Notable Quotables - 10/09/2006

Vol. Nineteen; No. 21

Media Hot for Foley Scandal

“There is no getting around it: The unraveling of the page scandal could be the undoing of some House Republican leaders, if not their hold on Congress....One senior House Republican tells CBS News that this scandal [text on screen] ‘could be the congressional equivalent of Katrina.’”
— CBS’s Gloria Borger on the October 2  Evening News.

“Over the weekend, this issue became the number one issue in every congressional race in the country. And both Republicans and Democrats say it has the potential to cost Republicans the Congress.”
— ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on World News, October 2.

“This is more than just one man’s downfall. It could be a major blow to the Republican Party, desperately trying to hold on to control of Congress in the upcoming mid-term elections.”
— NBC’s Matt Lauer on Today, October 2.

Reporter Brian Ross: “The issue for Republicans is becoming one of hypocrisy: talking tough about going after pedophiles on the Internet, but not doing much about it when it comes to one of their own....”
News anchor Claire Shipman: “Brian, thank you. I don’t think this story is going away any time soon.”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, October 3.

New York Times Reporter’s “Facts”

“Our government had turned its energy and attention away from upholding the rule of law and toward creating law-free zones at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and other places around the world. And let’s not forget the sustained assault on women’s reproductive freedom and the hijacking of public policy by religious fundamentalism.”
New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse in a June 9, 2006 speech at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute.

“Greenhouse says her comments were ‘statements of fact,’ not opinion, as underscored by the court striking down the administration’s policy of holding terror suspects without charges. ‘The notion that someone cannot go and speak from the heart to a group of college classmates and fellow alums, without being accountable to self-appointed media watchdogs, means American journalism is in danger of strangling in its own sanctimony,’ Greenhouse says.”
Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz, October 2 article.

Wonderful Bill vs. Awful Fox

“Our compliments to President Clinton for having today staved off a reprehensible sandbagging by Chris Wallace of what is jokingly referred to as Fox [pause] News.”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Countdown, September 22.

“A past President, bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster, finally lashed back....The nation’s marketplace of ideas is being poisoned by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would’ve quit....As with all the other nefariousness and slime of this, our worst presidency since James Buchanan, he [President Bush] is having it done for him, by proxy. Thus, the sandbag effort by Fox News Friday afternoon.”
— Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown, September 25.  (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)

“Our winner, Roger Ailes, the ‘Ming the Merciless’ of Fox News. Congrats, incidentally, Roger, on having achieved the perfectly circular shape. He says today that President Clinton’s reaction to Chris Wallace the other day was, quote, ‘an assault on all journalists.’ No, Roger. What Mr. Clinton said was an admonishment. Somebody sending terroristic threats to me and others is an assault on all journalists. Roger Ailes, today’s ‘Worst Person in the World!’”
— Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown, September 27.

“Face-to-face with Clinton, [FNC’s Chris] Wallace obviously wanted to show off and ‘get tough,’ but then quickly turned into a baby when Clinton had left and Wallace was asked for comment. His father, Mike Wallace, one of the greatest of all network news personalities, never dished out what he couldn’t take. He never behaved like a sissy-pants when someone he’d roughed up got mad.”
Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales in a September 26 posting to his weblog.

How a Liberal Reporter Grills Bill

Co-host Meredith Vieira: “Everybody’s calling you ‘the Genie,’ and they want you to grant some wishes. If you had a genie what wish would you want granted?...Where do you think he [Osama bin Laden] is? Everybody’s wondering where the heck he is, where do you think he is?”
Former President Bill Clinton: “I think he’s probably in, I have no intelligence, okay? I think he’s probably-”
Vieira, interrupting: “You have lots of intelligence.”
Clinton: “No, I mean government intelligence.”
Vieira, laughing: “I know, I’m kidding.”
— NBC’s Today, September 21.  (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)

“Who Made Us the Boss of Them?”

