Notable Quotables - 01/31/2005

Help Us Spoil Inauguration Day

"For a possible Inauguration Day story on ABC News, we are trying to find out if there any military funerals for Iraq war casualties scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20. If you know of a funeral and whether the family might be willing to talk to ABC News, please fill out the form below."
-Announcement posted on the ABC News Web site on January 19 and captured by blogger John Hinderaker.

"In Rockport, Texas today, just about the time the President was speaking, there was a funeral for a young Marine reservist: 21-year-old Matthew Holloway was killed in Iraq last week by a roadside bomb. His brother told a local paper that as much as Matthew wanted to be home, he was very proud of what he was doing in Iraq."
-ABC's Peter Jennings narrating over video of a flag-draped casket in a church, World News Tonight, Jan. 20.


Scorning Bush's "Lavish" Inaugural

"President Bush's second inauguration will cost tens of millions of dollars - $40 million alone in private donations for the balls, parade and other invitation-only parties. With that kind of money, what could you buy?
■ 200 armored Humvees with the best armor for troops in Iraq.
■ Vaccinations and preventive health care for 22 million children in regions devastated by the tsunami.
■ A down payment on the nation's deficit, which hit a record-breaking $412 billion last year....
The questions have come from Bush supporters and opponents: Do we need to spend this money on what seems so extravagant?"
-Reporter Will Lester's lead to a Jan. 13 AP dispatch.

"On World News Tonight/Sunday, President Bush prepares for his second inauguration. In a time of war and natural disaster, is it time for a lavish celebration?"
-ABC's Terry Moran on World News Tonight, January 16.

"Many have wondered whether, given the war and all of our security challenges right now, it's appropriate to have a lavish and expensive inaugural celebration?"
-ABC's Claire Shipman to Laura Bush in a taped interview shown on the January 20 Good Morning America.

"Do you think the balls and some of the excess are appropriate, or is it forgivable?"
-Peter Jennings to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on ABC's Good Morning America, January 20.


Hypocritical Push for Freedom

PBS's Tavis Smiley: "It's not what you say, it is what you do. And its one thing, just an hour or two ago to have a President talking about spreading democracy and freedom around the world, much less at a place called Freedom Plaza, named after one Martin Luther King Jr. And these pictures indicate very clearly that these people are having a very difficult time expressing themselves....I think people around the world, certainly around the country right now, are having a very difficult time juxtaposing the pictures that were seeing with the words we heard from the President earlier today, and this is that hypocrisy that [Newsweek's] Fareed Zakaria spoke of earlier, that other people around the globe look at America and just can't quite understand."
Peter Jennings: "Point noted."
-Exchange at about 2:50pm EST January 20 during ABC's live coverage, over video of protesters blocked from the Inaugural Parade route by a tall metal fence.


Irate at Iraq-Ignoring Inaugural

Peter Jennings: "George, one thing that struck me - I think it struck you, as well - there was not a single mention of the word Iraq in the President's address."
George Stephanopoulos: "Not once in 2,000 words."
-Exchange on ABC's World News Tonight, January 20.

Where's Our Tax Increase?

Dan Rather: "Has there been any American President in a time of war who has asked for as little sacrifice as President Bush has done? Or is that a misreading of history?"
Liberal historian Joseph Ellis: "No, I think you're right, Dan. I think what's unusual about President Bush is that he's perhaps the only President that took us to war at the same time as he cut our taxes, and that's supposed to not be possible. And so its an unusual situation, and perhaps we should listen today to see if he does ask us for, for some sacrifice."
-Exchange during CBSs live coverage at about 10:40am on January 20, an hour and 20 minutes before President Bush delivered his second Inaugural Address.


Democrats Reach Out, GOP Bites

"And Joe, as we talk about the second term, there is that deeply held suspicion by a lot of Democrats in Washington that when they do reach out they get bitten, they get hurt, they come away unsatisfied from the process."
-NBC's Brian Williams to former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart during live coverage on January 20.


