Skip to content

Open & Shut

A collection of recent funny, fascinating, nonsensical or just notable newsworthy quotations. From the Summer 2001 issue of The News…

A collection of recent funny, fascinating, nonsensical or just notable newsworthy quotations.

From the Summer 2001 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 64.

“Just after Watergate, I met a business friend in New York who said to me, ‘You tore it down. Now it is your responsibility to build it up.’ And I said: ‘No, it isn’t. Our responsibility is to tell people what is going on.’ I still believe that is true, but the answer today is more complex. Certainly it is not the role of the press to fix the problems of society. And yet we occupy an unique position that enables us to be part of the solution. . . . [O]ur reporting can help show ways out of the abyss.”

— Katharine Graham, before the Washington Journalism Center on Nov. 21, 1989 at the annual Frank Gannett lecture.

“I don’t think the people have a right to know. I think the press have a right to find out, if they can.”

— Lyn Nofzinger, a long time assistant to President Ronald Reagan, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on July 9 about making public officials, rather than a spokesperson, available to the media.

“I think you’re going to see a very big push to collect more data and publish widely. Collecting data and publishing it changes behavior faster than anything else.”

— Thomas Scully, head of the Health Care Financing Administration, said during a June press conference about his plan for the agency to publicize more information about nursing homes, HMOs and providers who serve Medicare patients.

“I would feel uncomfortable attending if the media isn’t allowed to attend. If we are not open and honest with the public, it will appear that there is something suspicious going on.”

— Bud McInnis, a High Point, N.C., Housing Authority commissioner, said June 16 after an authority retreat aimed at educating commissioners about legal and administrative matters was closed to the public.

“I don’t believe [the First Amendment] is some cynical ‘Get out of jail free’ card for broadcasters.”

— FCC Chairman Michael Powell said on May 20 before the Senate Commerce Committee at a hearing confirming his tenure on the Commission until 2007.

“Although the court has no legal authority to restrain either party from speaking to the media, this does not preclude either of them from using good sense and personal restraint for their sake.”

— Judge Judith Gische of state supreme court in New York wrote in a May order barring New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani’s girlfriend, Judith Nathan, from Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s residence.

“I would still hope the judge would impose the gag order so that all lawyers, all friends and everyone around me would deal with this privately.”

— Rudolph Guiliani, mayor of New York City, said on May 14 amid his very public divorce proceedings.

“Inmates don’t lose their First Amendment rights when they are incarcerated. As long as it doesn’t violate prison rules or federal guidelines, the inmates can express their viewpoints.”

— Jim Cross, spokesman for the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind., said on April 30 about inmates who contribute to a Web site dedicated to prisoners on death row. The site address is:

“I’m not going to agree to sign this agreed protective order because what [you] want sealed is public record.”

— Judge David Davis of Hamilton County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court told an attorney representing the city of Norwood, Ohio, in an age discrimination lawsuit.