"Not Very Rational" to Oppose Spendaholic Democrats; Saluting Elena Kagan's Comic Genius

Vol. 23, No. 14

"Not Very Rational" to Oppose Spendaholic Democrats


"I don't know if it's Republicans, if it's conservative Democrats, but the side that talks about the need to rein in the federal government - this is not very rational - has really, is winning that debate....That argument - that we have to rein in because the stimulus didn't work - I think most economists would say the stimulus did work, in the sense it would have been a lot worse if there hadn't been one."
- Bloomberg News executive Washington editor Al Hunt on ABC's This Week, July 4.

Fearing "Second Recession" Without Even More Spending


Anchor Dan Harris: "Good evening. President Obama lost an argument today with other world leaders, and some economists say that could plunge the world into a second recession. The President went to this weekend's summit meeting in Canada to convince other wealthy nations to keep spending to stimulate their economies. But they said no, arguing now is the time to start cutting deficits...."
Reporter David Kerley: "The President lost the argument and there could be serious consequences. Some economists are saying what was decided in Toronto today could actually lead to a double-dip recession."
- ABC's World News, June 27.

Scorning Senators for Failing to Spend Another $33 Billion


"We have decided to start with the 1.3 million Americans whose unemployment benefits have run out, stopped cold, in the last 30 days. And we're starting there because the U.S. Senate went on vacation today without solving the problem....It may be worth noting that the vacationing senators make about $174,000 a year and enjoy lifetime health and pension benefits."
- Fill-in anchor Scott Pelley on the July 1 CBS Evening News.

Saluting the Comic Genius of Elena Kagan


Anchor Diane Sawyer: "For the first time, Americans got to see the woman President Obama called a 'trailblazer' in action...."
Correspondent Jonathan Karl: "A confirmation hearing isn't usually a laughing matter, but if we learned one thing about Elena Kagan today, it's that she has a sense of humor."
- ABC's World News, June 29.

News anchor Juju Chang: "The real question, George and Elizabeth, is who is going to play her in the SNL skit?"
Co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas: "Oh, it's ripe for it, isn't it? Although, I don't think they could be as funny as Elena Kagan was!"
Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos: "Yeah, if this Supreme Court thing doesn't work out, she's got another career in stand-up."
- Good Morning America, June 30. [Audio/video (0:57): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Host Al Hunt: "Margaret, if you were a Senator, would you vote for Elena Kagan?"
Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson: "Um, twice if I could....She just excelled. It's been so long since I've seen anyone in public life joyful about being there, and that was what was infectious about the hearings. When Lindsey Graham asked her about the Christmas Day bomber, he then switched with, 'Where were you on Christmas?' And she said, 'Like all Jews, I was at a Chinese restaurant.' She just said it right out. It brought the house down."
- Bloomberg's Political Capital, July 2. [Audio/video (0:29): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Lauding Kagan: Intellectual, Full of Charm and Irresistible


"She was intellectual, yes, but also full of personal charm, say colleagues, and a determination to be open-minded. It [Harvard Law School] is an institution usually resistant to change, some might say an immovable object, until it was confronted with the irresistible force of Dean Elena Kagan....Colleagues argue Kagan's style is just what the Court needs."
- ABC's Claire Shipman on Good Morning America, June 28.

Hearings: Republican Toughs "Going After a Single Woman"


"Not too many years ago, some Republicans paid a heavy price for being tough with Anita Hill when she came to testify in the Clarence Thomas hearings. Have we gotten past that era of sensitivity about a bunch of guys going after a single woman here, just bashing her?...Can these guys like Jeff Sessions just go at her like this without any fear of rebuke?"
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews during live coverage of the Kagan confirmation hearings, June 28.

Franken's Frivolity: "Suitable for Framing"


"Well, if you have ever wondered what Senators do during committee hearings when they're not talking, here's what one of them does. Senator Al Franken drew this depiction of fellow committee member Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a pencil drawing on United States Senate stationery. Franken said he would give the signed original to Sessions."
- NBC's Brian Williams on the June 30 Nightly News.

"A look over Franken's shoulder reveals his talent. On his pad is a sketch of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. Not bad. Suitable for framing."
- Fill-in anchor Scott Pelley on the June 30 CBS Evening News.

