Everyone Is Entitled to My Opinion

Everyone Is Entitled to My Opinion

by David Brinkley
     
 

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No matter how seriously we take our politics, Americans love a light touch, a raised eyebrow, a generous chuckle - which is why millions of us tune in to Sunday morning television for the bracing cocktail of wit and practical wisdom dispensed, along with the news, by the inimitable David Brinkley. His closing remarks, like an exclamation point after each broadcast,… See more details below

Overview

No matter how seriously we take our politics, Americans love a light touch, a raised eyebrow, a generous chuckle - which is why millions of us tune in to Sunday morning television for the bracing cocktail of wit and practical wisdom dispensed, along with the news, by the inimitable David Brinkley. His closing remarks, like an exclamation point after each broadcast, may illuminate the week's events or they may range widely through the oft-puzzling human condition - but they're always worth waiting for. In this one-of-a-kind book, we get the undiluted Brinkley. He marvels at government regulations that require paint cans to bear a label reading "Do not drink paint." He nominates Richard Nixon as Official U.S. Government Scapegoat. He commiserates with an Oklahoma mayor who must earn extra money by collecting beer cans and claiming the deposits. He reminisces about a White House that welcomed casual picnickers on its lawn. He forgives George Bush for passing out in Tokyo. He observes that "if we can put a man on the moon, we could put Congress in orbit." He skewers lawyers, bureaucrats, Washington insiders, hypocrites of all stripes. He commemorates absurdity - and hence suffers fools gladly.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brinkley brings his bracing wit and journalistic acumen to this selection of his brief closing commentaries delivered over the last 15 years of his Sunday morning ABC-TV news program, This Week with David Brinkley. He skewers Washington's lingo of cover-up and denial, satirizes Clinton's defeated health care plan and blasts Japan for its resistance to imports. His rogues' gallery includes Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, Libyan dictator Muammar Khadafy, Haiti's deposed Duvalier clan and North Korea's Kim Jong Il. Many of these 180 mini-essays, each a page in length or less, topple easy targets, such as lax airline safety standards or self-aggrandizing government bureaucracies. Other pieces comment amusingly on the annoyances of modern life or on the odd or the bizarree.g., castles for sale in East Germany, longhorn cattle bolting from a California rodeo to push into a bank's front door. Although Brinkley is a formidable foe of cant and hypocrisy, too many of these pieces seem dated or work better on the tube than on the printed page. 250,000 first printing; available in large print and on audio cassette. (Oct.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
The wit and wisdom of a TV giant.
Kirkus Reviews
These unambitious sign-offs (styled "homilies") from 15 years of This Week with David Brinkley never pretend to much—and they surely don't presume to anything as weighty as a raison d'être. Which makes for a graceful exercise but not for a discernible imperative, even for the author's following.

The venerable Brinkley, who gave us his more substantive (if still characteristically anecdotal) Memoirs last year, takes on the usual Establishment targets, but his potshots are throwaways—180 pieces in 192 scant pages. In the aggregate, they constitute time- capsule commentary on the culture of the past decade and a half, however slight: The fastest-growing job in government (as of April 23, 1988) was that of prison guard; the IRS will be set up within one month after nuclear attack to collect taxes (this per some government memo); daylight saving time was moved up to the first Sunday in April due to lobbying by the Barbecue Industry Association. Brinkley ranges well beyond the Washington bureaucracy, sometimes pithily ("The Constitution calls for electing a president every four years, but it does not say we have to spend the whole four years doing it"), more often lamely (on why the Arabs need Israel: "What would they find to do with themselves? What would . . . Arafat do for excitement?").

While Brinkley's authoritative weariness informs every one of the program-closing snippets, his stubbornly clipped sentences fail to resonate on the page as they do on the air. Clearly, his gift is lodged in the delivery—at least when it comes to afterthoughts.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679450719
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/22/1996
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 7.76(h) x 0.92(d)

Read an Excerpt

February 23, 1992

President Bush in his State of the Union Speech said he would order a stop, for a limited time, to the issuing of new government regulations. There are so many of these that a government newspaper called the Federal Register prints nothing but new rules and regulations. Why Mr. Bush stopped it temporarily was not clear, but it is clear that manufacturers complaining that they are drenched, drowned in a constant flood of new regulations, each one requiring another label, another sticker, another warning. A quick count in one bathroom found fifty warnings, some of them useful and necessary, some of them quite silly.

Because of overeager regulators, who apparently find some pleasure in it, the Federal Register bulges. It includes such warnings as a label on paint cans saying "Do not drink paint." And a label on an electric hair dryer saying "Do not use while sleeping."

What would we do without Washington to look out for us?


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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