Notable Quotables - 01/03/2005
Upset by Treatment of Saddam
One year after his capture, Saddam Husseins trial for war crimes,
considered the most important since Nuremburg, has yet to hear a single world
of testimony....Critics point to several failures: that Saddam has not yet
been allowed to meet with a lawyer; that the trial will permit testimony
obtained under torture; and that much of the evidence from mass grave sites
was not properly preserved or recorded....Saddam waits in his cell, without
charge or legal counsel.
ABCs Jim Sciutto on the Dec. 12 World News Tonight.
No Medals from MSNBC
I was aghast watching that medal of honor ceremony today. George Tenet,
Bremer, Tommy Franks it looked like the President was pinning a medal on the
Iraq war, on himself....Theyre giving a medal for getting us into war under
false pretenses?...If you give the Medal of Freedom to the guy whos
completely wrong in doing his job, what do you give to a guy who is completely
MSNBCs Chris Matthews on Hardball December 14 discussing the Medal of Freedom going to former CIA Director George Tenet, retired General Tommy Franks and former Iraq administrator Paul Bremer.
Keith Olbermann: The CIA got blamed for some ill-chosen words in a State
of the Union Address, you may recall, yet the former CIA Director was one of
three men to get the nations highest civilian honor today....
USA Todays Tom Squitieri: Even in this cynical time, the level of cynicism of this one is reaching new proportions. Its being dubbed by some as hush medals. You know, these guys still have to write their memoirs, and their take on what happened in Iraq in particular, and when you get a medal from the President, it makes you a little bit nicer about what you may or may not want to write.
MSNBCs Countdown, December 14.
Success, But Matt Isnt Satisfied
The administration is very happy about the success in Afghanistan, the
newly elected and democratically elected President Hamid Karzai being
sworn-in. But how much is that success tarnished by the fact that Osama bin
Laden is still out there and al-Qaeda is so active, just yesterday claiming
responsibility for that attack on the U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia?
NBCs Matt Lauer to Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert on the December 7 Today.
Moyers, Biased to the Bitter End
Im going out telling the story that I think is the biggest story of our
time: how the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the
Republican National Committee. We have an ideological press thats interested
in the election of Republicans, and a mainstream press thats interested in
the bottom line. Therefore, we dont have a vigilant, independent press whose
interest is the American people.
Bill Moyers, who retired from the PBS newsmagazine Now on December 17, as quoted by Associated Press television writer Frazier Moore in a December 10 dispatch.
God Bless Us and Screw You
Were the most ill-informed nation about the rest of the world, [CBS 60
Minutes correspondent Morley] Safer said....He watched the political
conventions this summer from Europe and said he cringed at the awful bravado
he heard in speeches from members of both parties....By taking two minutes to
acknowledge the international audience, Safer said, the candidates could have
dispelled the air of superiority they emitted with their exhortation, God
bless America, a statement that he said seemed to be code for God bless us
and screw you.
Story about Safers December 5 appearance at the Stonington Free Library in Connecticut, as recounted the next day by Kate Moran in The Day newspaper in New London, Connecticut.
I dont think Im easily characterized. I grew up in red-state America,
but I live in blue-state America and I like to think that I reflect the
sensibilities of both those places.
NBCs Tom Brokaw on MSNBCs Imus in the Morning on December 1, his last day as Nightly News anchor.
Dan Had Courage to Twist News
Television must deal with political pressures to conform to resurgent
conservative values that appear to be stifling editorial courage in the
newsroom. [Outgoing CBS anchor Dan] Rather had the inner strength recently to
criticize these partisan, political ideological challenges. Will his
successor have similar courage? Will the timid network executives have the
old-fashioned backbone to take on a crusading administration? I doubt it.
Former CBS and NBC reporter Marvin Kalb, now the Washington, DC-based Senior Fellow at Harvards Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, in a December 1 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.
Bushs Awful, Expensive Tax Cuts
Peter Jennings: Terry, number one, the President wants to make his tax
cuts permanent. Talk about that and how he does that given that the federal
deficit is getting so much larger every moment.
