Notable Quotables - 05/10/2004

The "Dark Side" of Economic Boom

"The most important gauge of the American economy, the Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, suggesting now that the economic recovery has real traction. The government reported today that GDP grew at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the first quarter of this year. But there are also growing fears tonight that the good news may have a dark side."
-Tom Brokaw on new inflation, April 29 Nightly News.

Heroic Kerry Painted as Victim

"We'll take 'A Closer Look' tonight at John Kerry's dilemma: After brave and honorable service in Vietnam, a post-war record that dogs him."
-ABC's Peter Jennings on World News Tonight, April 26.

"Well take 'A Closer Look' tonight at John Kerry's distinguished war record. His opponents are trying hard to use it against him."
-ABC's Charles Gibson, World News Tonight, April 21.


Obviously, Bush Is Much Worse

"It's pretty interesting to hear the Bush camp go into this area of Senator Kerry's military record. It seems like that's the last place they'd want to go, not wanting to draw any more attention to President Bush's military record."
-Daryn Kagan anchoring CNN Live Today, April 26.

"The best defense is a good offense, they say, and the Bush campaign seems to be buying. On a week when the President and Vice President will go before the 9/11 commission, on a week when the Supreme Court will hear a case to open the records of the Vice President's energy task force and, on a week that will end on May 1, the anniversary of the President's speech declaring major combat over in Iraq, the Vice President took to the stump today to say John Kerry's judgment on national security is questionable....It is a somewhat strange set of circumstances that 33-year-old questions are being asked of a candidate who volunteered to go to Vietnam and served with distinction, however briefly."
-Aaron Brown on CNN's NewsNight, April 26.

"There has to be a danger in the White House response to this....The 1970, '73, '74 era is kind of a black hole for them, too. Kerry said in response tonight, 'All of this is coming from a President who can't even prove that he showed up for duty with the National Guard.' That's perhaps not a serve that goes right past your opponent, but it's a pretty good return."
-Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's Countdown, April 26.


Hardball Host Goes Soft on Kerry

"Do you think this is a stupid argument that's been going on from the other side, attacking you for throwing away what you said, or implied, or allowed the people to imply were medals when in fact they were ribbons?"
"What do you think of guys like [Vice President] Cheney who said, 'I'm gonna have a kid at the right time. I'm going to grad school at the right time. I'm gonna stack up those deferments until I'm 83 years old, before they get anywhere near me,' and they're also hawkish?"
"Do you think the people around the President have hoisted themselves on their own petard by bringing up this issue of your service?"
"Do you think this administration and its political handlers like Karl Rove are capable of recognizing they can't beat you on the jobs issue, they can't beat you on foreign policy, so they're gonna drop this nonsensical stuff [on you]?"
-Some of Chris Matthew's questions to Senator John Kerry on MSNBC's Hardball, April 27.


AP Distorts Dole's "Defense"

"Dole Rises to Kerry's Defense Over Vietnam"
-Headline over May 2 Associated Press story by Jennifer Kerr about former Senator Bob Dole's comments on Fox News Sunday about Kerry's throwing away his Vietnam war medals in an anti-war protest.

Reality Check:
Bob Dole: "I don't know what possessed John. I know he came back, came out against the Vietnam War, but he made his point, and he's going to have to live with it. I think some of the things he said were probably not very good judgment, but he was a much younger man then without much experience in public life, but that's the record."
Host Chris Wallace: "And so that's something people should take into account?"
Dole: "Oh, I think so. When you come back, when first you brag about all the medals you have and being wounded three times and things of that kind, then you throw everything away and join the other side, it's going to be fairly hard to explain, particularly to veterans."
-Dole's actual comments about Kerry on the May 2 Fox News Sunday.


Give Us a Break

"While Kerry did propose cuts to several weapons systems, as Defense Secretary, Cheney did much the same."
-John Roberts on the CBS Evening News, April 28.


