Notable Quotables - 02/13/2006
Reporters Pay for Iraq “Disaster”
“The war in Iraq has basically turned out to be a disaster, and journalists have paid for it, paid for the privilege of witnessing and reporting that....By any indicator, Iraq is a black hole....Whether you take the number of journalists killed or wounded, whether you take the number of American soldiers killed or wounded, whether you take the number of Iraqi soldiers killed and wounded, contractors, people working there, it just gets worse and worse.”
— CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Larry King Live, January 30, discussing the bomb attack that wounded ABC co-anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt. (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)
Are You Freedom’s Worst Enemy?
“Let’s talk a little bit about this whole idea of eavesdropping without court orders....Do you believe that there is anything that a president cannot do, if he considers it necessary, in an emergency like this?”
“When we see some of these horror stories about torture, about things that have happened in some of these prisons, do you worry that maybe we’re losing the moral high ground in some way?”
— CBS anchor Bob Schieffer in a pre-taped interview with President Bush shown on Face the Nation, Jan. 29. (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)
Keith Itching for Impeachment
Keith Olbermann:“If the Republican Chairman of the Senate committee investigating the wiretaps says the wiretaps were illegal, and the President says he personally authorized the wiretaps, doesn’t that mean the President should be impeached?...Not to put too fine a point on this, but if the authorization of wiretaps without warrants is indeed illegal, as its critics say it is, has the President committed an impeachable offense?”
Former Nixon aide John Dean: “Well, he certainly has....”
— MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, February 6. (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)
Press Corps: Bush Is a Loser
Host Chris Matthews: “Reporters who hang around the White House, like you do, every day of your lives, is there a sense in the group that this guy’s a winner or a loser? Just as a politician?”
NBC White House correspondent David Gregory: “Oh, I think the overriding sense in the press corps is that, that he’s losing.”
— Exchange on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, February 5.
TV’s Sour Patch Kids
“Elizabeth, the country is just in a sour mood.”
— George Stephanopoulos telling ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas about the latest polls, World News Tonight, Jan. 31.
CNN’s Paula Zahn: “What are you looking for tonight in this speech [Bush’s State of the Union address]?”
CNN’s Jeff Greenfield: “Whether the President can connect with a populace that is in a sour, pessimistic mood.”
— Exchange on CNN’s The Situation Room, January 31.
“I think what we’re going to see tonight from the President is a pep talk, in a sense, a presidential pep talk where he believes that the country has, the mood has turned sour — sour on the war, sour on the economy, sour on the government’s response to Katrina.”
— Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace during the Fox broadcast network’s State of the Union coverage, Jan. 31.
All Nastiness = Bush’s Fault
“He [President Bush] tries to unite but, of course, a lot of Democrats feel this has not been a uniting President. They have gone down that road before, trying to work with the President and, of course, the old expression is, ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me more than once, fool me twice or ten times, shame on me.’”
— ABC’s Charles Gibson during live coverage before President Bush’s State of the Union address, January 31.
Co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas: “He reached out many, many times to the Democrats....The question, of course, being whether or not Democrats will be able to embrace and accept the olive branch....”
Co-anchor Charles Gibson: “You wonder if he had done this four years ago, five years ago, if indeed there might have been greater comity in the city of Washington, greater cooperation in the city than there has been so far through the Bush presidency.”
— During ABC’s live coverage, January 31.
“What did you make of the President’s appeal for comity, for civility?...Back when he wanted something, you could argue, in the worst way, which was authorization for possible military action against Iraq, he jammed that vote right up against the election of 2002. That wasn’t a very civil thing to do....Was that a civil move?”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to Sen. John McCain during live coverage of the State of the Union, January 31. (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)
Only $85 Billion? What an Insult!
Co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas: “The [State of the Union] speech was practically over before the President mentioned Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters in America’s history. Many people in New Orleans were not happy about it....”
Reporter Steve Osunsami: “Across New Orleans-”
Cindy Galliano, New Orleans resident: “We’re flabbergasted. We’re insulted. We’re outraged.”
