Notable Quotables - 03/04/2002

Alarmed By Cold War Similarities

"As President Bush toured Asia last week, some world leaders worried publicly that the war on terrorism was starting to look suspiciously like the last great American campaign -  against Communism....The McCarthy years in some ways were eerily similar to the present moment.... Communists were often conceived as moral monsters whose deviousness and unwavering dedication to their faith made them capable of almost anything....The first victims of anti-Communist hysteria were immigrants, and hundreds of immigrants have been detained since Sept. 11, many with little apparent cause beyond the fact that they were Middle Eastern men."
New York Times reporter Robert F. Worth in a February 24 "Week in Review" article headlined "A Nation Defines Itself By Its Evil Enemies."


CNN: Camelot News Network

"He is the last of the liberal lions, roaring on behalf of the voiceless....The 30-year-old with nothing but a name to run on turned 70 as one of the premier legislators of the 20th century....He has championed civil rights, pushed for improved education and better health care. His name is on hundreds, probably thousands, of bills....He is an undiluted, undeterrable liberal, but a closet pragmatist. He prefers half a loaf to none, something to nothing, results over rhetoric."
CNN's Candy Crowley, noting the 70th birthday of Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, on the February 22 Inside Politics.


Conservatives Aided Terrorists

"Last year, a year ago this month, the right-wingers at the Heritage Foundation in Washington teamed up with deep pocket bankers, some of whom support the Heritage Foundation, to stop the United States from cracking down on terrorist money havens. I'm not making this up, it's all on the record....The President of the powerful Heritage Foundation spent an hour with Treasury Secretary O'Neill, Texas bankers pulled their strings at the White House, and, Presto!, the Bush administration pulled out of the global campaign to crack down on dirty money. How about that for patriotism? Better terrorists get their dirty money than tax cheaters be prevented from evading national law. And this from people who wrap themselves in the flag and sing 'America the Beautiful' with tears in their eyes. Bitter? Yes."
Bill Moyers in a January 4 speech at the LBJ library in Austin, Texas, quoted by the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes in a February 25 cover story on Moyers, "PBS's Televangelist: Bill Moyers Preaches On...And On."


Bush's Rhetoric More Harmful Than Evil Dictatorships

"At the razor wire dividing line between South and North Korea, within sight of his 'axis of evil,' President Bush will challenge North Korean leader Kim Jung Il to change his dangerous ways. But the man who could become South Korea's next President says Mr. Bush may have already failed....In fact, say leaders here, President Bush has unnecessarily heightened tensions on the peninsula."
CBS's John Roberts on the Feb. 19 Evening News.

Charles Gibson: "Last month, the President first used the phrase 'axis of evil' to describe Iran, Iraq and North Korea. He has been sounding awfully tough ever since, saber rattling, talking about those countries in an expanded war on terror, hinting at military action. But today, as he began a weeks tour of East Asia, the President sounded very different."
Terry Moran: "Charlie, the President and other top officials are trying to calm jittery nerves in Asia and dispel images of Mr. Bush as a dangerous warmonger."
ABC's World News Tonight, February 18.

Dan Rather: "The President got a warm welcome in Tokyo, but officials there avoided commenting on his strong, some say provocative, language about the war on terror. But CBS's John Roberts reports Mr. Bush has no intention of changing his language or his policies."
John Roberts: "...Fears that military action could expand to the Korean peninsula erupted in a wave of anti-American protest in Seoul....Veteran negotiator Bob Gallucci, who in 1994 convinced North Korea to put its nuclear program on hold, says the harsh rhetoric is a prescription for deadlock."
CBS Evening News, February 18.


No Mentions of Religion Allowed

Judy Woodruff: "While we're talking about church and state, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Margaret, yesterday described in a speech, the war on terrorism in religious terms. He talked about how it's grounded in faith in God. Is this appropriate language for the Attorney General?"
Time's Margaret Carlson: "...[Ashcroft] has a history of using his bully pulpit, as Attorney General, as a pulpit. He has prayer sessions every morning in his office. He doesn't agree, apparently, with pluralism, that he believes that there is one form of religion, it shouldn't be practiced and it should be practiced as an official matter of state."
Discussion of Ashcroft's speech before the National Association of Religious Broadcasters on CNN's Inside Politics, February 20.


