[Editor's Note: These are apparently true quotes (I say apparently because
I haven't personally verified them), by famous people, most of whom,
scarily enough, hold public office. Be afraid...be very afraid.]
"I haven't committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law."
--David Dinkins, New York City Mayor, answering accusations that he failed
to pay his taxes.
"They gave me a book of checks. They didn't ask for any deposits."
-- Congressman Joe Early (D-Mass) at a press conference to answer questions
about the House Bank Scandal.
"He didn't say that. He was reading what was given to him in a speech."
-- Richard Darman, director of OMB, explaining why President Bush wasn't
following up on his campaign pledge that there would be no loss of
"It depends on your definition of asleep. They were not stretched out. They
had their eyes closed. They were seated at their desks with their heads in
a nodding position."
-- John Hogan, Commonwealth Edison Supervisor of News Information,
responding to a charge by a Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspector that
two Dresden Nuclear Plant operators were sleeping on the job.
"I didn't accept it. I received it."
-- Richard Allen, National Security Advisor to President Reagan, explaining
the $1000 in cash and two watches he was given by two Japanese journalists
after he helped arrange a private interview for them with First Lady Nancy
"I was a pilot flying an airplane and it just so happened that where I was
flying made what I was doing spying."
-- Francis Gary Power, U-2 reconnaissance pilot held by the Soviets for
spying, in an interview after he was returned to the US.
"I was under medication when I made the decision not to burn the tapes."
-- President Richard Nixon
"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your
-- Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for a federal
"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body."
-- Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.
"I support efforts to limit the terms of members of Congress, especially
members of the House and members of the Senate."
-- Vice-President Dan Quayle
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in
-- Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC
"Sure, it's going to kill a lot of people, but they may be dying of
something else anyway."
-- Othal Brand, member of a Texas pesticide review board, on chlordane.
"Are you any relation to your brother Marv?"
-- Leon Wood, New Jersey Nets guard, to Steve Albert, Nets TV commentator.
"Beginning in February 1976 your assistance benefits will be
discontinued... Reason: it has been reported to our office that you expired
on January 1, 1976."
-- Letter from the Illinois Department of Public Aid
"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history... this
century's history.... We all lived in this century. I didn't live in this
-- Dan Quayle, then Indiana senator and Republican vice-presidential
candidate during a news conference in which he was asked his opinion of the
"In the early sixties, we were strong, we were virulent..."
-- John Connally, Secretary of Treasury under Richard Nixon, in an early
seventies speech, as reported in a contemporary "American Scholar".
"Rotarians, be patriotic! Learn to shoot yourself."
-- Chicago Rotary Club journal, "Gyrator".
"The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It's only the people who make them
-- Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia.
"I've always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are vastly
-- Lawrence Summers, chief economist of the World Bank, explaining why we
should export toxic wastes to Third World countries.
"The crime bill passed by the Senate would reinstate the Federal death
penalty for certain violent crimes: assassinating the President; hijacking
an airliner; and murdering a government poultry inspector."
-- Knight Ridder News Service dispatch
"After finding no qualified candidates for the position of principal, the
school board is extremely pleased to announce the appointment of David
Steele to the post."
-- Philip Streifer, Superintendent of Schools, Barrington Rhode Island.
"The doctors X-rayed my head and found nothing."
-- Dizzy Dean explaining how he felt after being hit on the head by a ball
in the 1934 World Series.