Notable Quotables - 03/15/2004

Let's Just Ban All of Bush's Ads

"Quote: 'It's as sick as people who stole things out of the place.' Some firefighters, some families of the victims of 9/11, protesting President Bush's new campaign ad."
-MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Countdown, March 4, previewing an upcoming story about a small number of relatives who complained about the Bush campaign's use of images from September 11, 2001 in a new ad.

"One September 11th widow told the [New York] Daily News this morning she was offended by the use of 9/11 images in these ads, saying quote, 'After three thousand people were murdered on his watch, it seems to me that takes an awful lot of audacity. Honestly, it's in poor taste.' What's your response to that?"
-NBC's Katie Couric to Bush campaign adviser Karen Hughes on the March 4 Today. Couric skipped quotes in the same article from 9/11 relatives who support Bush.

"The firefighters union says in a statement that it was a cheap trick to use even fleeting images of the real events of 9/11."
-ABC's Diane Sawyer to Hughes on Good Morning America, March 4. Sawyer did not mention that the same firefighters group has endorsed John Kerry and is actively campaigning on behalf of his presidential campaign.

"But you know this is one of those things where images can make or break a candidate. Could this turn into another Mission Accomplished?"
-CBS's Harry Smith to Hughes on The Early Show on March 4, referring to the banner placed behind the President on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln as he congratulated the crew for their successful role in the military coalition that liberated Iraq.

"This is not the first time Mr. Bush has been accused of using the 9/11 attack for political gain. In May of 2002 the White House was criticized for allowing congressional Republicans to use a picture of the President on Air Force One speaking to the Vice President just hours after the attacks on New York and Washington. Political analysts say the President is once again walking a fine line."
-David Gregory on the March 4 NBC Nightly News.


"Browbeaters" Rain on Gay Parade

"Conservatives, who browbeat Mr. Bush to annul the parade of gay marriages in San Francisco and court-sanctioned ones soon to come in Massachusetts, were delighted."
-John Roberts on Bush's endorsement of a federal marriage amendment on the February 24 CBS Evening News.


Martha's Crimes Hurt Who?

"Some voters already are connecting certain dots and I think Democrats, if they're smart, will attempt to really connect dots which go something like this: What we talked about in the first segment, people are unemployed, losing jobs; wealthy, high-rollers, CEOs, et cetera, getting off easy, making a lot of money; give campaign contributions to President Bush; Cheney with Halliburton. I think it's possible for Democrats to exploit those sort of emotional connections that people make out there."
-Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly explaining why the guilty verdict against Martha Stewart, a longtime Democratic donor, will hurt Republicans, on FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume, March 5.

"I think there's a real political message in here and it's a warning signal for the Republicans and for President Bush....It tells you that this whole issue of corporate governance and fat cats and people associated rightly or wrongly with Republicans is really a problem for average Americans. That people are feeling a class warfare deal, that helps Democrats."
-NBC's Andrea Mitchell discussing Stewart's conviction on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, March 7.


Still McCain's Biggest Fans

Charles Gibson: "A lot of Democrats say a dream ticket would be if John Kerry would reach across the aisle, take you as a vice presidential candidate. Are you going to say no, no how, no way, you won't do it?"
McCain: "Charlie, it's impossible to imagine...."
Gibson: "Let me imagine it. If he asked you, if he came across the aisle and asked you, would you even entertain the idea, or would you rule it out for good and all and ever right now?"
-Good Morning America, March 10.

John McCain: "I do not intend to leave the Republican Party."
George Stephanopoulos: "But a lot of Democrats think this is the dream ticket. So there's no chance you'll re-consider?"
McCain: "I cannot envision the scenario, George. As I say, it's flattering, but no."
Exchange on ABC's This Week, March 7.
-ABC's Claire Shipman, Good Morning America, March 3.


Liberalism? That's Not an Issue!