Another MSNBCer Gets Chills When Obama Speaks


"You know, Mark, I gotta say I got a few chills listening to him there. It was very powerful. But it was also pretty heavy on detail and direction."
- Daytime anchor Alex Witt to NBC Washington bureau chief Mark Whitaker immediately after President Obama's speech on immigration, July 1. [Audio/video (0:11): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

CNNer "Sad to Hear" of Terrorism Backer's Demise


"Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot.."
- CNN senior editor of Middle East affairs Octavia Nasr in a July 4 posting to her Twitter account. (Punctuation as in the original.) CNN fired Nasr three days later.

Blaming Americans' "Appetite for Oil"


Co-host Matt Lauer: "We're seeing the limit of our technology played out in front of our eyes. But on that live camera, right there, we're seeing something else. We're seeing our appetite for oil. And do you think at the end of all this Americans are gonna take away the proper message?"
Ex-NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw: "I hope so....It really is a signal to the rest of us that we've got to do something about energy and the future or we're gonna have these kinds of ecological disasters in waves coming year after year, decade after decade."
- NBC's Today, June 29. [Audio/video (0:27): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Katie: It's Israeli Prime Minister's Job to Make Obama More Popular


"In a poll conducted a month ago - just a month ago - 71 percent of the Jews in Israel surveyed said they dislike President Obama; 47 percent expressed a strong dislike....To change public opinion in your country, should you be more strongly advocating on his behalf?"
- CBS's Katie Couric to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, July 7 Evening News.

It's Not Scary When Democrats Wave It


"I love the symbol of the Gadsden flag, that coiled rattlesnake against a field of yellow. 'Don't Tread on Me' it warned our enemies, and that included, especially, the British government and London. This morning, a man died who treasured this country and that flag. For those reasons, Senator Robert Byrd opposed both wars - both wars with Iraq."
- Chris Matthews in a tribute to Byrd on MSNBC's Hardball, June 28.


"And what scared me, if you want to get scared, was the use of the flag from the American Revolution - the Great Gadsden flag from South Carolina, with the coiled rattlesnake. They are basically looking at the federal government now as an occupying force, basically a foreign occupying force, a tyranny. And that justifies a lot of bad behavior, I would say."
- Matthews talking about Tea Party rallies on MSNBC's Morning Joe, June 16. [Audio/video contrast (0:44): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Times Double Standard on Long-Ago Segregationists

"Robert C. Byrd, a Pillar of the Senate, Dies at 92"
- New York Times headline, June 28. Byrd was a Democrat for his entire career.

"Strom Thurmond, Foe of Integration, Dies at 100"
- New York Times headline, June 27, 2003. Thurmond switched from the Democratic to Republican Party in 1964.

You Can't Blame Obama - His Cue Card Was Wrong


Clip of President Obama: "Visit the headquarter of Twitters."...
White House correspondent Chuck Todd: "Alright. You did not mishear. The President did say the word 'Twitters,' plural. It turns out he didn't misstate it. It was written incorrectly in his prepared remarks. A speechwriter falling on his sword on that one. But it did bring back memories of President Bush one time referring to those 'Internets,' Matt."
- NBC's Today, June 25.

Prefers Oliver Stone's Version to Fox News

"Political documentaries shadowed by paranoia and apocalyptic foreboding are so commonplace nowadays that South of the Border, Oliver Stone's celebration of the leftward tilt of South American politics, comes as a cheerful surprise....Instead of the saber-rattling, America-hating tyrants often depicted on American television (especially Fox News, several of whose extreme fulminations are excerpted for comic effect), Mr. Stone finds sensible, plain-spoken men."
- New York Times critic Stephen Holden in a June 25 review of Stone's film about Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

"Three American Brothers, Inspiring the Best in Us All"


"They were athletes and scholars, practical jokers, sailors and singers with tales to tell. We called them by their nicknames, reveled in their exploits, followed in their footsteps and mourned when they fell....Over the din of Washington's halls and down the halls of history, their passionate words can still be heard, their highest ideals a clarion call; these three American brothers inspiring the best in us all."
- Some of the narration for the Boston Pops production, The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, part of the Pops Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, later portions of which were broadcast July 4 on CBS.

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