Notable Quotables - 05/12/2003
Saddam the Feminist Champion
Tom Brokaw: "NBC News 'In Depth' tonight. In the aftermath of the war on Iraq, new anxieties for some of the countrys educated, successful women. Although many may be glad to be rid of Saddam Hussein, many are also worried that a new government could set them back...."
Mike Taibbi in Baghdad: "While the end to the Saddam regime means a return to long-denied freedoms for all Iraqis, it may also mean at least a temporary rollback of some hard-won freedoms for millions of Iraqi women....While Saddams regime brutalized women - rape, torture, even beheadings - his secular government also gave women more rights than their counterparts in many other Islamic countries."
-NBC Nightly News, April 22.
Okay, Maybe We Exaggerated
"Pillage and plunder: 7,000 years
of Iraqi history, the history of civilization itself, smashed and robbed in
just days of frenzied looting....Stolen in broad daylight were 170,000
statues, clay tablets, pottery, jewelry and other historic relics, many from
the first stirrings of civilization. All told, billions of dollars lost. All
thats left, tears and empty shelves."
-ABC's Dan Harris reporting on looting of the national museum in Baghdad, Good Morning America, April 18.
"The country has been a living
archive of man's earliest history where real connections can be made between
then and now, which is why the Pentagon is being so widely criticized for not
protecting the history when it captured the capital city. The U.S. is now
guarding the entrance to Iraqs national museum, but the damage has already
-Peter Jennings on World News Tonight, April 18.
"The looting at the national museum
may not have been as extensive as some people first reported. A Marine colonel
whos been investigating tells us today that hundreds of items have been
recovered from smugglers, Iraqis have returned items they may have had for
safekeeping, other pieces have been found in the rubble, and it turns out that
many pieces were removed before the war. Twenty-seven so-called 'significant
pieces' were stolen, some of them priceless, but those who said that more
than 150,000 items were looted appear to be wrong."
-Jennings on World News Tonight, May 1.
Too Much American Courage...
"We didn't see what happened when
Marines fired M-16s. We didn't see what happened after mortars landed, only
the puff of smoke. There were horrors that were completely left out of this
war. So was this journalism? Or was this coverage?"
"It was a grand and glorious picture that had a lot of people watching, and a lot of advertisers excited about cable TV news, but it wasn't journalism, because I'm not sure Americans are hesitant to do this again - to fight another war, because it looked to them like a courageous and terrific endeavor."
-MSNBC's Ashleigh Banfield during a speech at Kansas State University, as quoted by Topeka Capital-Journal reporter Matt Moline in an April 24 story posted on the newspaper's Web site.
...Too Little of Saddam's Terror
Aaron Brown: "Were you able to
report completely everything you knew about the regime [of Saddam Hussein]?"
New York Times Baghdad reporter John Burns: "Anybody who told you that he was able to tell everything without restraint would not be telling you the truth....There could have been a little bit more forthrightness...both in the print and in the broadcast media. The dominant feature of this society for 23 years was fear and terror. I don't think that there was any society on Earth by the spring of this year that compared with it, except possibly North Korea, about which we know very little. I think that too much of the reporting reflected that very little."
-Exchange on CNN's NewsNight, April 30.
ABC: Bush + Helmet = Dukakis
George Stephanopoulos: "For those
who grade presidential photo-ops, this was an A++. I mean, look at the
pictures of the President on the flight deck - he looks like one of the
pilots. I'll say one thing, he was very careful to take that helmet off
before he got out on the flight deck. Nobody wants a picture in a helmet
looking like, remember back in 1988, Michael Dukakis in the tank...."
Diane Sawyer: "Put up that picture of Michael Dukakis for a minute, George, because as we know, it sometimes can be tricky to be seen among the military, unless you can carry it off. How could you be sure? Do you think he [Bush] tried on the suit beforehand? Am I being too cynical?"
Stephanopoulos: "No, I think he probably did."
-Exchange about President Bush's visit to the USS Abraham Lincoln on Good Morning America, May 2.
Sailors Better Off in War Zone
"Today in San Diego, the
supercarrier USS Abraham Lincoln finally docked after nearly 10 months at sea.
