8.

CNN Needs a Laugh Track

"Mona, if you keep putting people in jails we will end up like South Africa. We'll have gulags like the former Soviet Union."
- Washington Post reporter Juan Williams on CNN's Capital Gang, December 31.

"I believe Paula Jones' sister or sister-in-law, whoever it was, the relative in her family who spoke about Paula Jones being somewhat of a congenital liar. But you know I'm not here to engage in character attacks on Paula Jones."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on CNN's Crossfire, January 9.


Thin-Skinned Phil Lashes Out at Rush

"Limbaugh's draft-avoiding, non-churchgoing, non-voting, non-fact-checking, painfully insecure triple-wife lifestyle all are topics delicately touched upon by Franken. Where I think he really hits the jackpot, though, is when he actually quotes Limbaugh directly as in: ...`I'm sick and tired of playing the one phony game I've had to play and that is this so-called compassion for the poor. I don't have compassion for the poor.' He may not have cancer, either, and I would pray that he never have to walk that particular path of pain: Yet who am I to say, or how can any of us know, the ways of God in unlocking a heart grown hard? It could happen more gently; I notice a couple of weeks ago, for instance, they shut down that `Rush Room' at Blackie's House of Beef. Limbaugh `is fading right now' in popularity among the restaurant's patrons, according to catering manager Paul DeKoning. Is this a great country, or what?"
- Washington Post reporter Phil McCombs (whom Limbaugh ridiculed in 1994) on Saturday Night Live writer Al Franken's new book Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, January 19 Style section.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts