Best of NQ 1994 Contents
  Sore Losers Award
  Honey, I Shrunk the Democratic Party Award
  Oliver Stone Award
  I Still Hate Ronald Reagan Award
  Nobody Here But Us Apolitical Observers Award
  Media Hero Award
  Flatliner Award
  Rodney Dangerfield Award
  Politics of Meaninglessness Award
  Clinton Enemies List Award
  You're No Anita Hill Award
  No Money Down Award
  Good Morning Morons Award
  Damn Those Conservatives Award
  Bring Back the Iron Curtain Award
  Which Way Is It?
  Dumbest Quote of the Year
  1994 Award Judges

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  Notable Quotables
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The Best Notable Quotables of 1994:

The Seventh Annual Awards for the
Year’s Worst Reporting

Flatliner Award
(for Brain-Dead Health Reporting)

First Place

"Everyone is applauding, I think, in the health care community, the emphasis on universal access, because they know that unless they're going to let some people just die in the streets, it makes sense to get medical care early, when it's going to be more effective and less costly....the insurance companies are the focal point for the dynamics of denial that are part of our present for-profit system."
-- ABC medical editor Dr. Tim Johnson, January 26 World News Tonight.

"Bryant, a Democrat can get insurance reform. It will take a Republican President to get universal coverage to prove that it's not a Neanderthal party ten years from now."
-- NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert on Today, September 7.

"The Clinton plan proposes totally free coverage, no co-payment for preventive measures....The single-payer plan, and the House Education and Labor Committee would add free family-planning services and contraceptives for poor women."
-- ABC reporter Ann Compton, May 26 Good Morning America.

"Most of the riders saw themselves as missionaries spreading the word about how the current health care system had failed them. Some were Republican, others Democrat; some were against abortion, others supported abortion rights. Most said they were not political. Their main focus was on assuring that every American be covered by health insurance. In their view, the Health Security Express was a nonpartisan effort to persuade Congress to pass legislation that provides universal coverage."
-- Washington Post Health section Editor Abigail Trafford on the Health Care Express, August 9.

Reporter Tom Pettit: "Of all of the states, Hawaii has the most coverage, the closest thing to universal coverage, which the President has made the centerpiece of his health plan. Since 1974, twenty years ago, Hawaii has required employers to insure their workers and the state to cover the unemployed."
Governor John Waihee III: "We cover actually about 97, 98 percent of our population."
Pettit: "That is why Hawaii is a paradise, I guess."
-- NBC Nightly News story, January 29.


Rodney Dangerfield Award
(for Demanding Bill Clinton Get Respect)

First Place

"Well, it may seem the sheerest act of heresy to say so, but far from being pathologically dishonest, Bill Clinton has been more faithful to his word than any other chief executive in recent memory. He may have skirted the truth about the draft, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, and so on. But Clinton has kept his contract with voters. On policy issues, he has done almost exactly what he said he was going to do, despite setbacks and enormous obstacles. And by so doing, he has made himself an excellent President."
-- Former Newsweek reporter Jacob Weisberg in New York magazine, September 5 issue.

"In less than two years, Bill Clinton had already achieved more domestically than John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George Bush combined. Although Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan often had their way with Congress, Congressional Quarterly says it's Clinton who has had the most legislative success of any President since Lyndon Johnson. Inhale that one....The standard for measuring results domestically should not be the coherence of the process but how actual lives are touched and changed. By that standard, he's doing well."
-- Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter, October 3 magazine story.

Host Tina Gulland: "Are we agreed generally that it was a plus week for Clinton in the sense that he was viewed as presidential and in charge of foreign policy?"
ABC and National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg: "He was there in the middle of the desert. I mean, it was biblical!"
-- Exchange on Inside Washington about Clinton's Middle East trip, October 29.

"Around the country, President Clinton is routinely trashed by conservative talk-show hosts and Repub- lican candidates for being the most liberal President in modern times...But based on the measures that Mr. Clinton succeeded in getting through Congress in his first two years, he looks like Mainstream Bill....The Clinton record is surprisingly pro-business and centrist."
-- Wall Street Journal reporter Jeffrey Birnbaum, October 7.


Politics of Meaninglessness Award
(for the Silliest Analysis)

First Place

"The first time I shot somebody, it felt, God, it felt great. I mean, years later, I read this like, magazine, and it likened the feeling to ejaculation, or orgasm, and I thought about it, and it really was....When John Wayne shoots somebody, he rides off into the sunset. Why can't I, you know? Young people don't make the logical connections that adults assume they make about those kinds of things. That's why you've got to get rid of the guns."
-- Criminal-turned-Washington Post reporter Nathan McCall in profile on ABC's 20/20, February 18.


"One standard conservative argument against antipoverty policies is their cost: taxes burden the affluent and thus, by lowering work incentive, reduce economic output. But if one goal of the policy is to bolster monogamy, then making the affluent less so would help. Monogamy is threatened not just by poverty in an absolute sense but also by the relative wealth of the rich. This is what lures a young woman to a wealthy married or formerly married man. It is also what makes the man who attracts her feel too good for just one wife. As for the economic consequences, the costs of soaking the rich might well be outweighed by the benefits, financial and otherwise, of more stable marriages, fewer divorces, fewer abused children and less loneliness and depression."
-- From August 15 Time cover story on infidelity, by New Republic Senior Editor Robert Wright.

"Programs designed to aid inner city youths...are not pork....`Pork!' scream the demagogues. `Give us the death penalty!' The next time you or a loved one find yourself trapped in the nightmare of a violent crime, ask yourself if it wouldn't have been better for the `perp' to have been off playing basketball somewhere. You may find yourself suddenly in favor of even an imperfect attempt at prevention."
-- New York Times columnist and former NBC News reporter Bob Herbert, August 17 column.



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