Notable Quotables - 09/07/1998
The 1986 Presidential Campaign?
Clinton has done today, ordered today, is similar, is similar to
what President Reagan did in 1986. Some may want to note that
1986 was a presidential election year, and of course 1998 is a
U.S. congressional election year. But Secretary of Defense
Cohen, in answer, in response to a question at that live news
conference a short while ago, came back very hard on the
suggestion of a question that this was somehow related to events
other than striking back at terrorists for the reasons of the
bombings in east Africa."
- Dan Rather comparing Clinton's terrorist strike to Reagans bombing of Libya during live CBS coverage, August 20.
Time's Idea of Liberal Candor
Beltway, the scandal is not the lie but the unvarnished truth.
George Bush's campaign barb about Reaganism being voodoo
economics raised far more hackles than his claim that Clarence
Thomas was the most qualified man in America to be on the
- Time Senior Editor Richard Stengel, August 31 news story.
"Things We're Looking Forward to Making Fun Of...Dan
Quayle's next campaign."
- Time's "The List," August 31.
"Courageous Professionalism" in Lying to the Public for Months?...
Washington Post media
reporter Howard Kurtz: "It's interesting to watch them,
Ann Lewis and others, dutifully drag themselves before the
cameras yesterday and saying, 'I know I've been telling you
for months that this didn't happen. Well it did happen, but no
one cares and lets move on.' So their own credibility has
taken a hit."
Co-host Lisa McRee: "But it's also courageous professionalism, some would say."
- Exchange from August 19 Good Morning America.
...To Fight a Zealous Witch Hunt
"Lots of people in
Washington are expecting the White House to go on the offensive
with regard to Kenneth Starr and his investigation. And people
are expecting detailed questions to leak out of that grand jury
testimony, questions that make Kenneth Starr and his attorneys
look like zealots who are on some sort of witch hunt. Do you
think that might happen?"
- McRee to Kurtz, minutes later.
He Oughta Sue for a Third Term
"All of us could
have had the judgment and discretion, the press, the prosecutor
everyone to let this thing be something that was not a matter
for public debate. Clinton should be suing for a third term!
That's what should happen."
- U.S. News & World Report Washington reporter (and ex-Clinton aide) Matthew Miller on CNBC's Hardball, August 14.
Hillary Has Me In a Trance...
believe it when I first read that she didn't hear about it
til' Thursday. It seemed improbable to me because she's so
smart and because she's been here before. But I am beginning
to believe it now. I mean, our reporting indicates that she, it
sounds implausible, but marriages are complicated things and she
may have just willfully decided she didn't need to hear it
straight from Clinton and Clinton may have held out to the last
minute before telling her."
- Newsweek's Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, August 22.
"When she first heard this, she probably thought, Oh, boy,
could it be true? And as the evidence and the testimony
developed, she thought, Oh, this very well may be true, but not
until she heard it from his mouth, and that was the first time
she may have heard it, was the weekend prior to his confession,
that she absolutely knew it was true. I think she is honestly
devastated. She looks heavy to me, but not bowed, which I think
is important. And I think that she's showing some uber-feminism
- Gannett News Service writer Deborah Mathis, same show.
Hey, Aren't We All Pathetic Liars?
truth about lying is that we all do, whether we like to admit it
or not. To differing degrees, with different motivations. And
studies show we're lying now more than ever before....One
study found we deceive 30 percent of the people we interact with
each week. Take deception at work. One survey of 40,000 people
found that 93 percent admit they lie habitually on the job. So
it's not just our politicians....And worst of all, studies
say, we save our bigger lies for the ones we love. One in every
three spouses has covered up an extramarital affair....How did
we sink this low? Psychologists say the family unit, once strong
and united, has been fractured and in many cases Mom and Dad no
longer teach right from wrong....To tell the truth, we all lie.
Some small fibs, some tall tales and some, like the President,
- NBC reporter Fred Francis, August 24 NBC Nightly News.
