Notable Quotables - 04/29/2002

Mammoth & Costly Tax Cut

"President Bush began a campaign today to win permanent status for his mammoth tax cut, which is scheduled to expire in eight years and would cost hundreds of billions of dollars a year to preserve."
-Lead sentence of April 16 Washington Post story by Mike Allen about Bush's remarks the day before in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


Rep. James Traficant, (?-OH) 

"In Ohio tonight, the verdict is guilty on all counts for long-time Congressman James Traficant of Ohio. A federal jury has convicted him of bribery and racketeering. Traficant served as his own lawyer at trial and he could get up to 60 years in prison when he's sentenced in June."
-Tom Brokaw on the April 11 NBC Nightly News.

"You know him from his bird's nest haircuts and leisure suits and brown shirts. James Traficant of Ohio, the firebrand of the House. Thought he could defend himself at his own trial even though he's not a lawyer. That was a mistake. He got nicked today, convicted of racketeering, bribery and fraud. He's looking at a possible 63 years in a federal joint, probably will do less time as a matter of fact."
-Brian Williams on MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams, same night. Traficant is a Democrat.


Hide the Shovels

"Well, Bush lost on ANWR so far, but he's got plans to drill for oil and gas in Utah's Dome Plateau Desert. He wants to drill 50,000 methane gas wells in Wyoming and Montana. And, you know, how does he go up before the American public tomorrow on Earth Day -  I guess he's got a big trip to the Adirondacks - and say, 'No, I am a man who is misjudged. I am a man who is for the environment,' when what he wants to do is dig it up for natural resources?"
-CNN Sunday anchor Carol Lin to Time magazine reporter Andrew Goldstein, April 21.

"Still Fighting" Dubious Theory

"The environment, the subject of our Nightly News question tonight. When did scientists first suspect that global warming might result from human activities? The answer: way back in 1896, the first theory that emissions from coal burning would lead to global warming. And here we are 106 years later still fighting about it."
-Anchor Brian Williams on the April 22 NBC Nightly News.


Forced into Terrorism

"Today in Ramallah the Israelis arrested a Palestinian who's been central to the Palestinian uprising against the occupation. His name is Marwan Barghouti. He was in favor of the peace process until, as he told an Israeli newspaper, the Israelis didn't withdraw from the territories and went on building Jewish settlements."
-Peter Jennings on ABC's World News Tonight, April 15. Israel believes Barghouti directed terrorist attacks which have killed at least 14 civilians in the past year.

Parting Shots From Biased Bryant

"You've seen it as I have and you know how Washington works in leaks, columns, comments. Those on the far right, inside and outside this administration, have been pretty much savaging Powell for the last week. Is he being set up to take the fall for the failures of this administration's foreign policy?"
-Bryant Gumbel to former Democratic Senator George Mitchell, April 12 The Early Show.

"This administration's foreign policy in regards to the Mideast has been called everything from 'amateurish and inept' to 'inconsistent and superficial.' Is there any reason to think that Secretary of State Powell is going to find any more success in the region than General Zinni has?"
-Gumbel to former NSC staffer William Quandt, April 8.

Three Labels in 23 Seconds

"President Bush has been drawing fire for his handling of the Middle East crisis, and the first shots fired are coming from his own conservative wing. Joining us from Washington, William Kristol, conservative editor of The Weekly Standard. Bill, good to see you again. And also joining us is Gary Bauer, Christian conservative who now heads the group American Values, and I do welcome you both."
-ABC's Charles Gibson introducing an April 22 Good Morning America segment.


GOP Extreme to CNN's Woodruff

CNN anchor Judy Woodruff: "I think there's much more division among the Republicans than we realize."
Jon Stewart: "Between the right and the maybe more moderate?"
Woodruff: "Between the right and the more moderate, and between the far-right and the right."
-Exchange on Comedy Central's Daily Show, April 9.

