"It doesn't help matters when prime time TV has Murphy...


October 08, 1994

"It doesn't help matters when prime time TV has Murphy Brown -- a character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid, professional woman -- mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice."

This statement by former Vice President Dan Quayle during the 1992 campaign was greeted by guffaws in the entertainment industry and catcalls among feminists who saw in his words an attack on single moms. But the much-abused Mr. Quayle is finding that the politics of values may turn about to be a winning issue after all.

President Clinton has not only said there were a lot of good things in the Murphy Brown speech but he is paying Mr. Quayle the ultimate compliment by making a series of values speeches himself.

As for Mr. Quayle, who is eyeing a race for the presidency in 1996, he is making his alarums about family breakdown gender neutral. Rather than single out single moms, he is putting as much emphasis on absent or deadbeat dads. "Raising a child is not just a mother's responsibility, it is a father's responsibility, too," he says.

A hot issue? Maybe ever hotter than a hot "potatoe." (Remember the famous Quayle misspelling?) Some polls indicate more voters are worried about what is happening to the American family than about crime or taxes or whatever.

* * *

AFOOTNOTE to the pardon of Samuel A. Green Jr., the corrupt Baltimore County state's attorney of the 1960s and 1970s, who turned his office into an orgy.

According to Sun reports of trial testimony, Mr. Green engaged in a variety of office sex and set a tone where misconduct become routine. Take the urine-in-iced-tea caper.

Mr. Green was detested by colleagues. His sexcapades and shakedowns made him the butt of jokes. One day, two assistants were complaining about Mr. Green's behavior. One said he was so angry at his boss that he could "p--- in his iced tea." The other dared him.

He did -- and watched with glee as Mr. Green later consumed the tainted beverage.

With such testimony, it's no wonder Mr. Green's corruption trial was boffo at the Towson box office. They could have sold tickets.

* * *

POLITICAL signs of the times:

A small homemade placard was spotted amid a clump of trees at the Jones Falls Expressway exit off westbound Northern Parkway. It read, "ANYBODY DEAR GOD BUT SARBANES."

Also, on Padonia Road near York Road in Cockeysville, a double-paneled "Bentley for Governor" sign was painted over in shocking red after the primary. It was soon replaced by a "Ruppersberger for Baltimore County Executive" display.

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