Notable Quotables - 02/02/2004

John Kerry, Rabid Right-Winger?

"Senator, you just rolled out of Iowa with a great deal of success and it reminded me that I had seen a letter in the pages of the Iowa Daily yesterday, while you were there, written by a student who said the following, if I may quote a little bit to you: 'John Kerry voted yes for President Bush's Patriot Act, he voted yes for Bush's No Child Left Behind, he voted yes for Bush,' these are his words, 'to invade Iraq.' If you support John Kerry for President you might as well stay home on election day as Bush is already doing a good job of leading America into a war and shredding the Constitution.' Your reaction?"
-Peter Jennings to John Kerry during ABC's live coverage following the State of the Union address, January 20.


America, the New Evil Empire

"The Only Superbad Power: Three years into the presidency of George W. Bush, many people here and abroad fear and loathe our country, its power, its policies, its pride. Is America an evil empire? Seven new books seem ready to think so."
-Cover headline and subheadline of the New York Times Book Review, January 25.

Bush Scared America's "Allies"

"There was a collective sigh of relief in Europe after the President's State of the Union address. Partially because this time there was no talk of new American military action anywhere, unlike two years ago when he scared Europeans with his talk about the 'Axis of Evil,' and unlike last year when Mr. Bush was about to unleash war on Iraq. Still, Europeans find the President's talk about God and good and evil very scary, so there wasn't much President Bush could say to ingratiate himself to Europeans. That is how badly he has alienated Americas traditional allies, and analysts here say that alienation is not going to change until Mr. Bush leaves the White House."
-CNN's Walter Rodgers on the January 21 Wolf Blitzer Reports, summarizing European reaction to the State of the Union address.

Too Little Democratic Coverage?

"The rest of year and for the last three years the President has dominated the news. Dont the Democrats deserve a few days in the sunshine, if you will?"
-CNN's Judy Woodruff to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, asking why the State of the Union was held during the Democratic primaries, on Inside Politics, January 19.

Tax Cuts Cause Awful Deficits...

"On the domestic front, the President last night called for making the tax cuts permanent. Is that, in a sense, making deficits in the hundreds of billions of dollars permanent?"
-ABC's Charles Gibson to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card on Good Morning America on January 21, the morning after Bush's State of the Union address.

...But Bush Isn't Spending Enough

President Bush: "The key is to train people for the work which actually exists. No better place to do that than in a community college. That's why were spending $250 million to encourage that."
Terry Moran: "That $250 million amounts to small change in the governments trillion-dollar budget. But it was the biggest ticket item in the President's speech, which was marked by relatively minor, but politically appealing initiatives: $23 million for drug testing in schools; $135 million for abstinence education; $300 million for post-release assistance to ex-convicts; and a call to end steroid use in pro sports, which costs nothing."
-ABC's World News Tonight, January 21.

Dean Reynolds: "The President's 21st century jobs proposal is an about-face, after years in which his administration cut spending on training. The new plan would devote $250 million to create partnerships between community colleges and employers in such high-demand fields as computer engineering and health care. But critics say the money is not nearly enough."
MIT Professor Tom Kochan: "This is a nice, symbolic gesture. But we have a much, much bigger job to do than this amount of money will ever achieve."
-The very next story on the same broadcast.


Wishing for Watergate, Jr.

"School for scandal. Two Halliburton employees take $6 million in kickbacks on a contract to supply U.S. troops in Iraq. The Supreme Court agrees to hear a case about Vice President Cheneys energy task force, and then Cheney goes hunting with Justice Scalia. And Republican staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee hack into the computer files of Democratic staffers. Are any of these Watergate, Jr.? We'll ask Carl Bernstein."
-MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on his January 23 Countdown program. Bernstein, the former Washington Post reporter who investigated the Watergate scandal with Bob Woodward, rejected Olbermann's analogy.

Promoting Liberal Condemnation

Kelly O'Donnell: "Some call it the biggest divide and best opportunity between all those Democrats and President Bush: the environment. Consider this: The League of Conservation Voters grades the President with the first 'F' in the group's 34-year history."
Deborah Callahan, League of Conservation Voters: "You don't get an 'F' because you got one or two questions wrong when you're tested. You get an 'F' because across the board you've failed."
O'Donnell: "Mr. Bush withdrew from the Kyoto global warming treaty. Environmentalists say harm has been done."
Margaret Conway, Sierra Club, Political Director: "They are weakening our clean air laws. They're weakening our clean water laws."
O'Donnell: "A perceived vulnerability thats off the radar now while Democrats fight for survival in the primaries."
-NBC Nightly News, January 15.


At Least He Recognizes His Bias

"The Dallas Morning News leads politics. 'A New Dean or the Old One? Candidates Ultra-Liberal Label May Peel Back to Reveal Moderate Bent.' In fact, I think Dr. Dean is more moderate than ultra-liberal, and so do a lot of other people. But I'll probably get in trouble from conservatives for saying that."
-CNN's Aaron Brown previewing selected articles from the next days newspapers, January 22 NewsNight.


The Media's Monetary Messiah

"He helped engineer the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, eliminating the federal deficit and stabilizing foreign markets....Robert Rubin still at top the top of his game, from Wall Street to Washington, and back again."
-Beginning and end of Anne Thompson's story about the former Treasury Secretary's new book, In an Uncertain World, on the January 10 NBC Nightly News.

"The best reaction shots were those of Ted Kennedy, whose stature seems to grow right along with his nose year after year after year. Kennedy has now reached a grand moment in the life of a senator; he looks like Hollywood itself cast him in the role. Seriously....Kennedy looked great, like he was ready to take his place next to Jefferson on Mount Rushmore. He gives off the kind of venerable vibes that some of us got from an Everett Dirksen way back when."
-Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales in a January 21 Style section review of the State of the Union address.

Only the "Lucky" Have Insurance

"Wesley Clark, Joe Lieberman and Dennis Kucinich were at a forum in Manchester, New Hampshire today talking to voters about health care, the lack of it. And the expense for those lucky enough to have it."
-Tom Brokaw on the January 23 NBC Nightly News.

Booing Bush's "Unilateralism"

"President Bush has unilaterally appointed a controversial judge to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats are very angry that Mr. Bush installed Charles Pickering. He's used what's called a recess appointment that will last until the next Congress takes office, made when Congress was not in session. Democrats accuse Pickering of opposing civil rights and bringing a conservative agenda to the bench. Senator Kennedy said for the Democrats today, 'The President's appointment serves only to emphasize again this administration's shameful opposition to civil rights.'"
-Peter Jennings on World News Tonight, January 16.

...but Clapping for Clinton's

"At the White House today, President Clinton bypassed Congress and appointed lawyer Roger Gregory to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Mr. Gregory will be the first African-American on the court. The President has nominated four African-Americans to the 4th Circuit, but Republicans in Congress would not hold confirmation hearings. Now that Congress is not in session, Mr. Clinton used his powers to make whats called a recess appointment."
-Then-ABC fill-in anchor Aaron Brown on World News Tonight, December 27, 2000.

Don't Treat Dean Like Quayle

Katie Couric: "You probably know the late night comedians have been having a ball at Howard Dean's expense for his raucous caucus night speech on Monday. Well, last night, Dean went on Letterman to poke a little fun at himself but it didn't stop Jay Leno from having some more fun....Anyway, let's hope all the jokes are going to soon be over for Howard Dean."
Al Roker: "Hopefully, today."
Lester Holt: "The scream heard around the world, huh?"
-NBC's Today, January 23.

Thanks for the Confirmation

"Where I work at ABC, people say conservative the way people say child molester."
-ABC 20/20 co-anchor John Stossel to reporter Robert Bluey, in a story posted January 28.