The Best of Notable Quotables; December 28, 1998

Vol. Eleven; No. 27

Corporal Cueball Carville Cadet Award (for Hating Ken Starr)

“Can Ken Starr ignore the apparent breadth of the sympathetic response to the President’s speech? Facially, it finally dawned on me that the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler, including the glasses. If he now pursues the President of the United States, who, however flawed his apology was, came out and invoked God, family, his daughter, a political conspiracy and everything but the kitchen sink, would not there be some sort of comparison to a persecutor as opposed to a prosecutor for Mr. Starr?”

– Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Big Show, to Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren, August 18. [91 points]


“Scott, as you and I both know, a popular move these days is to make a titillating charge and then have the media create the frenzy. Given Kenneth Starr’s track record, should we suspect that he’s trying to do with innuendo that which he has been unable to do with evidence?”

– Bryant Gumbel to CBS News reporter Scott Pelley, January 21 Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel. [53]
“The best defense it seems somehow is going on the offense now. While seedy stories in the media seem to be getting ever seedier. Each reporter in his turn sounds more and more like Howard Stern. A great investigative boom reporting who did what to whom. We see so many different styles of accusations and denials. When so much mud around you flies, you are bound to get some in your eyes. When such a war has been declared, everyone’s in, nobody’s spared. The jokes, the snickers, and the flippery. The slope we’re on is long and slippery. And there is something in the air which this country best beware: for there is danger in the dirt and lots of people could get hurt. And what we sow, we someday reap. Last night as I laid down to sleep I dreamed an apparition swarthy, the unshaved ghost of Joe McCarthy.”

– Charles Osgood, CBS Saturday Morning, February 28. [46]
“Anyone of us could be investigated like this and we would be able to keep no secrets about love or sex or money – no secrets about anything. If this reminds you of George Orwell’s novel, 1984, it should. The government in that book poked and pried everywhere. Its slogan was ‘Big Brother Is Watching You.’ And with the aid of the thought police, he was. Welcome to Orwell’s world.”

– CNN’s Bruce Morton on Late Edition, October 11. [45]
“Already, some of the more thoughtful members of the House and Senate have admitted, yes, they expect to be overwhelmed. There’s very little they can do about this, when someone drives, as one House Judiciary Committee member put this some weeks ago, a truck bomb up to the steps of the Capitol and just dumps it on them. Now this is probably not the most advisable comparison when you consider what happened on these very steps not so many weeks ago, but it is in some ways, politically, a very violent action for Ken Starr to leave this on them weeks before an election when they’re trying to decide how to deal with it.”

– NBC’s Gwen Ifill during live MSNBC coverage of the report being unloaded from the vans, September 9. [31]