Media "Uniformly" Back Obama on Gay Marriage; "Getting Chills" Upon Hearing Obama’s "Historic Words"

Vol. 25, No. 10

“Getting Chills” Upon Hearing Obama’s “Historic Words”


Co-host George Stephanopoulos: “What a watershed moment. You know, whatever people think about this issue, and we know it’s controversial, there’s no denying when a President speaks out for the first time like that, it is history.”
Co-host Robin Roberts: “And let me tell you, George, I’m getting chills again. Because when you sit in that room and you hear him say those historic words — it was not lost on anyone that was in the room.”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, May 10. [Audio/video (0:37): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


Too Obvious to Deny: Media “Uniformly” Back Obama on Gay Marriage


“So many people in the media seem to uniformly support same-sex marriage. Do you think that this dialogue we’re having nationally doesn’t adequately recognize that for many people, this is an issue that they struggle with and don’t believe in?”
— Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s Today, May 10.

“I think that the media is as divided on this issue as the Obama family — which is to say not at all. And so he’s never going to get negative coverage for this....When you have almost the entire media establishment on your side on an issue in a presidential campaign, it’s very hard to lose politically.”
— Mark Halperin on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, May 10.


Watch Out for Evil “Wolves... Giggling With Delight”


“It is a pretty profound statement by our President. I don’t want to get past that too quickly. That’s the good news for everybody in the country in terms of freedom and the long march towards liberalism in the country.... But there has always been another army out there that feeds on those who resent it. That army has been out there during Jim Crow. It was out there during abolition, during suffrage. There’s always an army that feeds on change and feeds against it — the wolves, and they’re being released right now and they’re probably giggling with delight at how they’re going to use this.”
— Chris Matthews during MSNBC live coverage during the 3pm hour, May 9, shortly after ABC released clips of Obama’s statement on same-sex marriage. [Audio/video (0:52): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


The “Too Far Right” GOP vs. “Voice of Bipartisanship”


“Do you think that the Republican Party has moved too far right for its own good? I mean, when you see the situation that’s happened out in Indiana, where Richard Lugar, who’s probably passed more significant legislation than any single member of the Senate right now, I would say — that I can think of — he might actually get beat in the primary because they think he’s not conservative enough.”
— Bob Schieffer to Peggy Noonan on CBS’s Face the Nation, May 6.

Anchor Erin Burnett: “This is pretty tragic that we have gotten to this point where working together is a negative thing....”
CNN Contributor John Avlon: “If you are frustrated with the way Washington isn’t working, with the division and dysfunction, this primary is an important reason why. Right now reaching across the aisle to try to solve a problem is a hanging offense in the Republican Party primaries.”
— From CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, May 8.


Loving Lugar’s “Prescient” Anti-Conservative Manifesto


“Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar did not go quietly, after losing his primary contest Tuesday in Indiana to a Tea Party-backed challenger, Richard Mourdock. And if there is one thing the American people need to read today, it is his farewell missive, which may prove to be as prescient and long lasting as Dwight Eisenhower’s 1961 exit speech warning of the coming military industrial complex.”
Time magazine White House correspondent Michael Scherer in a May 9 post for the magazine’s “Swampland” blog.

“Not only was it a manifesto, it was an incredibly eloquent manifesto. There have been a number of people who’ve been chased out of the party now, and none have either had the courage or the position [of Lugar].”
— Scherer on MSNBC’s Daily Rundown, May 10.


“Diverse” Democrats vs. “Conservative White Guys”


“Do you have a problem with being inclusive, because most people do look at Republicans, going ‘They’re a conservative bunch of white guys who want to protect Big Oil.’ And now you’re even hearing Republicans saying, ‘It’s not big enough. We haven’t opened up the tent door.’...It’s not as diverse as the Democratic Party. You’d concede that.”
— Host Candy Crowley to former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on CNN’s State of the Union, May 6.


Can We Blame Obama’s Woes on the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy?


“We’ve talked before. I’ve asked you about the — the fact that Washington doesn’t work very well right now, and hasn’t for now a number of years that coincides with — Obama-Biden being in the White House. And you’ve been very critical of Republicans. Do you think that there is a modern right-wing conspiracy that has aligned against this President?”
— Moderator David Gregory to Vice President Biden on NBC’s Meet the Press, May 6.


