Nets Bash Palin as "Bizarre," She'll Still Draw "Car-Wreck Watchers"

Vol. 22, No. 15

After Week of Michael Jackson, Nets Bash Palin as "Bizarre"


"It's bizarre and there's no good explanation. And if she were trying to do away with the kind of speculation that she says has so irritated her, this not the way to do it."
- CBS News political analyst John Dickerson on Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's resignation announcement, July 3 Evening News.

"This is very unusual, even bizarre. Governors just don't stop in the middle of their terms when there's no clear reason."
- Politico reporter Mike Allen in a soundbite shown on the CBS Evening News, July 3.

"It was just the latest bizarre twist for the self-described maverick..."
- NBC correspondent Peter Alexander, July 3 Nightly News.

"It's mystifying. It was a bizarre statement. It didn't make a lot of sense and it doesn't seem to be the kind of thing someone would do if someone was running for President."
- ABC's Cokie Roberts on World News, July 3.

"The man who will now inherit the governor's office in three weeks says the decision [to resign] was vintage Palin....Others describe her performance yesterday as erratic, comparing it to Ross Perot's on-again/off-again presidential run in 1992."
- Correspondent Mike Viqueira on NBC Nightly News, July 4.

Palin Will Still Draw Political "Car-Wreck Watchers"


"Look, she may spend the next year campaigning for Republicans all across the country. She's probably going to be the person that can attract the largest crowds, some of it is car-wreck watchers - you know, they just are coming, kind of curiosity-seekers."
- NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd talking about Palin's resignation, July 3 Nightly News. [Audio/video (0:21): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

She's Nixon, Without the Smarts or Experience

"The simple fact of the matter is if Sarah Palin thinks that she's had it tougher than anybody else, she's been more harshly criticized, I have for two words for her: Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was savaged for eight years....The one thing that came across, I thought, was not only that she was smarting from all this criticism, but she came across as petty and vindictive - Richard Nixon without the policy knowledge or the experience."
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Cynthia Tucker on ABC's This Week, July 5.

"Elitist" to Complain About Week of Jackson News

Host Howard Kurtz: "Don't you feel deep down that this is overdoing it?"
CNN anchor Don Lemon: "No, I don't feel it's overdoing it. And I don't - and when I hear people say that, I have to be very honest with you, Howie, I think it's elitist....Michael Jackson is an accidental civil rights leader, an accidental pioneer. He broke ground and barriers in so many different realms in artistry, in pictures, in movies, in music, you name it. So, no, I don't think it's overkill."
- Exchange on CNN's Reliable Sources, July 5.


Adultery Worse for "Sanctimonious" Republicans


"The problem Republicans have - so many of them are sanctimonious. They thump the Bible. They condemn everyone else, and when they [act] human, they don't have much credit in the bank for forgiveness."
- ABC's Sam Donaldson talking about the adultery confession of Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC) on Good Morning America, June 25. [Audio/video (0:39): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

"Have Republicans finally embarrassed themselves out of calling themselves the family values party?"
- Chris Matthews on his syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, June 28.

George Sees Double Standard Penalizing Democratic Adulterers

Anchor Charles Gibson: "We've had a lot of governors and senators with these kinds of problems, personal indiscretions. Governors Spitzer, McGreevey, Blagojevich of Illinois, now Sanford, and Senators Craig, Vitter, and Ensign. There's a lot of them."
George Stephanopoulos: "Boy, there sure are. But one remarkable fact, Charlie, you look at the breakdown, on the Democratic side, Spitzer, McGreevey, you add the Detroit Mayor, Kilpatrick, all of the politicians were forced out of office. Everyone of the Republicans you just mentioned held on."
- ABC's World News, June 24.

Touting Obama's "Bold Display of Concern"


"President Obama has a message for some critics: he will get his way. Today he made a bold promise regarding health care reform and, in a bold display of presidential concern, the President comforted a sick and emotional woman."
- Fill-in anchor Suzanne Malveaux on CNN's The Situation Room, July 1. [Audio/video (0:21): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

Correspondent Savannah Guthrie: "The President solicited questions on YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, and in person."
Debby Smith, to Obama: "Now I have a new tumor. I have no way to pay for it."
Guthrie: "With a hug for a woman who said she cannot pay her medical bills."
President Obama, to Smith: "I don't want you to feel all-"
Guthrie: "The President hoping this message will speak more powerfully to Congress than any other."
- NBC Nightly News, July 1.


