Notable Quotables - 03/08/1999
Juanita Doesn't Deserve Air Time
"I don't believe it at all. Anybody who
waits 21 years to surface a charge like this, and has no evidence to back it
up, other than very circumstantial, what she may or may not have told some of
her friends at the time, has sworn in the deposition that it never happened,
and now all of a sudden comes forth with this story, the story doesn't
deserve to be dignified by being broadcast and displayed. What I find
fascinating about this case is that we've sunk so low now that a charge of
this magnitude can be leveled against the President of the United States with
next to no evidence at all. I think that's outrageous."
- Time national correspondent Jack E. White, February 27 Inside Washington.
Why Give Lisa Myers the Glory?
"Among the institutions that have gotten
lambasted throughout the last year of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the
President's impeachment process are the media. And there are a lot of people
watching tonight, watching the Dateline program tonight or watching
this program now, who dont see an investigator searching for the truth
necessarily at the bottom of this allegation. They see, you know, a reporter
who, when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, said 'Who can I get? Who am I
going to get to interview? What's going to make my career?' The reason we
know about this rape allegation is because of the ambitions of a reporter, not
because of a search for the truth. What do you say to that?"
- MSNBC's John Hockenberry to Lisa Myers the night her story appeared on Dateline NBC, February 24 Hockenberry.
"But if they said 'inconclusive' [the FBI on Broaddrick], if
impeachment is over, if this has no legal standing now, if it's past the
statute of limitations, why are we bothering with it at all, Laura Ingraham?"
- MSNBC's John Hockenberry, February 24.
We Knew It, And Blew It Off
"The allegation was passed on to reporters
for the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times in the waning
days of the 1992 presidential campaign. Regarding it as the kind of toxic
waste traditionally dumped just before Election Day, both newspapers passed on
the story - that a nursing-home executive had been sexually assaulted in 1978
by Bill Clinton, then the Attorney General of Arkansas."
- Opening of February 24 New York Times story by reporters Felicity Barringer and David Firestone.
Broaddrick: Everybody Looks Bad
"The game is winding down now, and the
stands are nearly empty. But for anyone still bothering to watch, last week
brought a clearer picture of both our dishonorable President and the
dishonorable way in which he was impeached by the House. Even 21 years after
it happened, Juanita Broaddrick's story - told convincingly to Lisa Myers
on Dateline NBC - helps fill out the dark side of both Bill Clinton
and those who tried to destroy him."
- Newsweek Senior Writer Jonathan Alter, March 8 issue.
Is It True? All That Matters Is the Right-Wing Conspiracy Peddled It
"These allegations go back more than 20
years. This woman made no charges at the time. It's my understanding that
she couldn't even recall initially the year. Investigative reporters for
major publications have looked at it since 1991. Ken Starr passed on it. You
know, where is this going to go except among all the Clinton haters and the
right-wing conspiratorialists? It's great fodder, but you know, you proved
the guy's a cad, you're not going to prove he's a violent
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, February 20 McLaughlin Group.
Alicia Mundy, Mediaweek: "She has no attachments
to any of those right-wing nut groups. She has great credibility. I think you
have to sit and listen to her. This is a serious charge."
Jonathan Alter, Newsweek: "It is not true she doesn't have any attachments to any right-wing groups. I'm not calling her a right-winger, but this story was peddled by the same old right-wing enemies of Clinton in Arkansas. That doesn't mean it's not true, but her story was peddled by them. Again, that's the context."
- Exchange on MSNBC's Hockenberry, February 23.
Hillary's a Centrist?
"In many ways, Rudy and Hillary will be
battling each other on the same centrist policy terrain...Clinton's
education agenda - accountability and school choice but not the vouchers -
fits the mold. The trouble is that it looks too much like the moderate
conservatism practiced by Giuliani and George W. Bush. Clinton's fight for
survival hasn't allowed him to highlight differences with GOP centrists; he
has more effectively defined himself against far-right zealotry. That leaves
the task to Gore and Hillary. A Hillary campaign could help forge a guiding
agenda for the post-Clinton era."
- Time writer-reporter Romesh Ratnesar, March 1 issue.
