Notable Quotables - 01/19/2004

Katie Invited O'Neills Critique...

"President Bush once praised Secretary O'Neill for his candor. He was called a straight shooter. Today O'Neill is under investigation for a tell-all book that raises serious questions about the Bush administration."
"You say nowhere did you ever see evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Well, an intelligent person would draw the conclusion that those charges were being trumped up by the administration as a rationale for the invasion."
"Do you think an invasion of a country should be based on allusion and assertion?"
"You do describe him [President Bush] as a blind man in a room full of deaf people. So what are you saying about the way policy is established in this White House?"
-Katie Couric's introduction and some of her questions to former Treasury Secretary Paul ONeill, Today, Jan. 13.

...But Scolded Traitorous George

"He was once one of the President's most trusted aides, but his new book about his years on the inside has many wondering whether he's a traitor or man of integrity."
"A lot of people, George, think that this is just kinda creepy, that you've done this. They see you as a turncoat, a Linda Tripp type, if you will, who sort of ingratiated himself with the people inside the White House. They made you who you became, and now all of a sudden, you're telling, you're airing all the dirty laundry and some people just think that's sorta gross.
I mean, you were sitting there or standing there once when the President was in his boxer shorts and Hillary came in and they kissed and you witnessed conversations. It seems to me that, I mean, is nothing sacred?"
"Why now, George? Couldn't this have waited until the President was out of office?"
-Couric to George Stephanopoulos on the March 12, 1999 Today after he wrote a book, All Too Human, about his experiences as an operative for Bill Clinton.

Hoping for an Anti-Bush Agenda

"I think crony capitalism is gonna be a big issue. All of the connections between the Bush White House and companies like Haliburton and the deals on energy and the environment and so on, I think the Democrats are gonna use that....You know, bashing the rich is one thing, but bashing the corrupt rich who are cutting sweetheart deals is another thing entirely."
-Time's Joe Klein on the Chris Matthews Show, Jan. 4.

The Conservative Howard Dean

Kelly Wallace: "Those who know him well say Governor Howard Dean was no left-wing liberal."
Vermont political writer Peter Freyne: "We all laugh at that. Howard Dean represented the Republican wing of the Democratic party. Some even thought it was the Republican wing of the Republican Party at first."
Wallace: "In fact, his biggest critics during his 11-year tenure were not Republicans, but left-leaning Democrats who sometimes found him too conservative, like Democrat Francis Brooks."
State representative Francis Brooks (D): "There were times when leaving his office, we were a long ways from agreement."
-CNN's Paula Zahn Tonight, January 7.

"I give it to Howard Dean. The bum rap is that he's an out of the mainstream liberal. During his twelve years as Governor, the words liberal and Howard Dean never appeared in the same sentence."
-Newsweek's Eleanor Clift giving the "Bummest Rap" award for 2003 on the December 27 McLaughlin Group.

"[Howard Dean's] liberal credentials are belied by a long-standing predilection for political moderation and fiscal conservatism in Vermont."
-From a front-page New York Times profile of Howard Dean by Rick Lyman, December 28.

Reality Check:
"After 12 years of Dean's so-called 'fiscal conservatism,' Vermont remains one of the highest taxing and spending states."
-The Cato Institute's Stephen Moore and Stephen Slivinski in their "Fiscal Policy Report Card on Americas Governors: 2002." Dean earned a "D" from Cato for his overall lack of fiscal conservatism.


NYT Sees Helpful Democrats...

"Clark and Kerry Offering Plans to Help Middle Class/Gearing proposals to appeal to everyday Americans."
-Headline and blurb accompanying a story about the Democratic candidates in the January 6 New York Times.

...But Stingy Republicans

"Bush Pushes Education as Election Year Opens/Defending programs that Democrats say he underfinanced."
-Headline and blurb summarizing a story about President Bush on the same page.


ABC Touts Bleak "New Reality"

Dan Harris: "President Bush used his weekly radio address today to trumpet new jobless figures, which put unemployment at a 14-month low. But...behind these upbeat numbers are millions of workers who've had to downsize their paychecks and their dreams...."
Dean Reynolds: "For millions of Americans, being employed means lowering expectations. While there are small signs that better-paying jobs are returning, for the most part, the new positions are on the lower end of the pay scale, and with more and more American jobs being shipped overseas, that's unlikely to change for years. One analyst said it's important for the American worker to come to terms with this new reality. As he put it, there isn't going to be any miraculous job rebound, and to suggest that this economy will be able to create 250,000 jobs a month anytime soon is unfair."
-ABC's World News Tonight, January 10.


"Up in Arms" Over "Nazi" Tactics

"Foreign visitors are going to be fingerprinted at airports. It starts today. Everybody's up in arms. We're going to ask: Is it going to do any good?"
-Diane Sawyer at the top of ABC's Good Morning America, January 5.

"Some countries, as you know Secretary Ridge, are furious at this new policy, specifically Brazil which has started to do the same to U.S. visitors to that country. A Brazilian judge said, compared the new security plans to Nazi horrors saying, 'I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis.' How do you respond to that?"
-NBC's Katie Couric to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on Today, January 5.


When Will the Enemy Have Won?

"The death toll of U.S. soldiers in Iraq is now nearing 500. How many is too many?"
-CBS's Harry Smith to Ambassador Paul Bremer on The Early Show, January 13.

Bush's Big Bucks Button

"[Howard Dean] cannot equate with the fundraising power of a President of the United States who is a Republican, especially representing the corporate interests. He can go out there, push the button and get a lot of money."
-NBC anchor Tom Brokaw to Daily Show host Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, January 6.


Howard Dean, the Love Doctor

"[Former New Jersey Senator Bill] Bradley said the Dean campaign quote, 'offers America new hope.' The Dean campaign also, apparently, offers America new love as CBS's Richard Schlesinger reports."
-Anchor John Roberts introducing a Jan. 6 CBS Evening News story about Dean supporters who met through the campaigns Internet-organized meet-ups.


Those Awful Eighties

"They were college classmates from the '60s, mourning the loss of a friend and their idealism....It was 1983, a time of Reaganomics, burgeoning yuppies, and the Decade of Greed."
-NBC's Matt Lauer on the December 30 Today show, in a story on the 20th anniversary of the film The Big Chill.

CNN Will Never Forget

"It is an absolute certainty that if Palm Beach had designed a ballot that correctly reflected the views of the voters Al Gore would be President of the United States today."
-CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on Inside Politics, January 8.

Mel Takes God Way Too Seriously

"I think at the heart of the controversy [over The Passion] is Mel Gibson's extreme passion for his very ultra-conservative Catholic faith, and Jewish leaders who are worried that a film about the crucifixion could feed into anti-Semitism. That's at the heart of it."
-People's Jess Cagle on CBS's Early Show, January 8.


Tom's Bias Is Even More Wearying

American University journalism professor Jane Hall: "The Media Research Center, the conservative media watchdog group, has been getting a lot of attention for its reports alleging liberal bias in the media....What is the impact, do you think, of a steady drumbeat of such criticism? Does it not have an impact on the network?"
Tom Brokaw: "It is a little wearying, but you've got to rise above it and take it case by case. Most of the cases are pretty flimsily made....What I get tired of is Brent Bozell [president of the Media Research Center] trying to make these fine legal points everywhere every day. A lot of it just doesn't hold up. So much of it is that bias - like beauty - is in the eye of the beholder."
Hall: "So it hasn't impacted the way you cover stories?"
Brokaw: "No, it hasn't."
-From an interview with Brokaw in the January/February issue of the Columbia Journalism Review.