CBS Entranced by Liberal Plea for More Massive Spending


New York Times columnist Paul Krugman: “If we could get our politicians to move and do the right thing, we could be out of this [bad economy] very fast....The right thing is, actually, to spend more. Right now, you know, we have a long-term budget problem, but now is not the time to be slashing. Now is not the time to be laying off school teachers....”
Co-host Gayle King: “But you say that it could take seven years if we keep going the way we’re going. And if we follow your advice, it would take-?”
Krugman: “Eighteen months, two years.”
King: “So why aren’t people listening to you, Paul Krugman? I love that President Obama, in Rolling Stone — did you see that? — he called you one of the smartest economic reporters?...I have a feeling, Paul Krugman, they might take your call if you called up the White House and said, hey, guys, I’ve got an idea.”
CBS This Morning, April 30.


Which Way Is It?


“Economy Continues on Path of Growth”
“Americans have ratcheted up their spending on cars, clothes and furniture, new figures show, and their fortitude at the cash register is energizing the recovery.”
— Headline and lead sentence of a front-page Washington Post story by Peter Whoriskey, April 28.


“Economic Growth Slows Unexpectedly to 2.2%”
“The economic recovery slowed more than expected early this year, raising fears of a spring slowdown for the third year in a row and giving Republicans a fresh opportunity to criticize President Obama’s policies.”
— Headline and lead sentence of a “Business Day” section item by Shaila Dewan in the New York Times, same day.


Awed by Obama’s “Even Keel” Amid Fears of a “Waterloo”


“Keeping this secret also meant going on about the business of the presidency. Touring that awful storm damage in Alabama, while knowing at that very moment U.S. Navy SEALs were already on the move halfway around the world. (to Obama) You had to go to Tuscaloosa. You had to go have fun at the Correspondents’ Dinner. Seth Meyers makes a joke about Osama Bin Laden. How do you keep an even keel? Even when we look back on the videotape of that night, there’s no real depiction that there’s something afoot.”...
“If this had failed in spectacular fashion, it would have blown up your presidency, I think, by all estimates. It would have been your Waterloo and perhaps your Watergate, consumed with hearings and inquiries. How thick did the specter of Jimmy Carter, Desert One hang in the air here?”
— Brian Williams to President Obama during his May 2 Rock Center special on the first anniversary of the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden. [Audio/video (1:15): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


A Campaign Between “Gordon Gekko” and “Henry V”


“Well, that’s great stuff. I was so proud of the President there, I must say. This has nothing to do with partisanship. This is a commander-in-chief meeting with the troops, as it was right out of Henry V, actually, a touch of Barry in this case in the night for those soldiers risking their lives over there.... I was so proud of him there, because I imagine being a soldier over there, this is what you want to hear, that the troops are backed up by the people at home, and there you had your commander-in-chief there with you personally. It’s great stuff.”
— Host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, May 1, after live coverage of Obama’s speech to troops in Afghanistan.

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “He is pitching himself as a guy who has spent his life fixing the problem, which is turning things around. You can agree or disagree with this concept, but turning things around: the Salt Lake City Olympics; companies with Bain he would put in there; he would put Massachusetts in there, though many people would disagree. Turning things around, that he is a fix-it artist.”
Host Chris Matthews: “Chris, how’s that different than Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, greed is good?”
— MSNBC’s Hardball, May 7.


Don’t Pick on Jimmy


Host Ed Schultz: “I think he [Mitt Romney] owes Jimmy Carter an apology. I mean, Jimmy Carter put lives on the line and made a tough call....It’s low rent, it’s a cheap shot....”
MSNBC contributor Richard Wolffe: “Here’s a President who had a ten times better job record than President Bush did. He was responsible for Camp David. That’s not a bad record for anyone, certainly for someone who’s had one term as a Massachusetts governor. It’s time to pay a little bit more respect than that.”
— MSNBC’s The Ed Show, April 30, talking about Romney’s statement that “even Jimmy Carter” would have ordered last year’s raid on bin Laden.