Don't Care Enough to Do Our Job
"Just when the air was clearing in
Washington - when politicians were finally putting aside the presidential sex
scandal and moving on to Social Security and tax cuts - another woman has
come forward alleging sexual misconduct by Bill Clinton. Corroboration is
scant, the White House denials are emphatic, but this tale has an unpleasant
new twist: it is a charge of sexual assault.....With impeachment over and the
statute of limitations on the alleged crime long passed, the story seems
unlikely to have much traction. Broaddrick herself says, 'I'm just hoping
this absolutely goes away in the next week.' A weary nation would probably
- Beginning and end of Adam Cohen's March 1 Time story.
Dan Rather: "They are nervous about, number one, whether
this information is accurate, whether it's really true or not. And then
number two, even if it does it turns out to be true, it happened a long time
ago and number three, they've gotta be figuring maybe, just maybe the
American public has heard all they want to hear about this and are saying you
know, Next. Let's move on to the next thing."
Don Imus: "I was reading in either Time or Newsweek that even the woman herself, Juanita Broaddrick said that she hopes that this thing went away this week and even she was sick about hearing about it and it's her story."
Rather: "Well, let's hope she gets her way with that."
- February 23 Imus in the Morning on MSNBC.
This Story Stinks (Right, Boss?)
"They [the White House] said...consider
the source. It comes from a very partisan source, the Wall Street Journal
editorial page. I think we have to say, in fairness, there have been lots of
stories over many years about President Clinton and his personal background.
This does not fit the pattern or seem to be consistent with that behavior in
any way. So I think we need to be highly skeptical of the story."
- Washington Post reporter John Harris, February 19 Washington Week in Review. The next morning the Post put its own story about Broaddrick on its front page.
Watch Republicans Get Blamed
CNN's Mary Tillotson:
"Do you see any possibility there may be some Democrats hurt by this if
the public decides the woman's telling the truth?"
Cynthia Tucker, Atlanta Journal: "...I really don't think so..."
Tillotson: "So the way things have gone now, do you see any Republicans losing their seats over the charge that the President raped somebody?...They seem to catch the flack, don't they?"
- Exchange on CNN & Company, February 25.
"What lessons have you learned from your
thirteen-month ordeal? Do you think the office of the presidency has been
harmed? And what advice do you give future Presidents?"
- UPI's Helen Thomas in one of three questions from U.S. reporters to President Clinton the day the Broaddrick story broke in the Wall Street Journal, February 19.
"I wonder if you could share with us some your thoughts about the pros
and cons of Hillary running for the Senate seat in New York?"
- Question from Larry McQuillan of Reuters at same press conference. (The other U.S. media question was about Kosovo.)
No Heroes in the Monica Wars
"This scandal has been a kind of
dispiriting year in which it's very hard to find anyone you would look at
unequivocally as a hero."
- Los Angeles Times reporter Ron Brownstein on CNN's Inside Politics, February 15.
"The system worked and it was good the President finally admitted it was
all his fault. But after what we came to know about him, he had no cause to
celebrate. Nor do the rest of us. There were no heroes here. This story helped
- CBS's Bob Schieffer ending the February 14 Face the Nation.
Unanimous Principled Democrats
"It is significant that ten Republicans
defected and voted against removal of the President. They must truly have
voted their conscience, to bolt the party line. Critics point to the fact that
not one Democrat crossed over to the other side. But could that have been that
not one Democrat could honestly believe the House managers had made their
- ABC's Hugh Downs in his Feb. 19 column for abcnews.com.
Geraldo Favors Clinton? No!
"I spoke briefly to Juanita Broaddrick
today and she didn't want to talk to me, she was talking to one of my
producers. I got on the phone and said, 'Hi it's me.' I introduced
myself. And I asked her the question. I said, 'Did anyone put you up to that
sworn affidavit in which you denied, you know, that you had been, that this
had happened?' And she said, 'No.' And I said, 'Okay.' And then she
said she didn't want to talk to me. And I said, 'Why not?' She said,
'Because I'm too biased.' 'What do you mean too biased?' [She] said,
' Too biased in favor of Clinton.' I said, 'Well you are only talking to
people who are against Clinton?' And that's when she, uh, she hung up on
me. So anyway."
- Geraldo Rivera, February 22 Rivera Live.