Notable Quotables - 11/23/1992

Time Swoons Over the Sexy President

"At a moment when the American libido seems to oscillate between Puritanism and rampant exhibitionism, how significant is it that for the first time in more than 30 years the nation has elected a President with sex appeal?....The swooning and the cooing on the rope lines during the last days of the Clinton campaign were unavoidably reminiscent of Kennedy. In Louisville, Kentucky, the scene seemed out of Beatlemania....Cheryl Russell, editor of The Boomer Report, a monthly newsletter on consumer trends, captures a new dimension in the national psyche when she confides, 'Every woman I know is having sex dreams about Bill Clinton. We're finally getting a President our own age who we can imagine having sex with. I don't recall anyone having sex dreams about Michael Dukakis.'"
- Time Senior Writer Walter Shapiro, November 16.

"With his computer-like mind and his joyous addiction to pressing the flesh, Clinton was a brilliant campaigner. Almost too brilliant: toward the end his biggest vulnerability was his reputation as a dexterous accommodator, the schoolboy politician perennially concerned about preserving his political viability."
- Shapiro, same issue.

"Through it all, [Clinton] persevered, his resilience and toughness becoming antidotes to the attacks on his character. A lifetime in politics equipped him with tactical savvy and strategic good sense. Like other Southern populists before him, Clinton seemed instinctively to know how to put the hay down where the goats were."
- Time Special Correspondent Michael Kramer, October 19.

Al Gore Suck-Up Award

"My star this week, as we look back on it, has to be Vice President-Elect Al Gore. He gave quite a performance at the news conference. You've never seen anyone stand so quietly, so still with knowing nods and interested glances and tilts of the head. I thought he was very, he was very stagy there. I think it also showed discipline for what will be required for him as Vice President."
- USA Today White House reporter Jessica Lee on the Fox Morning News, November 16.


Eleanor Thanks Pat

"I also want to say thank you, Pat, for pushing the President so far to the right that it made it a lot easier for the Democrats to capture the mandate of the middle class...What [Buchanan] did was make George Bush kowtow to the right more than he needed to. He overcorrected with that convention, which portrayed the Republican Party as a party of homophobics, and anti-choice, anti-women, and everything else."
- Newsweek reporter Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, November 7.


Liberal Cliches As News Beyond Dispute

"Everyone knows the rich got richer in the 1980s. Now a new study shows how dramatic the change was. According to the Economic Policy Institute, more than half of America's new wealth went to the richest one-half of one percent of families. The bottom 60 percent of families in income saw no gain or got poorer."
- Dan Rather on a group founded by Dukakis and Clinton advisers, October 29 CBS Evening News.


Hell in a Handbasket

"In the last few years, I have watched as this country changed from the land of milk and honey that my parents willed me to, to a landscape of homeless and underprivileged reminiscent of the worst of the Third World."
- ABC News Assignment Editor Susana Ramirez in a World News Now commentary, November 13.

GOP Sunk by the Radical Right

"[Voters] had grown weary of 12 years of Republican rule, symbolized by a President who seemed insensitive to their bread-and-butter concerns. They were angry at a GOP that ignored, even resented, the rise of a multiracial society and a new social mainstream that includes working women, single-parent families and gays and lesbians seeking equal rights."
- Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman in the magazine's special November/December post-election issue.

"I think some moderate Republicans were put off by the tone at the convention. The Republicans relinquished too much time to what some term the radical religious right. Did you feel comfortable with the convention?...Do you agree with the tone and the content of Pat Buchanan's speech?"
- Today co-host Katie Couric to President Bush, October 30.


Hurray for the Clinton Court

"The Reagan judicial revolution...They were the judges who cut back on abortion rights, affirmative action, and the rights of criminal defendants as part of a deliberate campaign by Reagan - and to a lesser extent, George Bush - to limit the power of judges and get them out of the business of solving social problems...the nation in the next four years will see an expansion in the rights of women, minorities, and homosexuals, and new judicial respect for a broad range of factions that have not fared well under Reagan and Bush judges - ranging from labor unions and refugees to death row inmates and homosexuals."
- USA Today Supreme Court reporter Tony Mauro, November 9.

Liberal Bias: The Ongoing Denial...

"I think that one would be lying to say that most reporters are not more liberal than most Americans. You're quite right about that. But they will go for a good story before an ideological story 99 times out of 100...Look at the coverage of Ronald Reagan. Jimmy Carter - terrible press. And Ronald Reagan - much more favorable press. And you shatter the ideological bias idea."
- Newsweek media critic Jonathan Alter on CNN's Crossfire, October 21.

"I think there are reporters around Clinton who are baby boomers who are drawn to him. I think there are a lot of reporters in Washington who just wish for a new story. But I watch probably as many talk shows, and as many interview shows, what George Bush calls the professional talking heads on Sundays, as anybody else. I actually think the bias, in the overall system, is from the center to the right."
- PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers on CNN's Larry King Live, November 2.

"I am shocked when people say that [the media was pro-Clinton], I really am. I mean, people forget January and February, when the media was on Clinton's case with Gennifer Flowers, all the draft stuff. I'm amazed at the public's selective memory."
- ABC anchor Carole Simpson on C-SPAN, November 10.


...And the Admission of Reality

"We're unpopular because the press tends to be liberal, and I don't think we can run away from that. And I think we're unpopular with a lot of conservatives and Republicans this time because the White House press corps by and large detested George Bush, probably for good and sufficient reason, they certainly can cite chapter and verse. But their real contempt for him showed through in their reporting in a way that I think got up the nose of the American people."
- Time writer William A. Henry III on the PBS election-night special The Finish Line.

"Indeed, coverage of the campaign vindicated exactly what conservatives have been saying for years about liberal bias in the media. In their defense, journalists say that though they may have their personal opinions, as professionals they are able to correct for them when they write. Sounds nice, but I'm not buying any."
- Former Newsweek reporter Jacob Weisberg in The New Republic, November 23 issue.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Brant Clifton, Nicholas Damask, Steve Kaminski, Marian Kelley, Tim Lamer; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Circulation Manager
- David Muska; Intern