Kerry's Problem: Ignorant Voters

"At a gas station in Asher [Oklahoma], we spoke to Joyce Smith, an immaculate woman in a bright red suit with her hair neatly done under a scarf....She smiled when we asked about her vote. 'Well, you know, real Bible-believing Christians are in a minority in this country,' she answered, 'so I was a little concerned that Kerry could win. I am so thankful that he didn't. See, I believe if our President has good morals, our country will be blessed....'"
"She was too polite to say, in so many words, that she felt John Kerry was a man of bad morals. Instead, she put it this way: 'When Kerry said he was for abortion and one-sex marriages, I just couldn't see our country being led by someone like that.' Later, I double-checked what Kerry had said on those subjects. During his campaign, he opposed same-sex marriage and said that abortion was a private matter. But Joyce Smith heard it the way she heard it, and voted the way she voted."
-Reporter David Von Drehle in a January 16 Washington Post Magazine article on the views of Bush voters.


Liberal Projects Need Money, Too

"Pentagon officials tell us that tomorrow the Bush administration is going to ask Congress tomorrow for about $80 billion more in emergency funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now added to the $25 billion already spent in emergency funding this fiscal year, that brings the total to $105 billion. By comparison, that's 13 times the budget for the entire Environmental Protection Agency."
-NBC's Jim Miklaszewski on the Jan. 24 Nightly News.


Rather Biased? How Silly!

Ex-CBS reporter Phil Jones: "I've known Dan Rather for almost 40 years. The Dan Rather I know, believe me, had the President of the United States been a Democrat, he would still have pushed to go forward with that story. And for all these people out there who want to attack Dan as being this partisan Democrat...this is not an exhibit."
-PBS's Terence Smith, who worked at CBS News from 1985 to 1998: "I second that."
CNN's Reliable Sources, January 16.

"This was the case of a producer [Mary Mapes], as has been cited earlier, who was passionate about her story. She would have done the same story about John Kerry. It was a good story....I do not believe it was a function of political bias."
-Linda Mason, the newly-appointed Vice President for Standards and Special Projects at CBS News, on CNN's Reliable Sources, January 16.


Even Ex-News Chief Sees Bias

"Personally, I have a great affection for CBS News....But I stopped watching it some time ago. The unremitting liberal orientation finally became too much for me. I still check in, but less and less frequently. I increasingly drift to NBC News and Fox and MSNBC."
-Former CBS News President Van Gordon Sauter in an op-ed published January 13 in the Los Angeles Times.


Liberated Reporters Know Best

Joe Scarborough: "Is there a liberal bias in the media or is the bias towards getting the story first and getting the highest ratings, therefore, making the most money?"
Former ABC 20/20 anchor Hugh Downs: "Well, I think the latter, by far. And, of course, when the word 'liberal' came to be a pejorative word, you began to wonder, you have to say that the press doesn't want to be thought of as merely liberal. But people tend to be more liberated in their thought when they are closer to events and know a little more about what the background of whats happening. So, I suppose, in that respect, there is a liberal, if you want to call it a bias. The press is a little more in touch with what's happening."
-MSNBC's Scarborough Country, January 10.

No Oil, No U.S. Troops

"Through his courage, his contacts, bribery, shrewd bluffs and nerve, this hotel manager saved more than one thousand women, children and men. While the genocidal slaughter raged, Europe and America did nothing. They sent no help. They couldn't be bothered about this human butchery. I guess Rwanda had no oil."
-NBC critic Gene Shalit on the January 21 Today, reviewing Hotel Rwanda, a movie about the 1994 genocide that resulted in 800,000 deaths.


The Unelectable George W. Bush

Joe Scarborough: "Since George Bush got into public life, he's been underestimated by his opponents....Is that a part of an act that this guy does to lull Democrats into under-estimating him, or do Democrats just put up really, really bad candidates against this guy every four years?"
Comic/liberal radio host Janeane Garofalo: "Well, I don't recognize that as a valid question. First of all, George W. Bush is a bad candidate. George W. Bush is unelectable, in my opinion. And secondly-"
Scarborough: "Well, why does he keep winning?"
Garofalo: "I don't know, voter fraud? A failed mainstream media that fails to inform the electorate about what their government is doing? Ignorance? Apathy? I don't know."
-MSNBC's Scarborough Country, January 20.