No Heroes in This Endless Tale
"What makes this
scandal so discomfiting is that it involves elementary behavior
and personal relationships everyone can identify with. Secret
sex, tape recordings of a friend, a media frenzy, judicial
zealotry [Starr video], self-righteous criticism, lies,
betrayal, family and friends. As his own worst enemy, the
President is in a class by himself. But there are no common
heroes, no one player who has the universal admiration of a
grateful nation. They may emerge, but its hard to see how,
now that so much has been spilled out into the public in such a
self-serving, and for some, infuriating fashion. At a time in
America when so much is going so well, there is a longing for
the simple satisfaction of looking to Washington and saying
'There's someone I can believe and believe in.'"
- Tom Brokaw ending NBC Nightly News, August 18.
"Just the other day when I called the CBS news desk to see
what was going on, a colleague I've known for years joked she
wasn't sure she knew me well enough to discuss what was on the
front page of The New York Times - an account of how the
President's advisers were debating whether a certain kind of
sex play qualified as sexual relations. That's what has always
set this story apart: it always gets worse. I have no idea what
the President plans to tell the grand jury or what, if anything,
he plans to tell the rest of us. But whatever he says, let's
hope it's enough to bring this story to some kind of
conclusion, because frankly, I've heard about enough."
- CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer, August 16.
Oh, What Might Have Been!
"It began with so
much promise. Bill Clinton became the first Democratic President
since Franklin Roosevelt to be reelected to a second term. This
was the term he'd make his mark on history and determine how
he'd be remembered. CBS's Wyatt Andrews looks tonight at the
state of the Clinton legacy."
- Dan Rather, August 18 CBS Evening News.
"I think the bigger concern is that how this man who was
filled with so much promise when he was first elected, you know,
the first Democrat since Franklin Roosevelt and all that, could
have squandered so much of the promise of his presidency on this
silly fling, and if it hadn't been for Monica Lewinsky, Ken
Starr would have come up empty-handed.... I don't get why
Clinton's critics are so upset about this, and yet you talk
about people who've lied to us about policy matters, you know,
trading arms for hostages, or 'I won't raise your taxes'
- and those lies affect my life. Clinton's lie doesn't
affect my life."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on CBS's Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, August 19.
Olbermann Resembles an Idiot
"Can Ken Starr
ignore the apparent breadth of the sympathetic response to the
President's speech? Facially, it finally dawned on me that the
person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was
Heinrich Himmler, including the glasses. If he now pursues the
President of the United States, who, however flawed his apology
was, came out and invoked God, family, his daughter, a political
conspiracy and everything but the kitchen sink, would not there
be some sort of comparison to a persecutor as opposed to a
prosecutor for Mr. Starr?"
- Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC's The Big Show, to Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren, August 18.
"We got a number of calls from people who were offended by
that remark, who thought I was comparing Starr to Himmler and
insulting Starr, or who thought I was comparing Starr to Himmler
and demeaning the terrible importance of the Holocaust. And to
those people who were offended I sincerely and humbly apologize.
I meant only what I said. Facially, the two men look vaguely
alike. But I am primarily of German descent, so I carry with me
an inherited shame and guilt about this. So despite the
innocence of the intent of my remark there, I should have been
much more sensitive about invoking that name in this context and
for having not been so, I am very sorry. Still ahead for us
tonight: did Olbermann's apology go far enough? We'll have
the latest poll numbers on that."
- Olbermann on MSNBC, the next night.
Presidential Perjury Not Important
bears the larger part of the responsibility, but there is one
point to what Ahmet and the other person have said, is that
campaign finance reform is more important in the end, and we
don't give that as much attention."
- Time's Margaret Carlson answering questions about who's to blame for Monicagate on Good Morning America, August 17.
America's In an Anti-Clinton Rut
"What does it say
about the hole this President has to dig himself out of that he
doesn't even get two hours of courtesy from Republicans before
it's immediately suggested that the reason the attack happened
was to divert people's attention?"
- NBC reporter Josh Mankiewicz interviewing former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers, August 21 Dateline NBC.
"Since January, late night TV has seen America held hostage
to jokes about the President's sex life. Almost nothing is off
limits. In our comedy, just as in our politics, standards have
- Mankiewicz, August 23 Dateline NBC.
L. Brent Bozell
Editors: Brent H. Baker and Tim Graham
Media Analysts: Jessica Anderson, Geoffrey Dickens,
Mark Drake, Paul Smith, Clay Waters
Research Associate: Kristina Sewell
Circulation Manager: Michelle Baetz