Notable Quotables - 03/03/2003

ABC: Bush Is Alienating Allies...

"We're going to begin this evening with the Bush administration and its allies. It is quite clear in Washington tonight that the administration is prepared to jeopardize its relations with several of its oldest and best friends in order to get its way about Iraq."
-ABC's Peter Jennings introducing the February 19 World News Tonight.

"Secretary Rumsfeld...has dismissively referred to France and Germany as 'Old Europe,' and today, Secretary Powell, who warned France not to be 'afraid' of its responsibilities. Is that the rhetoric of a great power, and is that really the most effective way of building alliances?"
"Is it possible that the attitude which emanates not from the press, but from the administration, of 'you're with us or you're against us,' kind of dismissive superiority to some of the oldest American allies, is contributing to the problems in forging a common front against Iraq?"
-ABC White House correspondent Terry Moran's questions to Ari Fleischer at the February 19 White House briefing shown live on the cable networks.

...While Iraq Keeps Cooperating

"Not long before Mr. Blix briefed the Security Council, the Iraqis announced another concession. Saddam Hussein issued a presidential decree banning the production or the importation of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and all of the materials used to make them. This is something the inspectors have been requesting for a decade."
-Peter Jennings on World News Tonight, February 14.

"Saddam Hussein has issued a presidential decree calling for the banning of weapons of mass destruction. Is this the big chess move, the spectacular move that can change the momentum toward war?"
-Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, February 14.


Could ABC Be Coming Around?

ABC's Terry Moran: "What is the administration's assessment of the likelihood of the risk that Saddam Hussein - with his back up against the wall, with war seeming almost inevitable - will open up his arsenal of germs and chemicals and disperse them to terrorists?"
Press Secretary Ari Fleischer: "Does this mean that ABC News is acknowledging that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction?"
-Exchange at the February 12 White House briefing.


The U.S. Has Met Its Match

"The size of the demonstrators, at least here, at least in Europe, seems to underscore, Chris, that there are now perhaps two world superpowers. There's the United States and then there are those millions of people who took to the streets opposing U.S. policy."
-MSNBC's David Shuster to Hardball host Chris Matthews, February 17.


Wowed by America-Hating Party

"It was a party a hundred thousand strong, flowing haltingly below the slated mansard roofs of Paris's stately avenues, accompanied by balloons and banners and vendors selling foot-long hot dogs and fries. If there is one thing the French know how to do, it is how to conduct a demonstration. "
"Ladies in stiletto heels and fur-fringed jackets, fathers pushing strollers trailing McDonalds balloons, drably dressed union members, students in face paint and carnival clothes -  all turned out to make some noise. Yet despite the gay atmosphere beneath a brilliant blue sky, the message was stark, even dark."
"'The United States is a barbarian country,' shouted some. 'Bush, let's murder,' shouted others. One group chanted, 'Bush, Blair, Sharon, Putin, Chirac: Justice in Palestine, don't touch Iraq.'"
-Introduction of Craig Smith's Feb. 16 New York Times story headlined, "Throwing a Party With a Purpose."


"Ideology-Free" New York Times Must Resist Lies About Bias

"Our greatest accomplishment as a profession is the development since World War II of a news reporting craft that is truly non-partisan, and non-ideological, and that strives to be independent of undue commercial or governmental influence....It is that legacy we must protect with our diligent stewardship. To do so means we must be aware of the energetic effort that is now underway to convince our readers that we are ideologues. It is an exercise of, in disinformation, of alarming proportions. This attempt to convince the audience of the world's most ideology-free newspapers that they're being subjected to agenda-driven news reflecting a liberal bias. I don't believe our viewers and readers will be, in the long-run, misled by those who advocate biased journalism."
-New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines accepting the "George Beveridge Editor of the Year Award" at a National Press Foundation dinner shown live on C-SPAN2 February 20.


TV Embraced Anti-War Protests...

"Bundled up against the cold, protesters came by the thousands, filling block after block around the United Nations to make a single dramatic statement against going to war."
-NBC's Pat Dawson on the February 15 Nightly News.

"There are many here today who speak with a sense of urgency and frustration....So many voices, filling the streets, struggling to be heard."
-ABC's John McKenzie on World News Tonight/Saturday, February 15.

"Sending that message were Vietnam-era protesters like Jan Powell, who want to believe war can be prevented, but are convinced it can't....Then there are the first-timers, like Sheldon Ginsberg, who say they've never done anything like this before....Despite some arrests and clashes with police, it was, for the most part, a peaceful reminder to the powerful that there is a divide over whether the nation should go to war."
-CBS's Jim Acosta on the February 15 Evening News.

"Like New York, it's an extraordinarily diverse crowd. I have seen elderly men and women with mink coats carrying their posters. I have also seen children with their parents coming from public schools. I saw a sign with someone from the PTA of a public school....I have seen old anti-war folks who say that they have been coming to demonstrations since the 1960s, as well as high school students and college students who have never taken part in any demonstration who are now becoming part of the activity here."
-Reporter Maria Hinojosa during CNN's special 2-hour program on the protests, Voices of Dissent, February 15.


...Just Not Enough For Carl

"Whether we agree with those demonstrations or whether we believe they were out of line or wrong-headed, these were huge events that are helping to shape what is happening in the United Nations and whether we go to war. Yet on television those demonstrations...were treated dismissively, condescendingly and patronizingly as if they were not important news."
-Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, as quoted in a February 19 Bradenton (FL) Herald story by reporter Donna Wright.


Respectable Because We Say So

"Old CW: Unpatriotic '60s leftover fringe. New: Not-so-silent minority is respectable, and growing fast."
-Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom" on the anti-war movement, March 3 issue.

Coalition of the Bribed & Bullied

"[President Bush] is bringing along a world coalition that he calls a 'coalition of the willing,' when it's really a coalition of the bullied and the bribed. The only way he's getting countries to go along with this is coming across with huge sums of money and asking leaders to overlook what is basically democratic expression in these countries."
-Newsweek Contributing Editor Eleanor Clift on the McLaughlin Group, February 22.


Bush Is "Stirring Up" Terrorism

Peter Jennings: "The United States, or the Bush administration at least, is portraying this statement [from Osama bin Laden] as evidence of a link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. ABC's Martha Raddatz is at the State Department. Martha, a lot of people say they've made the connection, but haven't proved the connection."
Martha Raddatz: "Well, there are some people, Peter, who are saying the administration has created this link, linking up al-Qaeda and Iraq, because of the possible invasion of Iraq. And many believe this may backfire, saying, 'Who stirred up this hornets nest?'"
-ABC's World News Tonight, February 11.


Cokie to Press: We're Not Swiss

"We're all in this together....We as an institution of journalism and the press are in this together. I've never understood this argument about the use of the first person plural when talking about our country. It's our country."
-ABC's Cokie Roberts accepting the Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism at the National Press Foundations awards dinner shown live on C-SPAN2, February 20.


Bush and Saddam, Evil Twins

MSNBC's Mike Barnicle: "Who do you regard as a bigger threat to world peace: George Bush, or Saddam Hussein?"
Comedienne/Activist Janeane Garofalo: "I say at this point, for different reasons, they are both very threatening to world peace and to deny that is to be incredibly naive. Right now, we are on the brink of global catastrophe. That's why eight million people around the world hit the streets, almost none of them actors, on Saturday, and that's why there is so much resistance to this. This is a manufactured war at this point. There has been a war on the people of Iraq since 1990. The plan to go into Iraq for hegemony over the region has been in play for a very long time and the ideologues in this administration want to go in."
-Exchange on MSNBC's Nachman, which Barnicle was guest-hosting, February 20.