Notable Quotables - 05/31/1999

Spinning Away the Cox Report

"Where have you gone, Joe McCarthy, oh, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you....Yes folks, Republican efforts to warn Americans of the danger of fuzzy liberals in charge of the nation's political system and its nuclear secrets are about to go into overdrive."
- May 24 Time Daily online story by Tony Karon.

"If security was compromised, both parties are guilty of inattention. Bureaucratic inertia is the enemy here and the attempt to make this partisan and distract from what was a terrific week for this administration gun control, Al Gore casting the deciding vote, an election in Israel that is very positive for Israel and this country. Why didn't we talk about that?"
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, May 22 McLaughlin Group.

"With twenty years worth of blame for both Republicans and Democrats to go around, some in Congress are now singling out Attorney General Janet Reno for what they see as her failure to investigate the long-leaked nuclear secrets."
- Dan Rather, May 24 CBS Evening News.

"I heard someone ask rhetorically today that, 'Look, this is only gonna matter if, God forbid, there is one dark day that sees the use, the all-out use of thermonuclear weapons on this planet, and so why worry?'"
- MSNBC host Brian Williams to House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Porter Goss (R.-Fla.) on The News with Brian Williams, May 25.


Repeal the Bill of Rights Now!

"I don't understand why we're piddling around. We should talk about getting rid of guns in this country."
- The Washington Post's Juan Williams on Fox News Sunday, May 23.

"It also says something about Congress itself, I mean this gradual infiltration over the years of wing nuts. Of people you know are, you lose the John Chafees, and you get people who used to be in the House and now are in the Senate and who are extremists and there's so many cases like this it becomes the norm."
- Newsweek's Evan Thomas, May 15 Inside Washington.

"Four weeks after the Columbine High School shootings, a month of public outrage, and yet the Senate still remains tangled up in finger pointing over gun control."
- NBC's Gwen Ifill opening a May 18 NBC Nightly News story.


Kooky Mr. Cokie

Reporter Steve Roberts: "Most Americans think gun control, child safety locks on guns, waiting periods, issues of these kind that they make sense. Are they preventive? No. Do they guarantee? No. But if the Republican Party allows its obligations to the NRA to pull them out of the mainstream and appear to be against common sense provisions as we were talking last week, I think they are going to pay a price for it."
Tucker Carlson, The Weekly Standard: "But if they don't work, why are they common sense?"
Roberts: "They do work. They don't, there are no guarantees, they don't prevent anything. They increase the odds of having a civilized and sane debate about this."
- Exchange on CNN's Late Edition, May 16.


A Little Media Help on Gun Laws

"But your vote means, in effect, that as we look at this videotape of gun shows, all these people here have put out a table and aren't part of a gun store, a big dealership. You can just walk in and, no questions asked, buy a gun and that gun can be used in the next major national news story we're talking about here."
- MSNBC's Brian Williams to Sen. John McCain on The News with Brian Williams, May 12.

"Remember, three of the weapons used at Columbine were purchased originally at gun shows. Well, a majority of the U.S. Senate liked that just fine. They voted to keep it that way. Then after realizing what they did, with the help of the news media, the President and constituents, they said they'd changed their minds. And today they voted on those changes, creating some new loopholes in the process however."
- Brian Williams on his MSNBC show, May 14.


The Today Gephardt Playbook

"About the former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, you wrote quote, 'one of the leading practitioners of the politics of personal destruction.' How would you label his successor, Dennis Hastert? What has he done in his short tenure to help heal Congress?"
- Today co-host Matt Lauer to Dick Gephardt, May 24.

"You called Gingrich and his ilk, your words, 'trickle-down terrorists who base their agenda on division, exclusion, and fear.' Do you think middle-class Americans need protection from that group?"
- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel to Gephardt, January 4, 1995.


Rubin: Greatest Since Hamilton

"Good evening. The man who presided over the best economy in a generation is going back to private life. The Secretary of the Treasury Bob Rubin, who said today that he really was resigning, has been described in such glowing terms that hed begun to sound indispensable. All sorts of people today, including the President, have called him the best Treasury Secretary since Alexander Hamilton, who was the first Secretary in 1789 and did an enormous amount to put the United States on firm financial footing."
- Peter Jennings starting ABC's World News Tonight, May 12.

