Notable Quotables - 07/27/1998

Geraldo Sings His Zinger

"Twinkle, twinkle Kenneth Starr, now we see how crude you are / Up above your jury high, like the judge up in the sky /Twinkle, twinkle little Starr, now we see how wrong you are /When you drag the agents in, when you bully moms and kin / then you kiss the treacherous Tripp, twinkle, twinkle DC drip/Twinkle, twinkle little Starr, now we see how small you are."
- NBC News reporter Geraldo Rivera singing his version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star after playing video of U.S. Rep. Mike Pappas (R-NJ) on the House floor singing his version in a birthday tribute to Starr, July 21 Rivera Live on CNBC.


On Your Knees for Clinton

"When he [The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz] called back, I decided my only defense would be to give him a quote that would knock his socks off. I also wanted to test the Post's new 'sizzle' - the paper's post - We Broke the Lewinsky Story advertising hook. So when Howard asked whether I could still objectively cover the President, having found him so attractive, I replied, 'I would be happy to give him a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.' I recognized Howard's visceral response to my words by his sudden intake of breath and the spurt of pounding fingers of keyboard. I'd never been on that side of a good quote before. It was better than sex!"
- Time contributor and former reporter Nina Burleigh recounting her rise to fame after she wrote in Mirabella that she'd like to be "ravished" by Bill Clinton, July 20 New York Observer.


Hillary Clinton: God, I Admire You

"You and I spoke right at the beginning of this second term. Now, with two years left, is it something you look forward to? Do you get out there and say 'I want to keep going out, I want to meet people, I have more stuff I want to do,' or do you look and go 'Oh, my God, two more years!'?"

"There's so much speculation now about what you're going to do. What Hillary Clinton's life is going to be after the presidency. Do you find that takes away from what you're going to do, or do you just like slough it off and pay no attention?"

"I've talked to several people and they came up and said 'She's so different than I thought she would be. She's so much more of a people person. She's funny, she's nice.' Do you think that, like, people don't get you? I mean you get out there and people see a different side of you."
- Maria Shriver to Hillary Clinton, July 16 Today.


NBC Says All Judges are Wrong

"Let me begin with you [former Secret Service agent Chuck Vance]. You are a former Secret Service agent. Has Ken Starr overstepped his bounds? Is this a fishing expedition?"

"Let me ask you [law professor Jonathan Turley]. Many people are outraged. Some do call it a fishing expedition. Yet, you have a filed a brief on behalf of four former U.S. attorney generals supporting Mr. Starrs position. Why is that?"

"If they have to go in and testify now, will that trust be forever broken? Will the relationship be forever changed?"
- Maria Shriver's questions, July 16 Today.

"Often times we resolve these kinds of disputes by doing some type of societal balancing here. How about this argument that says, 'You know what, in the great cosmic scheme of things we're giving up this very important tradition of confidentiality in order to allow Kenneth Starr to investigate whether somebody might not have told the truth about a sexual liaison?'"
- Jack Ford to Major Garrett of U.S. News, July 18 Today.


Starr: He's Still Out of Control!

"Give Ken Starr an inch and, well, you know the rest by now...Starr has subpoenaed the chief of the President's elite plainclothes security detail - the one in which men are expected to take a bullet for their boss - and seems intent on giving the Secret Service all the moral high ground it should need to drive the independent counsels approval ratings right through the floor....In a nation still mourning JFK, Starr would seem to need an unlimited supply of gall to subpoena a standing President's last line of defense, especially before he's heard the testimony of those on the uniformed detail. But that's what we've come to expect from the private-eye-in-chief."
- Time Daily online reporter Frank Pellegrini, July 15.


Peter "Action Reporter" Arnett

"I was being trashed on a daily basis in the right-wing media. I felt my reputation going down the tubes....I'm primarily an action reporter. I was never informed that my face on the air gave me responsibility for a major story. In the field, I have to answer for everything I say and do. To many, its shocking that I could be so detached. But this was a team effort. I'm a company guy. You want me to read a script, I'll read it."
- CNN's Peter Arnett to the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz after CNN News Group Chairman/CEO Tom Johnson decided to take no further action against him beyond the already announced reprimand, July 9.