"The Debby we just saw in that piece is Debby Smith. She's a volunteer for the political arm of the President's Democratic National Committee Organizing for America....Nevertheless, the White House denied it controlled today's event."
- FNC White House correspondent Major Garrett on Special Report with Bret Baier, July 1. Neither CNN nor NBC told viewers that Smith is an Obama volunteer and that the White House arranged for her to attend the event.

Even with Sotomayor, Fretting Supreme Court Moving "to the Right"

"The court's term avoided the blockbuster decisions that at one point seemed inevitable. But its path was clear: a patient and steady move to the right led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., one that is likely to continue even if President Obama is successful in adding Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the high court - and perhaps two others like her."
- Washington Post reporter Robert Barnes in a July 1 review of the Supreme Court's 2008-09 session: "Term Saw High Court Move to the Right."

"If Judge Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed by the Senate, she will succeed Justice David H. Souter, a liberal who spent almost two decades on the court....The arrival of a neophyte justice coupled with Chief Justice Roberts's increasing mastery of the judicial machinery foreshadow a widening gap between the Democratic-led political branches and the Supreme Court. Indeed, the court appears poised to move to the right in the Obama era."
- New York Times reporter Adam Liptak in a July 1 "news analysis."

ABC Showcases Russian Teens Enamored with Obama


"Pushing the reset button was never going to be easy in a country where anti-Americanism is a well-established tradition....But the majority also said that with President Obama's visit to Moscow this week, they do expect relations to improve. At this Kremlin-sponsored summer camp, thousands of young people from across the country enjoy outdoor activities and are schooled in Russian nationalism. Lecture topics include the 'McDonalds-ization of the World.' But they are optimistic about President Obama. 'He's so young and energetic,' says Vagiz, 'and he will give a new surge to our relationship.' 'I see Obama as an innovator in your country,' adds Alexander. 'New face, new relationship.'"
- ABC's Clarissa Ward on World News, July 6.

Liberal House Boss = King David and Ted Williams, All Rolled Into One

"Henry Waxman is to Congress what Ted Williams was to baseball - a natural....Waxman was born to be a member of the House, ideally the chairman of an important committee....[Waxman's book] is the voice of David, whose career has featured the slaying of one Goliath after another."
- Washington Post associate editor Robert Kaiser in a July 5 book review of The Waxman Report.

Covering Michelle Obama, "Girlfriend-to-Girlfriend"

"'Without a doubt, I identify with her as a brown-skinned African American woman,' [Newsweek's Allison] Samuels says. 'Now we have Michelle and see her as a mother, a lawyer, a wife, and she's doing it fabulously.' Samuels got to interview Obama during the campaign and 'we had a girlfriend-to-girlfriend moment. We did connect.'"
- Quoted by Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz, July 2 article.

Amanpour: My Biases Are a Complete Mystery

"I ask people just to look at my body of work. And nobody knows my biases. Do they think I'm against? Do they think I'm for? They don't know my biases. They don't know where I come from in this. I just try very hard to report the facts and to tell the stories as best as I can. I am not part of the current crop of opinion journalists or commentary journalists or feelings journalists. I strongly believe that I have to remain in the realm of fact."
- CNN's Christiane Amanpour to CBS's Lesley Stahl in a June 23 "Women on the Web" interview.

Next Phase of Obama's Honeymoon with Journalists

"The hot sex is over, they're in the cigarette stage right now. You get a question or two that's slightly obstreperous, but the adulatory coverage is still all wall-to-wall."
- Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer on the June 26 Inside Washington.

Ronald Reagan Was a "Dumb Son of a Bitch"


Host Bill Maher: "I always wondered why you never did a Reagan movie. It seems like that is the type of character you could do very well with."
Director Oliver Stone: "You know, Nixon always said Reagan was a dumb son of a bitch and, you know, I think that he was [audience applause]. And I think, I really think George W. is dumber [more applause]."
Maher: "Definitely."
Stone: "I do think that by doing the W movie I kind of put all my efforts behind dumbness and I don't want to go back there because, you know, I'm not the Farrelly brothers."
- HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, June 26. [Audio/video (1:00): Windows Media | MP3 audio]

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