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Linda Ellerbee

  • I was raised by and have raised people who regard telling one story when two would do as a sign someone is not really trying.

  • I've heard it said that the first law of journalism is to confirm existing prejudice, rather than contradict it.

  • ... fact that is fact every day is not news; it's truth. We report news, not truth.

  • When there is good news, and it is news, we do report it, but usually news is a record of human failure. Those wanting to celebrate human accomplishment are, as someone said, advised to go to the sports section.

  • Some of the qualities that go into making a good reporter — aggressiveness, a certain sneakiness, a secretive nature, nosiness, the ability to find out that which someone wants hidden, the inability to take 'no' with any sort of grace, a taste for gossip, rudeness, a fair disdain for what people will think of you and an occasional and calculated disregard for rules — are also qualities that go into making a very antisocial human being.

  • There is a gentle absurdity about Washington, D.C., and it is easy to develop affection for the place, if you can forget that the consequences of what goes on there are real, whereas what goes on there may not be.

  • ... in television the product is not the program; the product is the audience and the consumer of that product is the advertiser. The advertiser does not 'buy' a news program. He buys an audience.

  • [On television:] It's paternalism at its slickest.

  • I am not for abortion; nobody is for abortion. I am for your right to make your own hard choices in this world.

    • Linda Ellerbee,
    • in New Woman ()
  • Styles, like everything else, change. Style doesn't.

  • ... co-dependence...taking someone else's temperature to see how you feel ...

  • I want to know why, if men rule the world, they don't stop wearing neckties?

  • ... only dead fish swim with the stream.

  • In the coldest February, as in every other month in every other year, the best thing to hold on to in this world is each other.

  • I knew here could never be as sweet as there; going was a question, staying was an answer.

  • If it was on TV, it must be so. Calendars were tricky and church bells might fool you, but if you heard Ed Sullivan's voice you knew it was Sunday night.

  • ... he was generous with his affection, given to great, awkward, engulfing hugs, and I can remember so clearly the smell of his hugs, all starched shirt, tobacco, Old Spice and Cutty Sark. Sometimes I think I've never been properly hugged since.

  • Presumably a movement is more polite than a revolution, and a lot slower.

  • The whole town looks as if it had been left out in the rain too long and by mistake.

  • We plant a tree that won't be big enough to climb until we're too old to climb trees, we write constitutions to protect the rights of people who won't be born for another hundred years and may not be worth the trouble anyway, and we try to take care of our sick, though we all suffer from a disease for which there is no cure and no hope for one. We will not last and we know we will not — and still we write, carve, build, paint and plant to last. We are, it seems to me, very, very brave.

  • ... if you don't want to get old, don't mellow.

  • Pitching was about fooling people, manipulating them, making them believe in something that ultimately wasn't there. Great pitching was great lying.

  • Just because it's a rat race doesn't mean it's okay to be a rat.

    • Linda Ellerbee,
    • in Clara Fraser, Revolution, She Wrote ()
  • People are pretty much alike. It's only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities.

    • Linda Ellerbee,
    • in New Choices ()
  • A few weeks after my surgery, I went out to play catch with my golden retriever. When I bent over to pick up the ball, my prosthesis fell out. The dog grabbed it, and I found myself chasing him down the road yelling 'Hey, come back here with my breast!'

    • Linda Ellerbee,
    • in Sandra Choron and Harry Choron, Planet Dog ()
  • I think laughter may be a form of courage ... As humans we sometimes stand tall and look into the sun and laugh, and I think we are never more brave than when we do that.

    • Linda Ellerbee
  • What I like most about change is that it's a synonym for 'hope.' If you are taking a risk, what you are really saying is, 'I believe in tomorrow and I will be part of it.'

    • Linda Ellerbee,
    • in Woman's Day ()

Linda Ellerbee, U.S. broadcast journalist, writer


Born Linda Jane Smith.