But Only One Was a Murderer

"Both girls were intent on their missions: one, searching for spices and fish for a Sabbath dinner; the other, looking for an answer to her rage. When Ayat Al-Akhras pushed the button on the explosives belt strapped to her waist, she stunned the world with the depths of a teenage Palestinian girl's murderous despair....The girls were alike in many ways, both excellent students with a passion for writing and pop music, but Rachel tried to ignore the political conflict; Ayat, in this refugee camp, lived in the middle of it. Ayat and Rachel have become twin symbols of the brutal toll of this conflict and have transfixed young people here, especially the women."
-ABC's Claire Shipman from Israel describing a suicide murderer and her victim, April 11 Good Morning America.


Awfully Liberal Ashcroft

"Why would a conservative administration, a conservative attorney general, tell the people of a state how to run their lives?...Attorney General Ashcroft would not be happy to be called a liberal, but his decision to attack the decision made by the voters of Oregon, whether you like that decision or not, sounds awfully liberal to me."
-CNN anchor Aaron Brown at the top of NewsNight on April 17, referring to Ashcroft's legal effort to block Oregons law allowing doctor-assisted suicide.


Returning Helen's Love

"She never 'took a cheap shot' during eight years of reporting on him nor did she ever resort to 'sanctimony' in judging him, [Clinton] said. She was always trying to get to the truth and was not afraid to ask hard questions about the Middle East and what it really takes to solve this awful dilemma, he said, adding: When she asked me something, I took it very seriously."
-Bill Clinton's comments about Helen Thomas at the April 15 New York Women in Communications Matrix luncheon, as reported in O'Dwyers PR Daily.

"Throughout the eight years that he was in office, President Clinton warned us that the next great menace was international terrorism....He also brought unprecedented prosperity to our nation, and because of that, President [Bush] can use the surplus Mr. Clinton left behind to pay for many of the nation's needs in this time of crisis....This lecture series is about the human spirit. To me and millions of others, President Clinton has always personified that. He is the man from Hope, and that is what he has given us, hope. We miss him. Thank you, Mr. President."
-Helen Thomas introducing Clinton at an October 9, 2001 event held by the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives.


It's Not that Stephanopoulos Is Too Liberal, but He's Too White

"George Stephanopoulos' big tryout was this past Sunday. And by all accounts, it went just fine....Insiders at ABC News are predicting that the former Clinton White House aide will become anchor of This Week in the fall....If Stephanopoulos is tapped, every Sunday public affairs show on network and cable will once again be hosted by white men, reinforcing what many women have complained about for years: Power in this country rests with white men."
-USA Today's television reporter Peter Johnson in an April 18 column.

Media Getting Them Young

Time for Kids reporter Alexandra Tatarsky: "What did I learn about him [Rumsfeld] or myself? Well, about him, I mean I grew up in the East Village in New York City so my ideas are very different from his, but I definitely got to see where he was coming from. He grew up in a little Navy town, so that definitely would influence him being pro-war. So I understood where he was coming from."
Ann Curry: "Uh huh. His position, which was more conservative, I take, than, than your position."
Tatarsky: "Right."
-Exchange on NBC's Today on April 17 about the 12-year-old Tatarsky's interview with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

We "Responsible" Journalists Can Set Aside Our Liberal Bias

"Most of the time I really think responsible journalists, of which I hope I'm counted as one, leave our bias at the side of the table. Now it is true, historically in the media, it has been more of a liberal persuasion for many years. It has taken us a long time, too long in my view, to have vigorous conservative voices heard as widely in the media as they now are. And so I think yes, on occasion, there is a liberal instinct in the media which we need to keep our eye on, if you will."
- ABC anchor Peter Jennings appearing on CNN's Larry King Live, April 10.


Explains a Lot

"My hero was Walter Cronkite. I believed every word he said."
-Bill Clinton at the April 15 New York Women in Communications Matrix luncheon, as reported by O'Dwyers PR Daily. Clinton added that if he had not gone into politics, his second career choice was journalism.