"Rubin is credited, along with Mr. Clinton's first Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, with fashioning the policy of fiscal restraint that led to the first balanced budget in 12 years. That in turn is given major credit for the kinds of improvements Americans have felt, including low unemployment and interest rates, the booming housing market, especially for lower income families, and the country's record length of economic expansion. Rubin said the credit belonged to the team."
- ABC White House reporter Sam Donaldson, same show.

"Robert Rubin's steady hand during global economic crises won him immense respect abroad. He was adored on Wall Street, which believes his policies laid the groundwork for the best economy in a generation....Wall Street thinks Rubin may be the best Treasury Secretary in history."
- ABC's Bob Jamieson, May 13 Good Morning America.

"This whole year has been marked by superstars going out at the top of their game. You had Michael Jordan hanging up his Air Jordans after winning his sixth championship title. Hockey's Wayne Gretzky hung up his skates after capturing every, I mean every, every record worth holding in hockey. And now with the strongest stock market in the history of Wall Street, the economy better than ever, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin is turning in his money clip."
- Geraldo Rivera on CNBC's Upfront Tonight, May 12.

"[Rubin] is going back to private life after quietly and very skillfully positioning the government to help fuel these extraordinarily good times."
- Tom Brokaw, May 12 NBC Nightly News.

China Channels Hillary

"The Chinese claim is that they are not thieves of American nuclear secrets, but the victims of a right-wing American propaganda machine out to make a relationship already deep in trouble a whole lot worse."
- CBS's Barry Petersen on the Cox Report, May 25 Evening News.


The Super Second Banana?

"Larry Summers is said by many to be even smarter than Rubin, a former Harvard professor and chief economist at the World Bank, he spent four years at Rubin's side. The administration's trouble-shooter as the global financial crisis spread, Summers met privately with Greenspan and Rubin every week forming a troika that Time called 'The Committee to Save the World.'"
- CBS reporter Anthony Mason on the nominee to replace Rubin as Treasury Secretary, May 12 CBS Evening News.


"But his unyielding support of the International Monetary Fund has drawn sharp criticism from conservatives and longtime friends....And some of his gaffes are now Washington classics. In 1992, Summers argued for dumping toxic waste in developing countries on grounds they were under-polluted and in 1997 he attacked congressional efforts to decrease inheritance taxes as selfishness. The incidents did not do much to dispel reports he is arrogant and difficult to work with."
- CNN's Kelli Arena, May 12 The World Today.


Hillary's Dignity, or Dependency?

"A lot of the women that I meet from traveling overseas are very impressed by you and admire your dignity. A lot of the people you meet are people who suffered, people you saw today, and who believe that they identify with you, because they have seen you suffer. And in a speech in Africa last year, you spoke about living for hope and reconciliation, living for forgiveness and reconstruction, and living for a new life have you been able to apply that to your own circumstances? Have you been able to forgive your husband?"
- CNN's Christine Amanpour to Hillary Clinton in Macedonia after a tour of refugee camps, May 14.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer: "I think it was Richard Cohen who pointed this out in a column, I mean she [Nita Lowey] is the proto-typical feminist. She built her career from the ground up. Her husband is a guy called Steve. You haven't heard about him and she didn't build her career on his back."
Nina Totenberg of NPR: "Shame on you!"
Krauthammer: "I'm simply stating a historic fact."
Totenberg: "Shame on you Charles."
- May 22 Inside Washington discussion comparing potential New York Senate candidates Nita Lowey and Hillary Clinton.


Larry King's Disarming Deity

"I can't figure out how religious leaders can support the National Rifle Association. One would think that guns and God don't mix."
- CNN host Larry King in his USA Today column, May 17.


Publisher L. Brent Bozell III
Editors Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham
Media Analysts Jessica Anderson, Brian Boyd,
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