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Russell Baker quotes

Poetry is so vital to us until school spoils it.

I gave up on new poetry myself 30 years ago when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens in a hostile world.

The American press has the blues. Too many authorities have assured it that its days are numbered, too many good newspapers are in ruins.

Objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories: those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost.

Inanimate objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories; those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost.

In America, it is sport that is the opiate of the masses.

The best discussion of trouble in boardroom and business office is found in newspapers' own financial pages and speeches by journalists in management jobs.

An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious - just dead wrong.

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.

Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.

Reporters thrive on the world's misfortune. For this reason they often take an indecent pleasure in events that dismay the rest of humanity.

People seem to enjoy things more when they know a lot of other people have been left out of the pleasure.

Except for politics, no business is scrutinized more exhaustively than journalism.

Letter writing was clearly important to Reagan. Even as president he kept dashing off letters to friends, pen pals, media people, statesmen, critics, and the kind of people who write to presidents never expecting a reply.

Like all young reporters - brilliant or hopelessly incompetent - I dreamed of the glamorous life of the foreign correspondent: prowling Vienna in a Burberry trench coat, speaking a dozen languages to dangerous women, narrowly escaping Sardinian bandits - the usual stuff that newspaper dreams are made of.

Roosevelt's declaration that Americans had 'nothing to fear but fear itself' was a glorious piece of inspirational rhetoric and just as gloriously wrong.

Situation comedy on television has thrived for years on 'canned' laughter, grafted by gaglines by technicians using records of guffawing audiences that have been dead for years.

When sudden death takes a president, opportunities for new beginnings flourish among the ambitious and the tensions among such people can be dramatic, as they were when President Kennedy was killed.

Don't try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.

A group of politicians deciding to dump a President because his morals are bad is like the Mafia getting together to bump off the Godfather for not going to church on Sunday.