Dispatches > Quotables


Issue: "Bailing Out," June 14, 1997

I am not in the closet. I am not coming out of the closet. I am not gay.

Entertainment superstar OPRAH WINFREY, making the countercultural admission after an industry columnist erroneously reported that Ms. Winfrey was about to announce she is a homosexual.

I lived by lies. And people called that glamor. What was bad was seen as good, and the more I shocked, the more I was 'loved.' But I hated myself.

DENISE SMITH, the ex-girlfriend dubbed "Vanity" by the musician formerly known as Prince, speaking at a Maryland church about the life she has renounced. She said she became a Christian in 1994.

I'm not the secretary of morality, but the military has very high standards. We insist that they measure up to the standards, recognizing that people are human, that they will fail.

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Defense Secretary WILLIAM COHEN, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times the day before it was revealed his favorite candidate to replace the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff failed to "measure up."

As a lawyer representing the man in a situation like this, you have to be very careful what you say. If you say the wrong things-if you're demeaning, especially-it's going to come back to haunt you.

Attorney ROY BLACK, who defended William Kennedy Smith against rape charges in 1991, providing some free advice to Robert Bennett, President Clinton's lawyer in the Paula Jones case, in The New York Times.

Unfortunately, what we don't have are big, disgusting pictures to hold up.

BEAR ATWOOD, president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Organization for Women, on the difficulty she and her compatriots have defending partial-birth abortions.

That would be Bubbles, Digger, Garcia, and Radar.

Chicago area police detective KEN GEORGE after law enforcement raided a 77-year-old man's storage locker and found more than 1,000 stolen Beanie Babies. The beanbag animals are wildly popular but difficult to find.

The president should quit besmirching Paula Jones and settle the case, before people stop seeing him as a likable rogue and start seeing him as an unlikable rogue. It won't affect his place in history, which is set. He will be known as a weak, affable man who presided over a prosperous economy but mistook celebrity culture for political culture, who had distinguishing characteristics but not distinguished character, who relied on his entertainment value and the disappearing attention span of his country to get him out of trouble.

New York Times columnist MAUREEN DOWD.


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