Notable Quotables - 03/11/1996
Pat Buchanan's Free Ride
New York Times Washington Bureau
Chief R.W. Apple: "But to hear poor Pat crying about how
badly he's being treated."
CNN anchor Bernard Shaw: "I'm surprised he said that with a straight face."
Apple: "He gets such a free ride from people."
- Exchange on CNN's Reliable Sources, February 18.
"Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Russian ultra-nationalist, embarrassed Pat Buchanan today by embracing him as an ideological soulmate. `Today,' said Zhirinovsky, `there is a presidential candidate in America who is not afraid to speak the truth, that truly the Congress of the United States is an occupied territory of Israel. Your press,' Zhirinovsky went on, `is occupied, and all of your finances. Americans don't manage those. Israel does, through American Jews or Negroes.' The Buchanan campaign immediately issued a message of rejection to Zhirinovsky. It's not that Buchanan hasn't expressed some of the views that Zhirinovsky echoed, but perhaps he'd never realized how ugly they sounded until he heard them in the mouth of a genuine bigot."
- Ted Koppel concluding a February 23 Nightline profile of Buchanan.
"But he is worse than
oblivious to the political sewage. It is the medium he has
chosen to swim in. Sometimes this evil nonsense takes the form
of language....In waging the culture wars, he introduces a
hateful ethnic dimension. Almost all the 20th century's horrors
(the slaughter of the Armenians, Stalin's starvation of the
Ukrainian kulaks, the Hitler Holocaust) have begun with a
demonization of others. Buchanan has a genius for techniques
that bundle his enemies together and subtly satanize them."
- Time essayist Lance Morrow on Buchanan, March 4.
"Are you, as some of your
critics charge, interested in being a kind of moral
- Dan Rather to Buchanan on 48 Hours, February 22.
Fun and Games at Today
Jane Pauley: "Didn't you
say Senator `Nole' earlier in the program?"
Bryant Gumbel: "Yes I did, yes I did, yes I did, yes I did. And Mr. Puke-anan."
- February 20 Today.
"By being so nice to Pat
Buchanan and treating him as a good guy with bad policies, are
we not all guilty of legitimizing his views and putting a
smiling face on a hateful voice?"
- NBC Today co-host Bryant Gumbel on what he asked the show's political roundtable off-air, quoted by Peter Johnson in the Feb. 22 USA Today.
Bryant Gumbel: "Pat
Buchanan, good morning."
Pat Buchanan: "Hi Bryant, how are you?"
Gumbel: "I'm fine, thank you."
Buchanan: "Welcome back [from vacation]."
Gumbel: "Thank you very much, sir, I appreciate that. I wish I could say the same to you."
- March 6.
Tim Russert: "Bob Dole has
to avoid giving in to Pat Buchanan in terms of public
Katie Couric: "Right, because didn't that, Gwen, nail the Republicans in '92 because so many moderate Republicans were turned off by the likes of Pat Buchanan and Marilyn Quayle. Don't they have a danger of doing the same thing this go round?"
- Exchange on Today, March 6.
"We're seeing an increasing
number of examples of reduced tolerance these days, now I'm not
speaking specifically of Tennessee. Is this a case of the
religious right trying to intimidate others, being somewhat out
- Bryant Gumbel to Tennessee State Senator Steve Cohen, an opponent of a resolution that urges residents to "observe, teach and display" the Ten Commandments, February 26.
Those Evil Right Wing Anti-Communist Hardline Communists
"In his address to the
Security Council, Cuba's U.N. Ambassador said that the increased
U.S. sanctions, his words, `cater to the extreme right wing in
an election year.' Isn't there some truth to that?"
- Bryant Gumbel to U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright in discussion about Cuba, February 27 Today.
"Sources inside and outside
the Cuban government have told us that the timing of last week's
shootdown may not have been as simple as Cuba just defending
what it claims to be a violation of its airspace. These sources
tell us a right-wing faction within the Cuban government felt
softening relations between the United States and Cuba had gone
a bit too far and that the door should not be opened any
- CBS reporter Art Rascon from Havana, March 1 Evening News.
Bob Herbert, Fount of All Compassion
"The party is dominated by
characters like Phil Gramm, Pat Buchanan, Bob Dole, Newt
Gingrich, Dick Armey and Alfonse D'Amato. When they gallop
across the national landscape they remind you of the Wild Bunch.
You couldn't extract a half-pint of compassion from the entire
assemblage. Small children run at the first sight of them....The
Republicans could win with a candidate who is cheerful, moderate
and willing to exhibit a dollop of compassion. Maybe they should
draft Bill Clinton."
- Former NBC News reporter Bob Herbert in his New York Times column, February 9.
Beating Up on the Whistle-Blower
"The test is not the names
people call you or accusations by political activists inside or
outside your own organization. The test is what goes up on the
screen and what comes out of the speaker. I think the public
understands that those people are trying to create such a
perception because they're trying to force you to report the
news the way they want you to report it. I am not going to do
it. I will put up billboard space on 42nd Street. I will wear a
sandwich board. I will do whatever is necessary to say I am not
going to be cowed by anybody's special political agenda, inside,
outside, upside, downside."
- Dan Rather reacting to CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg's charge that the networks have a liberal bias, March 6 New York Post.
"Forgive me, but I thought
it was a little facile. I don't agree with Bernie on that. I
don't think that people are by-and-large conservative or
liberal. I mean he was making the point that they tend to be
more liberal. I think that we are anti-establishment. I think
that journalists, you know, can make their bread and butter
going after the establishment, whoever the establishment happens
to be. And whether that establishment is conservative or whether
that establishment is liberal makes very little difference to
most of my colleagues."
- Ted Koppel on Goldberg's charge, February 29 Charlie Rose on PBS.
Cronkite: Capitalism Ruins the Media
capable, willing and anxious to do a superior job of reporting
the difficult stories. The problem is with their employers who
have chosen to abandon their public responsibility in favor of
stockholders' demands for maximization of profit. Adequate
profits clearly are necessary for survival - but stockholder
greed demands superprofits. The investment in a public service
essential to the successful working of our democracy is required
to pay off like an investment in the rest of the stock market.
To play the downsizing game, the boards and their executives
deny to their news managers enough funding to pay for the
minimum coverage necessary to serve their consumers well....A
more responsible press depends not upon individual journalists
but upon more responsible owners. That is the bottom line."
- Letter to Newsweek from Walter Cronkite which appeared in the February 26 issue. (Italics his.)
"I can't tell you how
thrilled I am to have been named twice in your December 18, 1995
edition featuring The Best Notable Quotables of 1995. To be
attacked by a mob of lunatics like your panel of judges is truly
an honor. I will cherish it nearly as much as I do the
condemnation I received from Louis Farrakhan's followers for
criticizing the Million Man March and his recent tour of Third
World dictatorships. Please select me again!"
- Time national correspondent Jack E. White in a February 27 letter to the Media Research Center.
- L. Brent Bozell III,
Publisher; Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Kathleen Ruff, Circulation Manager; Jessica Anderson, Bruce Fraser, Interns