Enron Revived "Noble Reform"

Dan Rather: "A late-night showdown tonight in the House on long-blocked legislation for an at least partially-meaningful campaign money reform bill. The bill was revived mostly by the shame of Enron...."
Bob Schieffer: "Ironically, reformers say embarrassment over the nearly $6 million that Enron has lavished on Congress may be what it finally takes to force reform."
CBS Evening News, February 13.

"Like the hero of a paperback thriller, campaign finance reform keeps dodging bullets. Legislation meant to clean up the political-money game was almost left for dead last summer, but the Enron scandal revived it again....If Shays-Meehan becomes law, it should help clean up the money game, at least until its reforms are slowly strangled by loopholes. That's a noble fate for a bill that has been so often given up for dead."
Time correspondent Douglas Waller, Feb. 25 issue.


Promoting Propagandistic
John Q Message One Day...

Ann Curry: "In the movie [John Q], Denzel Washington plays a good guy who's really driven to the edge and he uses extreme measures to get care for his son. Nick, I know that you don't advocate, of course, violence. So what is it that you hope people will take away from this movie?"
Director Nick Cassavetes: "Well, I hope that, that people when they go see the movie will realize that there's a crack in our system, and the crack is 47 million people wide. And that's just the people who don't have insurance "
Curry: "Millions of people who don't "
Cassavetes: "What I hope they get out of the movie."
Curry: "Right, millions of people, you're saying who don't have insurance, right?"
Cassavetes: "Yeah, they're uninsured. And then there's people that are under-insured and there's the millions more of those."
NBC's Today, Friday, February 15.


...Hating It the Next

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: "This is essentially an agit-prop movie that says that we need universal health care. Well, nobody would disagree that somebody who has a very sick son wants his son to be operated on. But these are not dramas and characters, these are all mission statements."
Soledad OBrien: "You did not love it."
Schwarzbaum: "No."
Exchange on Saturday's Today, the very next day.


Enron's Lay Worse than Clinton's

"It concerns me more that Kenneth Lay is meeting secretly with the Vice President than it concerned me that President Clinton was meeting secretly with Monica Lewinsky."
Bill Moyers comment to feminist author Katie Roiphe on his new weekly PBS magazine program Now, Feb. 8.


Condemning "Swaggery" USA

Aaron Brown: "Is there too much red, white and blue there? How much is too much? Some thoughts on patriotism tonight and September 11th and the games from one of our favorite guests on the program, Anne Taylor Fleming, who joins us from Los Angeles."
Anne Taylor Fleming: "The whole idea of patriotism really infecting the games in a positive or negative way I mean, we had enough trouble in Atlanta during a time of peace, sort of restraining ourselves. That was a really, I thought, sort of swaggery performance by the country. And you know, I'm just girded for it, and hope it doesn't happen....
It's just a time to mute our swagger. I mean, it is the time to comport ourselves gracefully as a member of the world. And I'm just hoping, you know, maybe against hope, that we are respectful and that the jingoism is muted."
Exchange on CNN's NewsNight, February 8.


Awful "Nationalistic" Medal Counts

Jane Clayson: "To see Jimmy Shea last night kissing that gold medal, it was really, his story is such an emotional highlight of these Olympic games."
Bryant Gumbel: "Yeah, but I liked what he said. He said that, you know, they shouldn't be keeping a medal count, that this is not about nationalistic efforts, this is about individuals and medal counts don't mean anything. Love that."
Exchange on CBS's Early Show, February 21.


Horrifying Prospect

"By steadily releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, humans could inadvertently slow down the rotation of the Earth, according to a new scientific report....
While slight, the shift in the planets spin could be measured over the course of decades, providing an ideal method to check the effects of civilization-induced warming of the world, the scientists said....The carbon gas spike could add 11 extra microseconds every ten years, unless changes in wind speed and atmospheric pressure somehow cancel each other out, the Belgian Royal Observatory scientists calculated. A microsecond is 1 millionth of a second."
CNN's Richard Stenger in a story posted February 13 on At that rate, it would take 909,090 years to add a single second to the length of each day.