Notable Quotables - 07/24/2000


A Warning About Media Bias?

"Your conventions coming up. Scared?"
- ABC's Cokie Roberts to George W. Bush, July 16 This Week.

Quicksilver Spin of the Day

"What's really going on, say critics of the Gore campaign, is that it continues to fragment, like mercury on a table, with each shudder of an unsympathetic focus group. To which Gore supporters respond, what you're seeing is the natural reach and breadth of a candidate with a restless, quicksilver intelligence."
- CNN reporter Bill Delaney, July 11 Inside Politics.


Clinton: Horny Man of Peace

Ex-UPI White House reporter Helen Thomas on Bill Clinton: "Well, I think he certainly has a lot of talent. I think that he gets no credit for the prosperity, but he certainly deserves a lot of credit along with Greenspan and Rubin, Secretary Rubin, former and so forth. I think that the President has really created an atmosphere, I think he is a man of peace, and I think the American people wanted him to remain in office."
MSNBC anchor Brian Williams:
"And yet others, especially his critics in the other party, say he's cheapened the office you covered for seven Presidents."
Thomas: "I don't, I don't say that...I feel that his heart was in the right place. He's done a lot of good things."
- MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams, July 11.


Aren't Your Profits Immoral?

"Dr. Sturchio, the terms greedy, insensitive, uncaring, inhumane have all been used by critics to describe the pharmaceutical companies, saying that they are making enormous profits here and should be doing much more to help save the lives of the unfortunate. Why is that not true?"

"Let me toss some numbers at you. Estimates are that 20 million people have died as a result of AIDS. Also estimates are that some 5.4 million have contracted the disease just in the past year alone. Your company, Merck, had indicated profits for the first quarter of $1.5 billion. Many people will listen to what you're saying here this morning and say, you know what, that's far too little and its far too late for these people."
- ABC Good Morning America co-host Jack Ford to the Merck pharmaceutical company's Dr. Jeffrey Sturchio about AIDS in Africa, July 10.


Celebrating Another Entitlement

"Chances may be improving for some kind of federal plan to help seniors pay for high price prescription drugs. A key Republican Senator broke with his party's leadership today by launching moves in the direction of Democratic Party positions on the issue. This could be a defining issue in the election campaign for millions of older voters."
- Dan Rather opening the July 12 CBS Evening News.

Criticizing Hillary: Implicitly Sexist

"I think a lot of women will read that and see an underlying sexism to that, to that tone....And I think this serves Hillary Clinton well. That, see, these guys don't want a, don't like powerful women. They don't like to see someone like me who challenges their power."
- Steve Roberts of U.S. News & World Report reacting to a GOP direct-mail letter which described Hillary Clinton as "a fraud, a phony, and a pretender...She's hard-core, hardline, hard-nosed ultra-liberal who uses people and hates Republicans," July 16 CNN Late Edition.


GOP: Abysmal to Liberals

"Bush, I think, benefitted simply by coming. I mean his party's record's been abysmal. It's an amazing fact, but he's the first Republican presidential candidate to address the NAACP - the mid-stream, middle class NAACP, we're not talking about the Nation of Islam here - since 1988 and his father did that."
- Washington Post reporter Michael Fletcher on PBS's Washington Week in Review, July 14.


Incongruous Labeling

"Each has his strengths and weaknesses. [Pennsylvania Governor Tom] Ridge, for example, could bring a big state, but the pro-choice Catholic could turn off the big anti-abortion bloc. Still, Bush said today, Ridge and the other pro-choice northeast Governors remain in the running even though the CBS poll shows a pro-choice VP would hurt Bush badly with the party faithful."
- Reporter Bill Whitaker in a July 17 CBS Evening News story on potential vice-presidential picks.


Caring vs. Conservative

"As CNN's Chris Black reports, Bush is sounding more and more like the caring conservative who seemed to vanish during some of the primaries."
- CNN's Judy Woodruff before story on Bush's plan to help find foster kids permanent homes, July 11 Inside Politics.