"He [President Bush] said, you know, Lets talk about the issues. Well, we all know that one of the first things they're going to do is not talk about the issues. They're going to define John Kerry, and they're going to try to paint him as a left-wing liberal who's out of touch with the rest of the country."
-Bob Schieffer on CBS's The Early Show on March 3, the morning after Kerry's Super Tuesday victories.


CBS: Bush Infuriates Own Voters

"Many Republican voters are furious about the lingering situation in Iraq and the massive job losses under the President's watch."
-John Roberts on the February 23 CBS Evening News.

"President Bush wants to be seen as the only candidate who can effectively defend America, but an increasing number of people who voted for him in the year 2000 are furious about the daily loss of life in Iraq and say they wont vote for him this time around."
-Roberts on CBS's Early Show on February 24.

Gretchen Carlson: "They [Phil and Kathy Brookshire] say they are fiscal conservatives. Both voted for George Bush in the last election. And both are disappointed with the direction he has taken the country."
Kathy Brookshire: "I can't believe that we can actually run a war in Iraq and have tax cuts, it doesn't make any sense."
Phil Brookshire: "There are those who say debt is good. I guess, I'm too much of a traditionalist to believe that...."
Carlson: "And it's not just the deficit that has the Brookshires worried. Both fault the administrations handling of the war in Iraq and the war on terror."
Kathy Brookshire: "I think we were lied to. I think this backtracking with the weapons of mass destruction, 'Oh, they're there,' 'Oh no, they're not there.'"
-American Voices segment on the February 29 CBS Evening News. The most recent CBS News poll showed 89 percent of Republican voters approved of President Bush's job performance.


Frank's Cracked Crystal Ball

"It's hard to imagine the movie [Mel Gibson's The Passion] being anything other than a flop in America, given that it has no major Hollywood stars and that its dialogue is in Aramaic and Latin (possibly without benefit of subtitles)."
-New York Times Arts editor Frank Rich on August 3. In the 12 days following its February 25 release, The Passion had grossed more than $200 million.


Pretending He Blamed Tax Cuts

"Alan Greenspan said in recent days that because of the huge budget deficit - $500 billion, at least for the foreseeable future - if you want to keep those tax cuts that you pushed through Congress, you're going to have to start thinking of reducing Social Security benefits for the baby boomers, future generations. Is he right?"
-CNN's Wolf Blitzer to Vice President Dick Cheney on Wolf Blitzer Reports, March 2.

"At the White House, Greenspan's testimony was an unwelcome reminder of how big an issue the Bush deficit will be in this fall's election. Mr. Bush said he hadn't seen the Chairman's remarks, but said his budget is the best way to cut the deficit....To get there, the White House is relying primarily on projections of robust economic growth, but the President also wants to make his tax cuts permanent at an estimated cost of nearly $2 trillion over the next ten years."
-David Gregory on the NBC Nightly News, February 25.

Reality Check:
"They [the Bush tax cuts] should be continued because I think over the long run they will benefit this economy."
-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in his testimony before the House Budget Committee, February 25.


Ick! We Don't Print "Pro-Life" Here

"Richard Straus's epic opera 'Die Frau Ohne Schatten' (The Woman Without a Shadow) is an incomparably glorious and goofy anti-abortion paean that has not been taken up by any political group I know of."
-Opening sentence of Mark Swed's review in the Los Angeles Times, February 24.

"A review of Los Angeles Opera's 'Die Frau Ohne Schatten' in Tuesdays Calendar section incorrectly characterized the work as anti-abortion. In fact, there is no issue of abortion in the opera, which extols procreation."
-Correction in the next days paper. A second correction made it clear the error was caused by a copy editors rejection of Swed's use of "pro-life" in his original review.


A Husband for Uncle Walter?

"I do think one of the factors was we were of different sexes. That doesn't mean I wouldn't have been happy to be married to several friends I had of the same sex. It just never came up in our particular relations."
-Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, when asked why his marriage to Betsy Cronkite had lasted so long, as quoted in the March 2 San Francisco Chronicle.