Terry Moran: Peter, that is something the President talked about at nearly every campaign stop this fall, so he thinks hes got a mandate to do it, but most experts say that making those tax cuts permanent would cause gigantic deficits virtually as far as the eye can see.
ABCs World News Tonight, December 15.
Real Reform = More Taxes
Private accounts dont address the overall funding problem. Without
broader reforms or a rise in the payroll tax, the government side of Social
Security will still run out of money. Increasing taxes could easily extend the
life of Social Security, but President Bush wont even consider that.
John Roberts on the December 15 CBS Evening News.
Keith Still Rooting for Kerry Win
Keith Olbermann: Meantime, more than two weeks in the making, what were
interestingly described by the Associated Press as dissident groups, finally
filed their much-talked about legal contesting of the Ohio vote. Attorney
Cliff Arneback of the group calling itself Alliance for Democracy, was
joined by the Reverend Jesse Jackson in asking Ohios Supreme Court to
formally review voting there. And they accused the Republican campaign of,
quote, high-tech vote stealing, unquote....
[Michigan Congressman] John Conyers last week hinted and then backed away from the idea of this challenge to Ohios electors on January 6th, but now hes conducting these hearings on the road in Ohio and relative to Secretary [of State Ken] Blackwell, he used that phrase, Such an action appears to violate Ohio law. For several weeks, the whole thing looked like its teetered on the edge of being a mainstream political cat fight. Is it going to teeter into that mainstream?
Newsweeks Howard Fineman: I think its unlikely....
MSNBCs Countdown December 13, the day presidential Electors officially voted Bush for a second term.
Cue the Laugh Track
Im not political. I dont vote....I have no more interest in the
political outcome of an election than I did in the winner or loser of any
ballgame I ever covered.
MSNBCs Keith Olbermann, formerly with ESPN, in an Online Journalism Review interview posted Nov. 30.
Re-Election Wont Save Bush
More U.S. troops in Iraq, at least through the January 30th election, at a
time when the insurgency in Iraq is becoming more dangerous....It looks like
escalation, a scary word from the Vietnam era....Escalation was disastrous
in Vietnam. It looms as a serious political danger for President Bush and for
his party....Being re-elected, even by a handsome majority, as Lyndon Johnson
found out after 1964, doesnt prevent a serious backlash from setting in that
he faced over Vietnam.
CNNs Bill Schneider on Inside Politics, December 2.
Baffled by Mels Freedom Cry
Matt Lauer: Two thousand British moviegoers were recently polled on a very
important question. What are the Top 10 Cheesiest Movie Lines of all-time?...Braveheart
takes #8 with the baffling battle cry.
Clip of Mel Gibson on horseback rallying his warriors in the movie Braveheart about 13th century Scots battling the British: That they may take our lives, but theyll never take our freedom!
NBCs Today, December 7.
Chevy F-Bombs the President
He deployed the four-letter word that got Vice President Cheney in hot
water, using it as a noun. Chase called the prez a dumb [expletive]. He also
used it as an adjective, assuring the audience, Im no [expletive] clown
either.... This guy started a jihad. Chase also said: This guy in office is
an uneducated, real lying schmuck...and we still couldnt beat him with a bore
Actor Chevy Chase onstage during at a December 14 People for the American Way awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center, as quoted by the Washington Posts Richard Leiby on December 16.
If Bush Wont Quit, Impeach Him!
Guest host Susan Sarandon: How can they get out of this [situation in
Author Gore Vidal: He [President Bush] can resign.
Actor Tim Robbins: How about a good, old-fashioned impeachment? Seems to me there was a guy that was impeached not long ago for oral sex, for lying about oral sex, and it seems to me theres been a couple lies told. So its more of a high crime and misdemeanor to lie about oral sex than it is to lie about intelligence that forces a country into war?
Vidal, mockingly: Tim, you must have values!
Exchange on CBSs Late Late Show, December 17.