But Seriously, Folks . . .

Dan Quayle's wacky attack on TV's Murphy Brown obscures a serious discussion about motherhood, morality and government's responsibility

AMERICANS TALKED ABOUT IT in coffee shops and check-out lines and elevators. In the Rose Garden of the White House, George Bush stood with Brian Mulroney, trying to hold a press conference about matters of state. The hounds of the press frisked and barked in excitement until their intermingled questions sounded something like Murf! Murf! Murf!

The Prime Minister of Canada turned to the President of the U.S. and asked in some puzzlement, "Who is Murphy Brown?"

The basic answer was easy: Murphy Brown does not exist. She is the TV character played by Candice Bergen. Murphy is a blond media...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!