Notable Quotables - 03/24/2008

Vol. 21; No. 6

Guess He Liked It


“A speech worthy of Abraham Lincoln....What I personally view as the best speech ever given on race in this coun-try....I think this is the kind of speech I think first graders should see, people in the last year of college should see before they go out in the world. This should be, to me, an American tract. Something that you just check in with, now and then, like reading Great Gatsby and Huckleberry Finn....One of the great speeches in American history.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews talking about Barack Obama’s speech on race relations, March 18 Hardball.


Wright’s Rant a Bogus Issue?

“At issue now, a video of a sermon given by Barack Obama’s minister at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago....We’re running it because — like it or not, legitimate or not — it has become an issue....All this seems to have nothing to do with actual issues that the country is facing, which these candidates should be talking about and we probably should be talking about.”
— CNN’s Anderson Cooper introducing a story about inflammatory comments made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Anderson Cooper 360, March 13.

“I don’t even know how these candidates can talk about policy because it seems like every day someone’s asking them to apologize for the comments of their supporters. Rush Limbaugh went nuts today on his program about this [Jeremiah Wright] story. John McCain is talking about this particular story. How do we get away from this?”
— MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell to The New Republic’s Michael Crowley during live coverage, March 14.


“We bombed Hiroshima! We bombed Nagasaki! And we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye....We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back into our own front yard. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”
— Sermon delivered by Reverend Jeremiah Wright on September 16, 2001, the Sunday after the 9/11 attacks.

Lauding Obama’s “Act of Honor”

“By refusing to renounce Reverend Wright, that was in many ways an act of honor for Senator Obama.”
— ABC’s George Stephanopoulos discussing Obama’s speech on race relations, March 18 World News.

Conservatives “More Offensive”


“How is this different than John McCain chasing after Pat Robertson or the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, who talk about how we have a culture of murdering unborn children in this country and that we’ve turned into Sodom because we coddled the gay community in this country? I mean, to me, that stuff is considerably more offensive than decrying racial violence and intolerance in this country, which members of the black community have some firsthand knowledge of.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty talking about the controversy over Rev. Wright on The Situation Room, March 17.


“Good Luck, Barry!”

“Barack Obama’s latest endorsement from his old classmates in Jakarta, Indonesia. [Shows group in front of large lettering reading “Good Luck, Barry!”] They’ll be sending these photographs to the boy they all knew as Barry....The fact that Obama lived in Jakarta and studied at this school has really captured the popular imagination. It’s already working wonders for America’s battered image here....His friends hope there’ll be no turning back on his journey to the White House. And Barry might attend their next reunion as President of the United States.”
— Reporter Ian Williams, March 14 NBC Nightly News.

No (D) For Scandalous Spitzer

“In a stunning development this afternoon, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, whose reputation for righteously prosecuting wrongdoing gave him the nickname Eliot Ness, publicly apologized after being linked to a prostitution ring.”
— Fill-in anchor Ann Curry, March 10 NBC Nightly News.

“Good morning, Client #9. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, a hard-charging moral crusader caught in a federal sting involving a high-price call girl ring.”
— Co-host Meredith Vieira opening Today, March 11. None of NBC’s news programs identified Spitzer as a Democrat until March 13, the scandal’s fourth day.

Thanks to NBC’s Non-Labeling

Co-host Meredith Vieira: “Let’s talk very quickly about Governor Spitzer’s resignation. He was a super-delegate for Senator Clinton. So she loses his vote. Beyond that, do you see any other fallout for the Democrats?”
Washington bureau chief Tim Russert: “Probably not.”
— NBC’s Today, March 13.

“American Dream Slipping Away”

“It’s one of the worst things that can happen to a family, but it’s happening to more and more in this country. They’re losing their homes to foreclosure. The mortgage industry reported today that the foreclosure rate in the final quarter of 2007 hit an all-time high [on-screen shows “0.83%”]. And the government says, that for the first time ever, lenders own a greater percentage of the average home than the homeowner does. Anthony Mason now on the American dream that’s slipping away.”
— Katie Couric opening the CBS Evening News, March 6. More than 99% of all mortgages are not in foreclosure.

