Start Push for More Liberal Laws
“How the gunman purchased the murder weapon. Virginia’s controversial gun laws: How lax are they?”
— ABC’s Charles Gibson on the April 17 World News, teasing an upcoming story about the mass murderer who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech.
“The question all around the world, when an incident, a terrible incident like this happens, is how many shootings does it take before America has a serious discussion about gun control?”
— First question from Katty Kay, BBC Washington correspondent, to Daniel Vice of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, April 16 BBC World on PBS. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Victims of Unfair, Racist America
“The Rutgers players [insulted by Don Imus] now find themselves part of history, but not the part they probably wanted — not as victors but as victims of what a chorus of millions considers the latest display of racism...The latest Census figures show the median income for African-American households is almost $20,000 less than white households. Whites are about twice as likely than blacks to get a college degree, and the Justice Department says blacks are five times more likely than whites to go to jail.”
— Correspondent Richard Schlesinger on the April 10 CBS Evening News.
Imus Pays Price for Bush’s Guilt
“I think something that has happened in just in the last couple of years, there has been such a negative reaction against President Bush’s failure to apologize, failure to seem like he is being accountable to where the people are, that we’ve got more of a thirst for people apologizing when they screw up, and then changing their behavior as a result of having been called to account.”
— Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter discussing the outcry against radio host Don Imus, MSNBC’s Hardball April 10. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Big Media Run by David Duke?
“Thirty-nine years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in Memphis, racism remains a central issue in our national life. The story of Imus’s long career sheds light on an uncomfortable fact: media power is still concentrated largely in white hands and, as a result, racism is sometimes tolerated and enabled in ways that many white Americans are unable, or unwilling, to acknowledge.”
— Newsweek’s Weston Kosova, April 23 cover story.
Next Target: Rush Limbaugh
“It is not the first time offensive comments have been spewed on the radio. Conservative Rush Limbaugh, who has offended just about every minority group, drew special criticism for attacking actor Michael J. Fox....Limbaugh later apologized, but the criticism for that low blow hasn’t stopped him from lashing out at presidential hopeful Barack Obama, calling him ‘Halfrican.’”
— CNN’s Paula Zahn on her Paula Zahn Now, April 10.
Host Keith Olbermann: “I’ll ask you the ten million dollar question: How does Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage get away with worse than what Don Imus said?”
Left-wing radio host Sam Seder: “...Corporations have said we’re not going to tolerate this any more, and the next time Limbaugh slips up, which I think is inevitable, I think you’re going to see this sort of same type of reaction.”
Olbermann: “It’s the best thing I’ve heard in a couple of days....From your lips to God’s ears!”
— MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, April 12.
Time to Re-Cork the Champagne
“A short while ago, the Democratic-led House passed the final measure of its self-declared first one hundred hours in office....It was an energy bill that would encourage investment in alternative energy sources and lower oil industry subsidies....The House, by the way, completed their scheduled hundred hours of work in just about 42 hours, so they can put the other 58 in the bank.”
— ABC anchor Charles Gibson, January 18 World News.
Anchor Charles Gibson: “When Democrats took control of the Congress in January, they promised it would be a new day....They even had a checklist. Well, 100 days after taking control, we’ve checked the checklist....”
Reporter Jake Tapper: “[Democrats] have no major legislative accomplishments to mark this anniversary....Democrats in the House and Senate have passed bills allowing funding of embryonic stem cell research, increasing the minimum wage, implementing 9/11 Commission recommendations and funding the Iraq war while requiring troops to start withdrawing. But Democratic leaders have yet to reconcile the House and Senate versions of these bills....Democratic leaders know conflict with the White House is not enough for voters. So in the next hundred days they’ll try to deliver on the promises of their first hundred days.”
— ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson, April 13.