Let's Take the Surplus and Apply It to Our Liberal Wish List

"We've now got a projected surplus, and you know projections are not always reliable, though in the next 10 years, we've got about a four trillion, that's with a t, trillion dollar surplus....And it occurred to me, and maybe it's because I was traveling in Europe for a couple of weeks, you know, we are the most wealthy country like, ever in the history of the universe and we have, we don't have, we don't have a decent rail system. We are about forty years behind, thirty years behind every other industrialized country."
- CNN reporter Jeff Greenfield on MSNBC's simulcast of Imus in the Morning, July 10.

"How much better could we spend $60 billion in this country than on an iffy missile shield? How about providing health insurance for the 44 million Americans still not covered? Or helping the elderly pay for their prescription drugs? How many children could be immunized against childhood diseases? Couldn't it be used to completely reform public education? How many crumbling public schools could be renovated? Could that money find a cure for cancer, heart disease and stroke? Could it be used to build affordable housing? Could it ease poverty and homelessness? Wouldn't the money go a long way to repairing the infrastructures of our aging Northeastern cities? Proponents of NMD say the system is an insurance policy to safeguard the nation's security. But like every other form of insurance, if it doesn't pay the dividend, what good is it?"
- ABC weekend anchor Carole Simpson in a July 9 article posted on the Web site.


Fear the Soviets? Ha Ha Ha!

"There are some of you, I'm sure, who remember the days when we in the West were afraid that the Soviet Union would outdo the West technologically. They had been first into space. The CIA was pretty impressed, remember? And then the Soviet Union fell apart and we discovered how far behind they really were - not that they weren't trying.

"This is the latest example of their top secret technology revealed: gas-powered boots, so the wearer could take enormous strides and run up to 25 miles an hour. This way, of course, Soviet soldiers could outrun tanks and police could outrun criminals, provided criminals didn't have the boots. The project failed in the 1980's, but we hear they're gearing up again. We did wonder how you stop. Ah, yes, we used to take the Soviet Union so seriously."
- ABC's Peter Jennings, July 7 World News Tonight.


Heartwarming Democratic Unity vs. Nasty Republican Fratricide

"In the presidential campaign, Democrat Bill Bradley today gave his personal, public and enthusiastic endorsement to Al Gore. They were side by side in Wisconsin, their first joint appearance since Gore beat Bradley in the primaries. The George Bush camp today pumped out some old, unflattering Bradley quotes on Gore. But Bradley said today he and Gore stand together on all the important issues, such as health care and education, and stand against what they call Bush tax cuts for the rich."
- Dan Rather with the entirety of the July 13 CBS Evening News story on Bill Bradley's endorsement of Al Gore.


CBS News reporter Bob Schieffer: "....Bush flew in knowing he needs McCain to woo independents, but in truth both men dreaded this meeting and why not. Remember: They once promised never to go negative and shook on it. But within days, Bush had called McCain a hypocrite."
George Bush, February 7: "This is a man who made his campaign on going after lobbyists and insiders, and yet he's raised more money than anybody in the campaign from lobbyists and insiders."
Schieffer: "McCain accused Bush of the worst Republican sin."
McCain in a primary season TV ad: "His ad twists the truth like Clinton. We're all pretty tired of that."
Schieffer: "It got so bad, friends said it wasn't until last night during a book signing that McCain finally decided to endorse Bush...."
- May 9 CBS Evening News story on John McCain endorsing George Bush.


See the Slums! Become a Liberal!

"When Jacoby's suspension ends in November, the Globe should welcome him back and then assign him for another four months to the city desk as a reporter. He could chase fires. He could cover meetings of the sewer board. He could spend time in Boston's poor neighborhoods, write about homeless shelters, interview alcoholics, unwed mothers, gay teenagers, cops, clowns, politicians, and assorted scalawags. It would make him a better columnist because hed learn something about the newspaper business. And he might learn something about life."
- End of Boston Globe ombudsman Jack Thomass July 17 column on the Globes suspension of conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby for four months without pay for a column which relayed corrected stories about what happened to signers of the Declaration of Independence but which failed to say similar stories had appeared elsewhere.