We'll have more on the reunion with eager loved ones in just a moment, but
these soldiers, of course, are coming home to a sober reality as well. An
economy that, if anything, is struggling more than it was when they set sail.
The government said today the unemployment rate is up to six percent. More
than half a million jobs were lost in the last three months."
-ABC's Claire Shipman anchoring the May 2 World News Tonight.
"Record High" Unemployment?
Gwen Ifill: "The President wants to
talk about the economy. Today in a speech, that speech we referenced earlier
in Santa Clara, this is what he had to say:"
President George W. Bush: "The unemployment number is now at six percent, which should serve as a clear signal to the United States Congress we need a bold economic recovery package so people can find work."
Ifill: "The unemployment rate is at record highs, and somehow he says this is Congress' fault."
CNBC's Gloria Borger: "This is, this is total spin. I mean, it's just incredible spin. And they need a tax cut. But guess what? Republicans can't agree on a tax cut, so you have a situation, six percent unemployment. It has not been this bad since 1994 when it was 6.1 percent - 500,000 jobs lost over the last three months."
-Exchange on PBS's Washington Week, May 2.
NPR Host's Radical Rant
"We are currently a nation at war
and the free flow of information and ideas is never more important than it is
at times like these. But monopolies choke that flow, allowing only the
information and ideas that facilitate that other flow - the flow of dollars
into their pockets....I won't spend a lot of time telling you about what
actors, directors, producers, journalists and others went through in the Red
Scares of the 1940s and '50s. Creative people went to prison, had their
careers ruined, their marriages broken up, and, yes, there were suicides, all
because politicians found communism, or rather the fear of communism, a
fruitful political issue. Ladies and gentlemen, you do not want to return to
that era. Witch burning is an ugly chapter in our history. It should not be
revived, even if it's good for business."
-NPR Morning Edition host Bob Edwards in an April 8 speech at the University of Kentucky, excerpts of which were reprinted in the April 20 Louisville Courier-Journal.
Gephardts "Conservative" Plan
"Raising personal income tax rates
for the wealthy may seem left-wing in today's politics (though it hardly
hurt the economy when President Clinton did it in 1993). But what's truly
amazing is how 'conservative' this liberal Democrat's proposal really
is. It acknowledges that the private health-care system we've got is here to
stay. Canada does not beckon. This plan requires no new bureaucracy, no
complex regulation and no overhaul of the health-care delivery system....The
whole thing essentially just swaps one kind of tax relief for another."
-Jonathan Alter in the May 5 Newsweek, referring to Dick Gephardt's plan to repeal Bush's tax cut to fund a plan paying employers to provide universal health insurance.
High Taxes a Boon, Not a Burden
"One thing that Democrats and
Republicans have given President Clinton credit for is that deficit reduction
plan that he put in place in 1993. It did at least help, help prevent the
deficit from going up, and probably helped spur the economic recovery along at
the margins. Just as the first President Bush's deficit reduction plan in
1990 and 1991, though it probably hurt him in his presidential campaign
because he had to break his 'no new taxes pledge,' probably did help the
-ABC's George Stephanopoulos on C-SPAN's Washington Journal, May 2.
Record Spending or Deep Cuts?
"States, localities spend at record
-Headline in USA Today, April 25.
"Deep Cuts Have Not Closed Deficit
in Many States, Report Says."
-Headline in the New York Times, April 26.
7:15: Katie Shows She's Clueless
"There's an article in the Style
section of the Washington Post this morning. It says you've logged 26
years of personal minutiae, filling 4,400 two-by-three inch notebooks,
color-coded by season. An example: '12:17' - this is when you made the
announcement - Ascend stage, stumble, regain balance; 12:18: Applause,
'Where the Streets Have No Name,' plays (U2); 12:19: Clap, wave; 12:20:
Adjust tie (red, white stripes); 12:21: Double thumbs up; 12:22: Sing along
with National Anthem, right hand on heart.' What, what do you do this
-Katie Couric to Senator Bob Graham on Today, May 7, apparently unaware the article she was quoting from was a spoof of the presidential candidates diary.