How Low Will MSNBC Stoop?


“We know that Ann Romney has herself had some suffering in the form of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She’s also suffered with breast cancer. Do you think that he’s intentionally using her to close the gender gap?”
— MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, April 25.


“Toxic” Fox News Exploiting America’s “Suckers”


“At least for Americans — Fox News is Murdoch’s most toxic legacy....I doubt that people at Fox News really believe their programming is ‘fair and balanced’ — that’s just a slogan for the suckers....We [other news organizations] try to live by a code, a discipline, that tells us to set aside our personal biases, to test not only facts but the way they add up, to seek out the dissenters and let them make their best case, to show our work. We write unsparing articles about public figures of every stripe — even, sometimes, about ourselves. When we screw up — and we do — we are obliged to own up to our mistakes and correct them. Fox does not live by that code.”
— Former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller in a May 6 column.


Oozing Over “So Romantic” Obama’s Pretentious Poetry


“One of the perils of being President: Everything you ever wrote will become public. And today, Barack Obama, age 22 — long before he met Michelle — new letters and diary entries revealed in Vanity Fair from a biography out soon....The future president writes adoringly about life in New York. Quote, ‘Moments trip gently along over here. Snow caps the bushes in unexpected ways. Birds shoot and spin like balls of sound. My feet hum over the dry walks.’ Oh, we were all so romantic when we were young.”
— Diane Sawyer on World News, May 2. [Audio/video (0:58): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


Bizarre Bashir: Plan to Cut Spending Makes Romney a European Socialist?


“Now we know that Mitt Romney loves to paint the President as a European-style socialist, which is incredible. And he weighed in today....How does Romney do that when he knows that it’s him who supports rank austerity measures? He supports Paul Ryan’s budget. He wants to go cut, cut, cut. It’s not [the] President, it’s him. He’s the European socialist.”
— Host Martin Bashir on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, May 7.


Scolding a Play “Straight Out of a Far-Right Handbook”


“Ever since that failure [of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion], exploiting anti-communist fears to portray Castro as a monstrous boogeyman has been a cottage industry in Florida and Washington. While many have certainly assailed Fidel and still do for very legitimate reasons, others simply hate that he overthrew their dictator, Fulgencio Batista, whose corrupt government helped enriched privileged Cubans and American interests at the expense of the country’s poorest people....Whipping up a frenzy over slights real and imagined is a play straight out of a far-right handbook, and Florida’s electoral cloud has often given Fidel’s critics far more leverage than their arguments merit.”
— HBO Real Sports host Bryant Gumbel, April 17, talking about the uproar over Florida Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen telling Time magazine “I love Fidel Castro,” a comment for which Guillen later apologized. [Audio/video (1:12): Windows Media | MP3 audio]


Family Turned Out Fine, Except for Brother Who “Became a Republican”


MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski: “It happened overnight, and all of a sudden we were going to the White House all the time and traveling around the world....”
Host David Letterman: “What about the brothers? How did they fit into this? Did they take it in the stride?”
Brzezinski: “Well, one became a Republican, so I don’t think he turned out so well.”
— Brzezinski on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, May 8, talking about her childhood after her father, Zbignew Brzezinski, became President Carter’s National Security Advisor in 1977.


As America Deteriorates, Celebrities Like Obama “More and More”


“I’ve grown to like him more and more. You know, I was always — I’ve just been a fan of his, if you could say that about a President. So that’s the other kind of good part of it, is you know, getting to like him more and more.”
Saturday Night Live’s Obama impersonator Fred Armisen on NBC’s Meet the Press “Press Pass” segment, April 29.


Mitt Just a Puppet of “Women Hating Tea Baggers”


“If ROMNEY gets elected I don’t know if i can breathe same air as Him & his Right Wing Racist Homophobic Women Hating Tea Bagger Masters”
— Actress/singer Cher in a May 8 Twitter posting that was later deleted (grammar and punctuation as in the original).

Sign up to receive Notable Quotables via e-mail.


PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
NEWS ANALYSTS: Scott Whitlock, Brad Wilmouth, Matthew Balan, Kyle Drennen and Matt Hadro