Rather's Personal Crusade

"In Washington there are new indications tonight at just how wide, deep, and aggressively special prosecutor Ken Starr is pushing to make the Secret Service tell what it knows about the President's personal life."
- Dan Rather on the July 13 CBS Evening News.

"A late-breaking and major escalation tonight of special prosecutor Ken Starr's aggressive push to make the Secret Service tell him what it knows about the President's personal life."
- Rather, July 14.

"More fast breaking developments on special prosecutor Ken Starr's new push to get the top Secret Service man closest to the President to tell him what he knows about the President's personal life."
- Rather, July 15.

"Must the Secret Service tell Ken Starr now what it knows about the President's personal life?....Also heating up today the battle over special prosecutor Ken Starr's demand for Secret Service agents to tell him what they know about President Clinton's personal life."
- Rather's Evening News tease and story intro, July 16.

"At least three active-duty Secret Service employees were forced today to appear before special prosecutor Ken Starr's grand jury to give testimony. This happened after Chief Justice William Rehnquist cleared the way for Starr's unprecedented push to make the Secret Service tell him at least some of what it knows about the President's personal life."
- Rather, July 17.


April Oliver's Conspiracy Theory

"The Abrams/Kohler report was delivered to support a corporate whitewash, driven by executive fear, to avoid further controversy in the press, with the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill. One of the primary reasons CNN sacrificed this story was to protect its relationship with the Pentagon. Tragically, the CNN retraction, driven by enormous pressure and a hasty star chamber investigation, will paralyze further reporting of these serious matters and of other past and, more important, future black operations by America's secret army."
- Last paragraphs of July 12 Washington Post op-ed by April Oliver, fired producer of CNNs sarin gas story.


MSNBC's Gift to the World

"I'll put people on who you don't see on TV. People in prison who shouldn't be there. People in soup kitchens. People on welfare with degrees from Harvard."
- Charles Grodin on what his new weekend program on MSNBC will showcase, July 15 USA Today.


Camille Cosby: America Stinks

"I believe America taught our son's killer to hate African- Americans. After Mikail Markhasev killed Ennis William Cosby on Jan. 16, 1997, he said to his friends, 'I shot a nigger. Its all over the news'.....Presumably, Markhasev did not learn to hate black people in his native country, the Ukraine, where the black population was near zero. Nor was he likely to see America's intolerable, stereotypical movies and television programs about blacks, which were not shown in the Soviet Union before the killer and his family moved to America in the late 1980's."
- Camille Cosby in a USA Today op-ed, July 8.

 Reality Check: 
"The Department of State advises American citizens in Ukraine, particularly those of African and Asian heritage, that they may be subject to racially motivated attacks and harassment. The U.S. Embassy in Kiev has received reports of at least two assaults on African-Americans.... Persons of African or Asian heritage, including American citizens, are also subject to frequent stops and searches by local law enforcement (the "Militia"). There are several credible reports that such incidents have led to harassment and physical abuse."
- May 27 Department of State announcement about Ukraine.


Tripp Fatigue at CBS News

"Linda Tripp is the woman who says another woman told her secrets about the President, and Linda has the tapes to prove it. But after so many days of rumors, so many leaks, so much spinning and counter-spinning, I'm tired and beat. Call it Tripp fatigue. Maybe I need to pull over. I seem not to care too much if she testifies, gets deposed, cuts a deal, writes a book, or promises to tell everything or nothing. I've checked out, changed channels, surfed elsewhere, pulled the plug. Perhaps there ought to be a place to send media types like me, a kind of Howard Beale Center, where you can go before you fall off your rocker, a safe haven where you can get serious again about the important stuff, get serious again before its too late. Just between you and me, I may be a lost cause."
- CBS Sunday Morning substitute host Harry Smith, July 12.


Ted's S&M Adventure

"'If committing mass suicide would help, I've even given that some consideration. Nothing has upset me more probably in my whole life...I'll take my shirt off and beat myself bloody on the back' with a whip if it would do any good, he said, adding, ' I couldn't hurt any more if I was bleeding.'"
- AP reporter Lynn Elber relaying Ted Turner's comments on CNN's retraction of the Tailwind story, July 11.


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