Osunsami: “-residents couldn’t believe the President’s speech offered no new ideas for rebuilding their city.”
Galliano: “Last night, the proof was in the pudding. He doesn’t give a damn about us!”
— ABC’s World News Tonight, February 1. (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)
Co-anchor Soledad O’Brien: “The President spoke for less than a minute about New Orleans. Didn’t offer any new money or any new aid. American Morning’s Dan Lothian is live for us this morning....What’s the reaction in New Orleans after this speech?”
Dan Lothian: “Good morning, Soledad. In one word, disappointment. People feel that they were simply a footnote in that speech, that it was essentially a slap in the face.”
— CNN’s American Morning, February 1. The federal government has already committed to spending $85 billion to help rebuild the hurricane-damaged Gulf coast.
Need Socialism, Not “Tinkering”
“We spend about twice as much per person on health care in this country as any other industrialized country. Yet we have 45 million [un]insured, and we rank 37th in life expectancies, 41st in infant mortality. We’ve got a mess on our hands, and all of the politicians, Bush, talk about is a little bit of tinkering here on the edges. We need to say we’ve got a fundamental problem. We have to change the system.”
— ABC’s Dr. Tim Johnson during live coverage following the President’s State of the Union address, January 31.
The Troops Love General Hillary
“Look at what she’s just done recently — she took some PAC money from her own political action committee and gave it to Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, who is an anti-choice nominee in the Democratic race there....She’s certainly moved herself over to the middle by getting on the Armed Services Committee, going to Iraq, going to Afghanistan and showing real credentials on military issues and you saw some of her votes on the war. She’s very highly regarded by the rank and file military for what she has done in support of the troops.”
— NBC’s Andrea Mitchell discussing Senator Hillary Clinton’s political posturing, MSNBC’s Hardball, February 6.
Greenspan Goofed on Tax Cuts...
“I don’t think the legacy of [retiring Federal Reserve Board Chairman] Alan Greenspan is finished because the bill hasn’t yet come due for those tax cuts at the high end that he gave the green light to and testified on Capitol Hill that we had such a big surplus, that the surplus was worrisome. That was not based on fact. That was based on fiction....The tax cuts would not have gone through if Alan Greenspan had not blessed them.”
— Eleanor Clift on the February 4 McLaughlin Group. (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)
...And Real Wars Mean Tax Hikes
Brian Williams: “The President is known to be very frustrated at what he sees as a large part of the population in the country, and in that chamber tonight, that doesn’t seem to agree with his message that this is a nation at war. He’s expressed frustration over and over on that.”
Meet the Press host Tim Russert: “He has. Critics have responded by saying, ‘Well, if that’s the case, Mr. President, ask people for sacrifice.’ Democrats have pointed out it’s the first war we’ve been involved in where the President hasn’t raised the revenues or the taxes in order to pay for it. The deficits have gotten bigger.”
— NBC’s live coverage of the State of the Union, Jan. 31.
Reagan’s “Lunatic” Conservatism
“[Ronald Reagan] was a product of the conservative revival of the 1950s and 60s, a revival that was driven by a combination of free-market enthusiasm and anti-tax fervor, superpatriotism and anti-Communism, religious revivalism and, to be frank, wild-eyed lunacy, and he possessed a rare gift for rendering conservative ideas into emotion-laden rhetoric. Even as a senior citizen in the White House, Reagan was a sucker for far-out conservative ideas: from the ‘space lasers’ that were being championed in Human Events (which his aides tried to prevent him from reading) to Arthur Laffer’s supply-side economics.”
— Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist’s Washington, D.C. bureau chief, in a January 29 New York Times book review of Richard Reeves’ new biography of Ronald Reagan.
CBS’s “House Conservative”
“I spent a lot of time with Richard Nixon, and he, I think he really genuinely liked me and, and was serious about wanting me to come aboard [as press secretary]. And, of course, I voted for him....I was a Nixon man, yeah. You know, we of the liberal media, which you hear all the time, no. I was the house conservative at CBS News for a while.”
— Longtime 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace on CNBC’s Tim Russert, January 14.
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