“Slanderous” Swift Boat Vets
“While Congress is out of session, President Bush flexed his executive power muscle, appointing businessman Sam Fox as U.S. ambassador to Belgium less than a week after his nomination was pulled when Senate Democrats hammered away at him for donating money to a conservative group that helped sink Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. Kerry and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., led Senate Democrats’ opposition to Fox, who in 2004 contributed $50,000 to the slanderous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which used a series of television ads to undermine Kerry’s combat record.”
— ABC News political unit producer Tahman Bradley in an April 4 news story on ABCNews.com.
Bush’s Cheating = Idol’s Gain
“[High ratings for Fox’s American Idol] cannot solely be explained by technological advances or a regression in human nature. It cannot be a coincidence that television voting rights arose so soon after the 2000 election left slightly more than half the voting population feeling cheated. Those who didn’t go to the polls and fear that their abstention inadvertently made possible the invasion of Iraq may feel even worse. Idol could be a displacement ritual: a psychological release that allows people to vote — and even vote often — in a contest that has no dangerous or even lasting consequences.”
— New York Times TV reporter Alessandra Stanley, April 4.
ABC Finds Nostalgia for Saddam
“One Iraqi in particular remembers, and now regrets, that iconic moment four years ago when the huge statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Fardus Square. Khadim Yabani is a former weightlifter whose great strength helped bring the statue down. ‘At the time, I was proud,’ he says, ‘but now I just feel regret because nothing has improved.’ That’s why he says it would have been better that Saddam had never been overthrown.”
— ABC’s Hillary Brown on World News, April 9.
Nice Pep Talk, Diane
Diane Sawyer: “How long have you been here?...How do you make it through 15 months out here?...How many times a month do you say, ‘I don’t know that I can do another month of this? A day?’”
Unidentified U.S. Army Captain: “No, I don’t. It doesn’t ever occur to me that way.”
— Sawyer in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, April 10 Good Morning America.
ABC Overheats Its Hype Machine
“In just a few hours, this place will be packed with people all wearing blue. Now, where they will stand represents where the Manhattan coastline could be if the sea level rises just 10 feet, actually a moderate estimate for global warming standards.”
— ABC’s Christianne Klein reporting on a “Step It Up” protest against global warming, April 14 Good Morning America. The most recent UN climate report suggested a sea-level rise of just a few inches over the next 100 years.
Blame Your Sneezes on SUVs
Co-host Matt Lauer: “Are you sniffling and sneezing right now? Are your eyes so watery you can barely see the TV? Well, it could be your allergies. And guess what? We may only have ourselves to blame....”
Reporter Martin Savidge: “Allergy levels have never been high this early. And pollen counts have been rising almost yearly. Experts say the problem is us.”
Paul Epstein, Center for Health and Global Environment: “Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is stimulating plants to make more pollen and the weeds love this stuff.”
Savidge: “....Unfortunately some scientists predict that climate change could soon mean year-round misery. In fact they say you can count on it.”
— NBC’s Today, April 3.
Prefers False Arrest to Imus Insult
“Perhaps the outpouring of sympathy for [the falsely arrested Duke lacrosse players] Reade Seligman, Collin Finnerty and David Evans is just a bit misplaced....As students of Duke University or other elite institutions, these young men will get on with their privileged lives....They are very differently situated in life from, say, the young women of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.”
— Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran writing on his “Pushback” blog on ABCNews.com on April 12, the day after the North Carolina Attorney General declared the players innocent of highly-publicized rape charges.
Rosie’s Road to Guantanamo Bay
“The point of the [Don Imus] story is, if it impedes on free speech in America, democracy is at stake. Because democracy is based on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. So we really have to worry about that in this country....It’s not a freedom if you outlaw certain words or thoughts, because then the thought police come and then before you know it, everyone’s in Guantanamo Bay without representation.”
— Co-host Rosie O’Donnell on ABC’s The View, April 11. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Justin McCarthy, Matthew Balan and Brendan Jones
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
CIRCULATION MANAGER: Holly Schnitzler