Notable Quotables - 07/28/1997
Why Inquiring Minds Don't Watch Face the Nation
"You say you have evidence that
the money came from the Bank of China and then in turn was passed on. But you
know the Bank of China, they don't just have money from the Chinese government
there. It would be like if I got something from the Fort Worth National Bank,
that wouldn't mean it would come necessarily from the Fort Worth City Council.
They keep money from a lot of different people there. Where's the connection
between the government and going into this, into the campaign?"
- CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer to Senator Arlen Specter, July 13.
Everybody's Equally Guilty
"It will lay out there the fact
that both the parties have this problem. Perhaps what we'll end up with is a
very good case that both parties were scrambling for money, both of them went
overseas and the system lends itself to these kinds of abuses and maybe it
really does need to be reformed."
- Time reporter Viveca Novak previewing testimony from Haley Barbour on the new PBS show Follow the Money, July 18.
CIA Agent Says He Gave Huang
- Los Angeles Times, July 17
C.I.A. Officer Says His
Briefings For Huang Were Simply Routine
- New York Times, same day
Hearings a Success Only If We Get More Government Regulation
"The first week has now drawn to
a close, and it's fair to say that this highly-touted, much-anticipated
examination of a problem most Americans consider critical, is so far a bust.
Little public interest, no headlines, and no focus. To many Americans it all
looks like business as usual: name-calling, finger-pointing, all for political
advantage, with no intention of stamping out the real corruption. Look at the
latest ABC News poll: Do you favor campaign finance reform? Sixty-two percent
said yes. Do you think it's likely to happen? Sixty-seven percent said no. In
the meantime, President Clinton's approval rating is as high as it's ever
been, 64 percent, which means, Senator Thompson, so far America is either not
listening or not believing. Maybe bad news for the Republicans and good news
for the Democrats. But for those hoping for real campaign finance reform, it's
- Forrest Sawyer opening the July 10 ABC Nightline.
"It's never going to end until
there's some kind of reform. And just because what Clinton did is, may be
illegal, doesn't mean the whole thing doesn't have to be looked at. Because
what's legal is corrupt as well."
- Time's Margaret Carlson, July 12 Capital Gang on CNN.
"Dramatic effects may be
required for Thompson to give new life to a story that so far has proved
nothing more than the need for campaign finance reform."
- Time Washington reporter Michael Weisskopf previewing the hearings, July 14 issue.
We Aren't Showing or Reporting It Most Nights, and We Wonder Why...
"...Democrats gripe that the
hearings are too partisan, so next week the committee will focus on foreign
contributions to Republicans, all the while wondering if the public is paying
attention to any of this. Linda Douglass, ABC News, on Capitol Hill."
- End of July 18 World News Tonight story. ABC skipped the hearings the previous two nights. Only Neanderthals Could Oppose NEA Funding
"The Senate will restore the
money and in the end, given the closeness of the House vote, I think the NEA
will probably survive. I find it, I have to say personally, mind-boggling that
a nation with our wealth and standing in the world cannot make some kind of
contribution, as a nation, to sustaining the arts and to bringing the arts to
communities and to people who don't, otherwise, have them."
- Washington Post reporter David Broder on the PBS show Washington Week in Review, July 11.
Keeping Your Own Money = Gift from the Government
"The Republicans give as much or
more tax relief to the top one percent of taxpayers as to the bottom 60
percent combined. The President's proposal...gives one-tenth as much to the
top one percent as to the bottom 60 percent. The Republicans can throw up as
much sand as they want; Clinton's plan is much fairer and taxpayers will soon
agree if he doesn't fold first. Oh those poor one-percenters! Let's review
their plight. The Dow has more than doubled since 1993, without the benefit of
the magical capital gains tax cuts we were told were absolutely necessary for
growth. (In fact, Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy that year.) Now, with
their intellectual argument about capital gains in tatters, the Republicans
insist that their absolute top priority the single issue on which their party
is united is to give the one-percenters billions more by slashing that
- Newsweek Senior Writer Jonathan Alter, July 14.
Forget Huang, Steve Forbes is the Ugly Thing
"John Huang isn't the poster boy
for what ails money and politics Steve Forbes is...Forbes represents the
purest, most offensive challenge to the idea that money should equal
speech...Must we really accept a doctrine that lets a vain twit pour Daddy's
millions into so much flat tax propaganda that it lands him on the cover of
Time and Newsweek and influences the national agenda? Forbes has been
encouraged by what money can buy and won't go away. If anything's sinister
about campaign finance nowadays, it's this..." "Thus the key
question: Is Steve Forbes constitutional? The court might tell us that Forbes'
fetishes are among those ugly things we have to tolerate in a free society. In
any event, this is the kind of conversation that might begin to fix our
campaigns, not witch hunts for red perils that don't exist."
- U.S. News & World Report Senior Writer Matthew Miller in a July 17 op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
My Communist Friend Told Me Christianity's A Cult
"An editor's note: When your
reporter was in China recently, a very high ranking Chinese government
official was repeatedly asked questions about religious persecution. He told
me, and I quote directly, 'These stories are untrue. We do, as you do, have
some trouble with cults and we, like you, deal with them accordingly, but
that's all.' End quote."
- CBS News anchor Dan Rather after a story on persecution of Christians in China, July 22 Evening News.
Why Hume's No Longer at ABC
Judy Woodruff: "Hal Bruno, as
someone pointed out, well, but the news organizations carried the Watergate
hearings live or PBS did, and a few others did Iran-Contra hearings ten years
ago. What's different about these hearings?" Hal Bruno, ABC News
political editor: "Oh, all the difference in the world! First of all,
Watergate was directly affecting the conduct of government in this country. I
mean, this country, government was at a stand still in Washington as a result
of Watergate, and the whole country was immersed in it, and the same thing was
true, to a lesser degree, with Iran-Contra. These were major stories of
revelations of criminal wrongdoing."
- CNN's Inside Politics, July 22.
"If this were Ronald Reagan
accused of selling foreign policy to the highest bidder, it's a little hard to
imagine this wouldn't have attracted more attention....I can't think of a
higher and better use of a 24-hour news channel's time in July than to cover
- Brit Hume, Washington Managing Editor of the Fox News Channel, which is carrying the hearings, in the July 15 Washington Post.
L. Brent Bozell
Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
Geoffrey Dickens, Gene Eliasen, James Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
Kristina Sewell, Research Associate
Carey Evans, Circulation Director
Ian Alexander, Jessica Anderson; Interns