Katie Couric: “A passionate student of history, Condi Rice believes turmoil often precedes periods of peace and stability. And she rejects the notion that the U.S. is a bully, imposing its values on the world.”
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: “What’s wrong with assistance so that people can have their full and complete right to the very liberties and freedoms that we enjoy?”
Couric: “To quote my daughter, ‘Who made us the boss of them?’”
— CBS’s 60 Minutes, September 24.  (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)

Pushing for Big Liberal Turnout

“I’m rooting for [Democratic Senate candidate] Harold Ford in Tennessee for a reason. I think we need a little diversity up there on Capitol Hill.... The President won’t talk to anybody who said he’s made a mistake. He won’t admit any mistakes, and in the end, he won’t tell the truth about this war over there. And that’s the problem we got with the President. The only solution to this is an election.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, NBC’s Tonight Show, October 2.  (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)

Our Top Story: Blogger Fantasies

Co-anchor Soledad O’Brien: “Ahead this morning, is there a conspiracy behind the drop in gas prices? Bloggers say there is something fishy going on....”
Reporter Ali Velshi: “With a little more than six weeks to the mid-term elections, the blogs are buzzing with other theories. Are lower gas prices a Republican plot? This blogger wonders if Republicans are trying to soften voters, who have spent the last year angry about high prices.... Could President Bush have had anything to do with plummeting gas prices?”
— CNN’s American Morning, September 25.

“There are skeptics and there are cynics out there who say there’s nothing to make voters happier than paying less for gasoline and they’re going to wonder: Did somebody just open a big spigot?”
— NBC’s Brian Williams on the September 20 Nightly News.

You Really Let Terrorists Down

“Why didn’t you guys stand up and take a stand on specifics? Why didn’t you say look, OK, there have been reports, for example, with [9/11 mastermind] Khalid Sheikh Mohammed at the secret CIA centers that he was waterboarded: ‘We will not let that stand, Mr. President?’”
— NBC’s Matt Lauer asking Senator John McCain about a deal on detainee treatment, September 22 Today.

Bush’s Wars, Deadlier than Terror

“U.S. military deaths from Iraq and Afghanistan now match those of the most devastating terrorist attack in America’s history....Not for the first time, war that was started to answer death has resulted in at least as much death for the country that was first attacked, quite apart from the higher numbers of enemy and civilians killed.”
— Associated Press writer Calvin Woodward in a September 22 dispatch, “War Price on U.S. Lives Equal to 9/11.”

Some Refreshing Candor on Bias

Ex-Washington Post reporter Thomas Edsall: “I agree that the — whatever you want to call it, mainstream media — presents itself as unbiased when, in fact, there are built into it many biases and they are overwhelmingly to the left.”
Host Hugh Hewitt: “Well, that’s very candid....Given that number of reporters out there, is it ten to one Democrat to Republican? Twenty to one Democrat to Republican?”
Edsall: “It’s probably in the range of 15 to 25:1 Democrat. ...There is a real difficulty on the part of the mainstream media being sympathetic, or empathetic, whatever the word would be, to the kind of thinking that goes into conservative approaches to issues. I think the religious right has been treated as sort of an alien world.”
— Exchange on Hugh Hewitt’s syndicated radio show September 21, audio later posted at

Bush “Justifies” Anti-U.S. Venom

Host Bill Maher: “The substance of what they [Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] said, that the U.S. is a bully, that we want to rule the world with threats and bombs, that we’re imperialistic...I’ve heard [this] over the years many times by tin horn dictators at the UN against the U.S. It’s just that now it strikes a lot of people as true.”
Actor Bradley Whitford: “What is the purpose of terror? The purpose of terror is to provoke an inappropriate over-reaction. And this country, this President, this administration, lie after lie after lie, has done that, so that these idiots, these crackpots, seem to be justified.”
— HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, September 22.

How Ted Turner Won the Cold War

“I was friends with Chinese communists and with the Russians with Gorbachev. This was back during the Cold War. I was trying to bring the Cold War, help bring it to an end with the Goodwill Games and a bunch of our initiatives that we worked on with the Russians, and it worked.”
— CNN founder Ted Turner on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, September 21.  (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
NEWS ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Megan McCormack, Mike Rule, Scott Whitlock and Justin McCarthy
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