It All Depends On Who's in the White House
"This intervention could wind up being Barack Obama's finest hour. His intentions are pure - this is a humanitarian mission, not blood for oil. We've got a coalition with us, the United Nations, the Arab League. And the diplomacy has truly been masterful - future military planners will surely use Obama's Libya template as a guide."
- NBC chief foreign correspondent Andrea Mitchell on Meet the Press, April 1.
"It's terrible that Saddam Hussein is butchering his people, but the United States simply cannot send in the Marines to take on every dictator. And, while the Bush administration likes to brag about the 30 nations in their coalition, it will be the United States that does most of the fighting in Iraq. I fear this is the wrong war at the wrong time and in the wrong place."
- Mitchell talking about the Iraq war on Meet the Press, April 1, 2003.
Obama's an Intellectual Gift to Us All
"While everyone this week - from discredited former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to the President's own progressive allies - were beating up on him for trying to save lives in Libya, I was struck by an observation I came across from a Harvard professor. He reminded us all that Barack Obama is really a, quote 'true philosopher-President whose peers include the likes of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and, our last professorial President, the under-rated Woodrow Wilson,' end of quote. That's a renewing resource of intellectual insight we should all learn to appreciate as the cherry blossoms bloom here in Washington."
- CBS's Bob Schieffer in his end of the show commentary on the April 1 Face the Nation. [Audio/video (0:40): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Like Facing a New 9/11 Every Day
"Yes, Lincoln had the Civil War. FDR faced the Great Depression, Nazi Germany, Pearl Harbor. But look at the daunting set of challenges President Obama faces today: wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya; a runaway deficit, unemployment at record levels, a health care reform bill that special interests are trying to destroy - all of that, plus the irrational hatred of the bigots in the Tea Party who want nothing more than to see him fail. All of that has arrived at, at the Oval Office, at the same time. He deserves a Nobel Prize just for showing up each day."
- Tom Brokaw on NBC's Today, April 1. [Audio/video (0:51): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Bombs Away for Feminism
"Just as women are playing a surprisingly strong and up-front role in protests across the Muslim Middle East, the peaceful steel of their resolve is mirrored here in Washington by two of Barack Obama's most trusted diplomats: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. Qaddafi's forces are on the run in part because Clinton and Rice persuaded the President that even limited military action can ensure that sisters in the Arab world are doing it for themselves. The report now from our own steel magnolia, Christiane Amanpour."
- ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer, April 1.
Brian Williams Polishes and Pouts
"The first time I met you, I couldn't help but hear what you were saying through the prism of a fellow married father of two. Your wife and daughters know you ran for this office for them and their future. But they clearly suffer when hard times cause you to overwork, and clearly suffer when you're attacked despite all that effort. As you sit here on a beautiful day in New York in April, reflect for me on how the criticism from all sides, at all times, can threaten to ruffle your legendary calm."
- NBC's Brian Williams interviewing President Obama on the April 1 Nightly News.
Let's Get UN to Authorize Action Against "Mad Dog" of Madison
"Mr. President, you've done what had to be done in Libya for the freedom fighters. You've taken on the mad dog of the Middle East, Moammar Qadhafi. Some progressives have hit you for it, but Big Eddie's got your back. But here at home in Wisconsin, Mr. President, we've got a rabid mad dog despot on the prowl in Scott Walker, and you've done next to nothing while workers' freedoms are getting slaughtered! Dammit, Mr. President, we're way beyond the need for aerial bombing here. We need boots on the ground!"
- MSNBC 10pm ET host Ed Schultz, hosting his April 1 Ed Show from the Wisconsin state capitol.
Taking His Victory Lap
"You know, ever since President Obama showed he was avoiding American arrogance and letting France dictate U.S. foreign policy, the situation on the ground here in Benghazi has been remarkable. From the first bomb, the rebels here have welcomed me as a liberator. They serve me breakfast in bed, set me up in this neat penthouse suite with picturesque views of the no-fly zone, and even let me keep one of their AKs because they said they didn't need it anymore now that American jets are doing their work for them."
- NBC's Richard Engel on the April 1 Nightly News, reporting from Benghazi, Libya.
Celebrating the Best Brackets Since Cyrus Vance
"Conservatives have sniped at Obama for going on ESPN to push his NCAA bracket while waiting days to explain his Libya intervention. They also question why the President has not also intervened in Yemen or Bahrain. But while critics accuse Obama of inconsistency, others see a savvy administrator with a gift for making close calls, both in basketball (he accurately predicted George Mason University to upset Villanova) and in the grander team game of realpolitik - pushing for change in Libya, abstaining in adjacent Tunisia. In each case, Obama seems to have made the right call. And as his impressive basketball bracket proves, Mr. Obama's head for hoops almost approaches his mastery of Middle East multilateralism."
- Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, April 1 column.
Frank Takes One Last Potshot at Palin
"In Alaska, Sarah Palin endorsed aerial hunting of wolves. Now Palin is moving to Arizona. What would she consider fair game for the airborne hunters of the Grand Canyon State? Roadrunners? Illegal immigrants? A saguaro cactus that the megalomaniacal, thin-skinned, half-term governor thought was giving her the finger?"
- Frank Rich, in his April 1 farewell column for the New York Times.
"Racist, Sexist Teabaggers" Would Find Patrick Henry Too Squishy
"In Lubbock, Texas, defense lawyers for college student and terror suspect Khalid Aldawsari are seeking the prosecution's evidence. Today's Big Question: Are you frustrated that Aldawsari wasn't a racist, sexist, homophobic teabagger?"
- Daytime anchor Contessa Brewer on MSNBC News Live, April 1. [Audio/video (0:14): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
"The absolutist, liberty-or-death Tea Partiers are trying to purge the GOP. Purity is the gold of the wingnut realm. It's clear that not even Founding Fathers like Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry would have enough purity to gain the support of the Republican base if they ran for office today."
- CNN contributor John Avlon on the April 1 edition of CNN Newsroom.
No More Violent Rhetoric or We Shoot You
Host Chris Matthews: "John Boehner said Obama's health care plan was going to be 'lethal' for the economic recovery....We all agreed a few weeks ago after the horror in Arizona that we weren't gonna talk about, you know, 'shoot 'em up.' We weren't gonna use terms, ballistic terms in the way we talk. We're not gonna say, 'Mow down our opponents,' or all that. We're gonna stop talking about guns in regular political discourse. Somebody didn't get the message!"
The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson: "Yes, I know Chris. I think the Speaker should watch what he says and should apologize for-"
Matthews: "I mean, Gene, this is out of bounds talk! I'll tell you what, the DNC needs to make Boehner the target of all their direct mail fundraising right now. He should be their public enemy number one! They've got to cut him off at his knees. They've got to knock him off!...Remember that scene in The Godfather, Part II, where Fredo goes out on the fishing boat and is, you know, disposed of? Maybe someone in the White House might want to suggest to Boehner that a great way to work on that tan of his, go on a fishing trip, you know what I'm saying? Because, seriously, this kind of violent rhetoric from the likes of Boehner just needs to stop!"
- MSNBC's Hardball, April 1. [Audio/video (2:03): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
You Don't Want Fries With That
"The President asserted today that Michelle Obama's healthy food initiative, Let's Move, was not an attempt to tell Americans they can't go to McDonalds. Let me ask you, Chuck, is this a good opportunity for the President to remind right-wingers that he's not going to take chicken nuggets off the menu and replace them with spiced rice and curried mung beans? Can he put in his birth certificate as a prize with the Happy Meal?"
- Chris Matthews to Chuck Todd on MSNBC's Hardball, April 1.
"New York City has taken the lead in launching this bold "Don't Drink Yourself Fat" ad campaign on the dangers of sugary soft drinks, and there have been moves to tax them as well. But is that enough? The New York Times is asking 'Is Soda is the New Tobacco?' If they're harmful for you, should they even be allowed?"
"Obesity is such a serious and worsening public health concern. Mrs. Obama, can we trust consumers to make good choices? Don't we at least need stricter rules and better messaging, to get people to choke at the first inkling to have a Coke?"
"I can't tell you how glad I am that you're doing this. As the mother of two young sons, it's a great comfort knowing the federal government will tell me what I need to forbid my kids from having."
- Co-host Erica Hill to First Lady Michelle Obama on CBS's The Early Show, April 1.
Don't Stop the Music
"House GOP Votes to Defund NPR; Beethoven Fans Hardest Hit"
- New York Times headline, April 1.
Call Three Times, and Get a Free Totebag
"Next on American Experience, the early days of the death penalty. Executions were violent, bloody and painful. Not unlike the death sentence John Boehner and the Republicans are trying to inflict upon PBS. So, unless you want to see Big Bird strung up, his long neck snapped and feathered feet kicking as the he sways in the death throes of the GOP budget noose, call your congressman and let them know what you think. Your voice matters the most."
- Preview airing before the April 1 edition of American Experience on PBS. [Audio/video (0:40): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
TEA PARTY OUTREACH: Vivian Schiller, Ron Schiller
CHIEF SENSITIVITY TRAINER: Bill Maher
OLBERMANN CHAIR OF CRAZY RANTS: Ed Schultz
FEATURED IN PLAYBOY: Helen Thomas (not a joke!)
FUTURE STAR OF "WHERE ARE THEY NOW?" RETROSPECTIVE: Keith Olbermann