Dispatches > Quotables


Issue: "Federal Testing," Sept. 13, 1997

It's harder than outrunning the paparazzi.

The former SARAH FERGUSON, Duchess of York, in an ad for Weight Watchers on the difficulty of losing weight. The ad was pulled after the death of Diana, but not in time to stop it from appearing in brochures sent in a direct-mail campaign and in some magazines.

It's August and there's not much news anywhere, let alone here on Martha's Vineyard. Things are so slow that the press corps covered the president's golf scores as though they were part of a congressional investigation into, well, campaign fundraising.

CBS News television personality BILL PLANTE, in one of his news reports from the president's vacation spot.

These are young women. They're not babies. And we are not their parents.

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LEONARD C. HORN, chief executive officer of the Miss America beauty pageant, on a rule change that allows contestants 21 years of age and older to gamble at the casinos during their stay in Atlantic City, N.J., for the pageant. Mr. Horn and pageant officials will remain "their parents" when it comes to smoking and drinking, however. Cigarettes and booze will remain off limits, regardless of age.

We live in an aggressively stupid celebrity culture. It isn't just dumb. It's aggressively dumb.... This whole celebrity thing is related to the dumbing down of everything. It's related to shorter attention spans and superficiality and the placing of value on celebrity itself.

Sports broadcaster BOB COSTAS, in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reflecting on celebrity in the wake of Princess Diana's death.

Mother Teresa stops short. Mother Teresa justifies what she does because of myth. Janet did what she did because it was right.

JACK KEVORKIAN, eulogizing his suicide-aiding partner Janet Good, who died after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

He said he didn't think I was a team player. Which I thought was a curious statement for him to make about me. I just didn't want to play on the team he had built.

-Congressman STEVE LARGENT, commenting on his conversation with House Speaker Newt Gingrich after conservative members' failed coup attempt this summer. Mr. Largent told The Washington Post he asked Mr. Gingrich what he thought of him.


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