Times Watch Quotes of Note - Executive Editor Takes Cheap Shots at O'Reilly, Coulter, and Kristol

Plus Cheney the Drunken Fratboy and Don't Trust the Times With Your Life

NYT Executive Editor Takes Cheap Shots at O'Reilly, Coulter, and Kristol


Times reader: "I think a lot of young journalists and editors, myself included, are curious about what a day in the shoes of Bill Keller is like. Can you walk us through a normal work day for The Times's executive editor?"


Bill Keller: "Really? You'd be interested in that? Well, I think my life is pretty much what you would imagine it to be....Lunch at the Four Seasons is always a high point. Today it's my weekly tête-à-tête with Bill O'Reilly. He's really not the Neanderthal blowhard he plays on TV. He's totally in on the joke. After a couple of cosmopolitans, he does a wicked impression of Ann Coulter. We usually spend the lunch working up outlandish things he can say about The New York Times and making fun of Fox executives. (Once Rupert Murdoch showed up for a lunch date, and O'Reilly had to hide under the table for half an hour.) I spend most of the afternoon writing all the stories for the front page. (You knew those were all pseudonyms, right?) I write Tom Friedman's column, too, but, I swear, Bill Kristol wrote all his own stuff." - Executive Editor Bill Keller, responding facetiously to a question about his typical work day, in "Talk to the Newsroom," a Q&A with readers at nytimes.com posted the week of February 2-6.


Don't Trust the Times With Your Life


"An Op-Ed article on Wednesday, about the Heimlich maneuver, incorrectly described the technique. The person administering the maneuver pushes under the choking victim's diaphragm, not above it." - From a correction in the February 5 Times to an op-ed on the importance ofrestaurant staffknowingthe techniqueto save diners from choking.


Cheney the Drunken Fratboy


Daily Show Host Jon Stewart: "Didn't many around him want to go confront everybody? I mean, literally it felt like these are just like a bunch of drunken frat... it reminds me of a bar I used to work at where this one group of guys would come in and every night you'd just be like 'I wonder who they're going to fight.'"


Times Washington correspondent David Sanger: "Was Cheney at your bar?" - Exchange on the January 21 edition of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.


"Extreme Features" of the Patriot Act


"And the more extreme features of the Patriot Act may come to mind when witnessing some of the tactics used in the campaign to smear [J. Robert] Oppenheimer and remove him...from an active role in decisions about atomic strategy." - Television critic Mike Hale in his January 26 review of a PBS documentary on J. Robert Oppenheimer, father of the hydrogen bomb.


Where Did That Come From?


"Like many things that now seem out of date - Reaganism, say - Depeche Mode, the British synthpop band, arrived in 1980, a year best left forgotten." - Metro reporter Alan Feuer in a January 26 posting on the "City Room" blog at nytimes.com.


Another Valentine for Tom Daschle


"Others said Mr. Daschle's situation marks a loss for Washington and the end of a time when a former lawmaker could go halfway into private enterprise while keeping a hand in public service." - Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David Kirkpatrick's February 5 story on former Democratic Senate leader Tom Daschle withdrawing his nomination to join Obama's cabinet over $128,000 in unpaid taxes.


Cruel Coulter Dislodges Cute Kitty From Best Seller Slot


"WHEN CONSERVATIVES ATTACK: Ann Coulter's 'Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America' enters the hardcover nonfiction list at No. 2, shoving the cuddly "Dewey" down to No. 3. (Have you no sense of decency, madam?) Now that she has perfected the footnote-heavy, single-word-titled screed ('Treason,' 'Slander,' 'Godless,' ' Specious ') maybe Coulter will reinvent herself and jump on the pet memoir bandwagon." - Jennifer Schuessler, author of the "Inside the List" column, in the January 25 Sunday Book Review.


Science Reporter Weeps at Dawning of Age of Obama


"All right, I was weeping too. To be honest, the restoration of science was the least of it, but when Barack Obama proclaimed during his Inaugural Address that he would 'restore science to its rightful place,' you could feel a dark cloud lifting like a sigh from the shoulders of the scientific community in this country." - Opening to a January 27 essay by science reporter Dennis Overbye.

Now They Tell Us

"The military is not a monolith, but it is safe to say that Mr. Obama was not its candidate in the 2008 election. His antiwar comments ignited the left but struck many in the armed services as naïve. His Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, was a war hero." - From a January 31 report on Obama's relationship to the military by Pentagon reporter Elisabeth Bumiller.


Enough Unfair Labeling for You?


"When the Republicans nearly lost their majority in the Texas House in November, a small group of moderates from the party joined with Democrats to oust the archconservative speaker, Thomas Craddick of Midland. Even more surprising, the Republican rebels engineered the election of Joe Straus, a decidedly centrist politician from San Antonio, to the speaker's office, making a junior lawmaker with not quite two terms under his belt one of the most powerful people in the state. The rise of Mr. Straus, a fiscal conservative who has not toed the conservative line on issues like abortion and gay rights, was widely seen as a defeat for the socially conservative wing of the party." - Texas-based reporter James McKinley in his "Austin Journal," January 28.


Take onThose Fat Cats, Bru-u-u-u-ce!


"But who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and there will be at least one bold moment Sunday night when Springsteen goes rogue and rails against - oh, I don't know - offensive Wall Street bonuses, $18.4 billion worth. Go ahead, Bruce, make those corporate fat cats squirm on their sofas." - Sports columnist Harvey Araton on January 30, celebrating Bruce Springsteen's upcoming concert during the Super Bowl halftime show.


The Same Extremist Anti-Immigrant Party That Nominated John McCain  


"The relentlessly harsh Republican campaign against immigrants has always hidden a streak of racialist extremism. Now after several high-water years, the Republican tide has gone out, leaving exposed the nativism of fringe right-wingers clinging to what they hope will be a wedge issue." - Opening to the Times' February 1 lead editorial, titled "The Nativists Are Restless."


House GOP "Skating on Thin Ice" for Rejecting the Stimulus Package


"The stylistic and philosophical implications of the choice became even clearer when [New RNC chairman Michael] Steele appeared before House Republicans at a retreat on Saturday. Mr. Steele celebrated their refusal to give Mr. Obama a single vote for his economic recovery plan - albeit in language that was perhaps a tad eyebrow-raising, given the soberness of the country's economic problems and the concern of some Republicans that the party was skating on thin ice." - Chief political reporter Adam Nagourney, in a February 4 commentary on new Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, posted on nytimes.com.