No Progress In 43 Years

“This country’s in a rut, on the war in Iraq and pending wars elsewhere in the Middle East, the economy, everything, we’re in a rut. We can’t fix anything, whether it’s Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, we can’t fix our health care system. Nothing’s [been] done since ’65 when we did the civil rights bill. People want something done.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews during live coverage of the Texas and Ohio primaries, March 4.

Jack’s Latest Conspiracy Theory

“Oil was $28 a barrel when George Bush was sworn in. It’s $104 right now and could go to $120 soon. Now, why do you suppose that is? It wouldn’t have to do with the policies of the Bush administration or the relationship they have with the oil companies, would it? Come on.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, March 5.

Rush, the “Pervert” of Democracy

“Rush Limbaugh and others on the far right, now trying to pervert tomorrow’s results, calling on Republicans in Ohio and Texas to vote in the Democratic primary for Hillary Clinton — not because they like Clinton, but because they want to keep the Democrats in disarray....The right-wing media’s hatched a new plan to damage not just the Democratic Party but perhaps the democratic process.”
— MSNBC’s Dan Abrams on Live with Dan Abrams, Mar. 3.

“He [Rush Limbaugh] was upset that I said he was perverting the process by encouraging Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton in open primaries in an effort to quote, ‘bloody up’ Obama....When you encourage someone to vote for a candidate that they don’t want as President, I believe it is actually un-American....It is shameful.”
— Abrams reacting to Limbaugh pointing out that many Democrats had voted in GOP primaries, MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams, March 5.

Barack Obama = Mark Twain?

Host Chris Matthews: “[Barack Obama’s book, Dreams of My Father, is] unique because he’s a politician and not since U.S. Grant has a politician written his own book-”
Radio Host Michael Smerconish: “Exactly.”
Matthews: “- and that is refreshing.”
Smerconish: “Yes.”
Matthews: “And your thoughts here? Did you read the book? Once you read it you have a different take. It’s almost like Mark Twain. It’s so American, it’s so textured. It’s so, almost sounding like great fiction because it reads like us. It’s picturesque. Is that the right word, ‘picturesque’? I think it’s got that quality.”
— Exchange on MSNBC’s Hardball, March 13.

Harry Hits GOP’s “Low Road”

“In 1980 [sic, actually 1984], Ronald Reagan’s optimistic ‘Morning in America’ appealed to the most basic beliefs about who we are as Americans, and it gave Reagan a big boost. There’s a high road and a low road. Remember Willie Horton? The ads played to racial fears and portrayed Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis as soft on crime.”
— CBS’s Harry Smith reviewing TV commercials from previous campaigns on The Early Show, March 10.

Katie’s Feminist Defense

Jesse Hardy, Ohio voter: “Hillary’s made emotional outbursts and I feel like if she’s put in a tragic situation where, God forbid, we have another terrorist attack or something like that, you know, is it going to be an emotional outburst or, you know, how do you handle that situation?”
CBS’s Katie Couric: “But some of the male candidates, like Mitt Romney, have gotten misty eyed as well. It’s just harder for you to take coming from a female candidate?”
CBS Evening News, March 4.

America: War-Mongering Rapist


“We’ve been redefined for seven years now as a war-mongering, far-right, intolerant nation who’s raping our own atmosphere and demonizing the poor and letting the banks rob us blind. I think if — any incremental move away from that would be a godsend. And I think Obama will, at the very least, put the brakes on this madness and in some ways heal it....I think the rest of the world, if they see that America elects a man of color I think they’ll breathe a big sigh of relief and not think that we’re this war-mongering, rich white guy country.”
— Actor/comedian Richard Belzer on FNC’s Geraldo At Large, March 2.

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan and Kyle Drennen
INTERN: Lyndsi Thomas