Message: He Really Doesn't Care

"You may want to note that some of the families of the 9/11 victims point out that it was only under pressure that President Bush finally agreed to the formation of the independent commission and only under pressure that he finally appeared before it today -under his ground rules, on his ground. At the President's insistence, it was a joint appearance with the Vice President behind the closed doors of the Oval Office and there was no audio or video recording and no full written transcript."
-Dan Rather on the April 29 CBS Evening News following a story about President Bush's meeting with the commission investigating the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"We All Assume" Bush Is Puppet

Chris Matthews: "It's certainly a new vice presidency we have now....Isn't Cheney the first to have real, real power, not just influence?"
CBS's Lesley Stahl: "We don't know. I think it's still a mystery. I think we all suppose and assume that he is sitting in the room and kind of hand-signaling to the President about what he's supposed to do. But we don't know that."
-Exchange on MSNBC's Hardball, April 30.


Can't Understand Terrorists' Plight

"The biggest health issue here [at the Guantanamo Bay prison] is mental. Isolation and uncertainty have led to numerous attempted suicides. And at any time of the day or night, the detainees may be interrogated, a subject of enormous controversy in itself. There is no thought here of rehabilitation. Some of these men may be here for years, and as of now, they have no appeal. Hard place to photograph. Harder place for many people to understand."
-Peter Jennings wrapping up a story about his visit to Guantanamo Bay, on the April 22 World News Tonight.


Surely You Can't Support the War?

Ann Curry: "Are you angry that what you were on a mission to protect America against weapons of mass destruction [which] may never have existed...?"
Sergeant Jeremy Feldbusch: "We have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein in the Middle East. We have taken him out of central control of the Middle East and were putting, trying to place a democracy in the center of the Middle East."
Curry: "Was all of that worth the price you have paid?"
Feldbusch: "Yes."
Curry: "The price you will pay for the rest of your life?"
-Exchange during a taped profile of Feldsbusch, who was permanently blinded by shrapnel during the first days of the Iraq war, on the April 27 Today.


Bush: A Big Liar Who Kills People

"Ultimately it's five student deferments for Mr. Cheney, vs. three Purple Hearts for Kerry. I think bottom line he wins on this. But the Bush-Cheney attack machine, they're doing the same thing to Kerry that they did to Gore. They're taking ribbons or medals, 'Oh he doesn't know which,' and they're trying to turn it into some kind of character deficit while Bush gets away with lying about weapons of mass destruction and taking us into a not necessary war."
-Eleanor Clift on the May 1 McLaughlin Group.


Soldiers Better Off in Baghdad

Anchor Mika Brzezinski: "The men and women fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq put their lives on hold to serve the country. Their families wait for months simply for word of when they may come home. But what if a soldier has no home to return to?"
Reporter Kelly Cobiella: "...There is no federal shelter to care for veterans. The burden falls on cash-strapped cities like New York which struggles to provide shelter for hundreds of veterans from World War II to Iraq."
-Story on the April 24 CBS Evening News.


Not Exactly Open-Minded

"I was against the war before, during and after it. I have no mixed feelings about the hundreds of dead soldiers - it was a poor use of their lives. I was certain last March that we as a nation had not done all we could to make sure lives were not lost, but I'm dogmatic about it now."
-Washington Post military reporter and former Assistant Managing Editor Rick Atkinson, who covered the war in Iraq in 2003, in an interview with Editor & Publisher columnist Greg Mitchell published May 1.


Ted Spells It Out

"I am anti-war, anti-poverty, anti-AIDS, anti-hunger, anti-hate, and I am pro-UN, pro-freedom, pro-competition, pro-democracy, pro-woman and pro-choice."
CNN founder Ted Turner at a pro-abortion rally held in Washington, D.C. on April 25 and shown live on C-SPAN.


Keep Your Hands Off Her Lockbox

"We must make it clear that a hundred million women in this country will not have their rights rolled back by political extremists! The far right have already squandered your Social Security. They better put our uteruses in a lockbox and keep their hands off them!"
Actress Camryn Manheim at the April 25 pro-abortion "March for Women's Lives" rally on the Mall in Washington, D.C. and shown live on C-SPAN.