Cheering McCain’s “Mod Squad”
“This morning, the deal gets made. We’ll talk to Senator John McCain, the man that brought the Senate back from the nuclear brink in the showdown over judges....The man of the hour, Senator John McCain.”
— ABC’s Charles Gibson introducing an interview with McCain for the May 24 Good Morning America.
Katie Couric: “A lot of people are wondering is there a new clarion call on Capitol Hill? ‘The moderates are coming, the moderates are coming!’ Right?”
Matt Lauer: “That’s right. Is it hip to be moderate in Washington these days? Some people say the vote in the Senate on Monday night over judicial nominees and the vote in the House last night over stem cell research signals a sea change in power.”
— Previewing upcoming segment on the May 25 Today.
“I’m reading words like ‘sea change of power,’ ‘new era,’ ‘Woodstock,’ ‘Kumbaya,’ all those things. Is this for real? Can this last?”
— Lauer to Washington bureau chief Tim Russert a few minutes later on the May 25 Today.
“Last night’s deal was an extraordinary one brokered by a bipartisan group of Senators who disregarded the power and the money of outside special interests....Their politics are different, but they shared one goal: to save the Senate from the partisanship of interest groups on both the Left and the Right.”
— CBS National Political correspondent Gloria Borger on the May 24 Evening News. [MP3 audio]
“I think actually everyone would say probably the Senate wins here....I think the message here is, to the President, ‘You’re a lame duck, you need to work with us, Democrats and Republicans, and then we’ll all work together, and by the way, it will be good for all of us.’”
— Gloria Borger on CBS’s Early Show, May 24.
Brian’s Twisted History Lesson
“Good evening. For days here we’ve been talking about the threat of the U.S. Senate going nuclear, as they call it, ending the use of the filibuster to block votes on judges, used by both sides for years.”
— Brian Williams opening the May 18 NBC Nightly News. Senate Republicans never used the filibuster to block any of Democratic President Bill Clinton’s judicial nominees when they were in the minority in 1993 and 1994.
George Wants a Moderate Now...
“This, if it passes, is going to change the way that the Senate has worked for 200 years. It will really change the balance of power in Washington and that means every other issue will be affected, whether it’s health care, whether it’s education, whether it’s Social Security, will be affected by the decision here. And of course, if the rules change passes, it is going to be much easier for the President to get one of his Supreme Court nominees through, even if that person doesn’t have moderate views.”
— ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about efforts to stop judicial filibusters, on the May 18 Good Morning America.
...But Dreamed of a Liberal in ‘93
“I walked into work Saturday slightly deflated. It’s not so bad. Ginsburg will get confirmed. She’ll be a reliable liberal vote....Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a solid choice, but she wouldn’t set the world on fire like my man [Mario] Cuomo.”
— Stephanopoulos in his 1999 memoir All Too Human, page 170, recounting his role as an advisor to President Clinton during the selection of retiring Justice Byron White’s replacement (italics in the original).
We’re the Bad Guys of the World?
“Mr. President, recently Amnesty International said you have established, quote, ‘a new gulag of prisons around the world beyond the reach of the law and decency.’ I’d like your reaction to that, and also your assessment of how it came to this, that that is a view not just held by extremists and anti-Americans, but by groups that have allied themselves with the United States government in the past, and what the strategic impact is, that in many places in the world the United States these days under your leadership is no longer seen as the good guy.”
— ABC’s Terry Moran to President Bush at his May 31 White House press conference.
“[Senator John] McCain says that code of honor drilled into him by his father and the Naval Academy is why he was able to survive the torture and the inhumanity of his prison captors [in North Vietnam]....I thought about that as yet another tale of torture and abuse came out about the POW camp we are running at Guantanamo Bay....I wondered if the greater danger is the impact Guantanamo is having on us. Do we want our children to believe this is how we are? Is this the code of honor we are passing on to the next generation?”
— CBS’s Bob Schieffer ending Face the Nation, May 29.
Just Admit America’s Awfulness
“[At] Yad Vashem, the [Israeli] Holocaust history museum yesterday...you wrote in the visitors’ book, ‘We commit ourselves to teach tolerance and to live in peace.’ And yet there are Muslims who feel, given what’s happened with Muslim detainees, that we are not tolerant and that given what’s happened in Iraq, we are not bringing peace.”
— ABC’s Charles Gibson asking First Lady Laura Bush about her tour of the Middle East, on Good Morning America, May 23.
As We Suspected
ABC White House correspondent Terry Moran: “There is, Hugh, I agree with you, a deep anti-military bias in the media, one that begins from the premise that the military must be lying, and that American projection of power around the world must be wrong. I think that that is a hangover from Vietnam, and I think it’s very dangerous. That’s different from the media doing it’s job of challenging the exercise of power without fear or favor....”
Host Hugh Hewitt: “Are there members of the White House press corps, Terry, who actually hate Bush?”
Moran: “I would say the answer to that is yes.”
Hewitt: “And what percentage of them, do you think that amounts to?”
Moran: “Uh, small, I would say, but some big fish.”
Hewitt: “What’s your guess about the percentage of the White House press corps that voted for Kerry?”
Moran: “Oh, very high. Very, very high.”
Hewitt: “95 percent?”
Moran: “No, I don’t think that high....Upwards of 70 [percent], maybe higher....I would say very, very high....”
— Exchange on the May 18 Hugh Hewitt Show, a nationally-syndicated weekday radio program.
Speaking of Anti-Military Bias...
“What outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there’s not more outrage about the number, and the brutality, and the cavalier nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in Iraq....They actually target them and blow up their studios with impunity.”
— Newspaper Guild President Linda Foley at the May 14 National Conference for Media Reform. Her quote was re-played on FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor on May 19.
Greetings from Mr. Sunshine
“I’m Bob Schieffer. It just keeps getting worse in Iraq. The death toll is rising. Tension is growing between Shiites and Sunnis. Is the country sliding toward civil war?”
— Schieffer beginning the May 19 CBS Evening News.
NBC Drama Takes Shot at DeLay
“Looks like the same shooters. CSU found the slug in a post, matched it to the one that killed Judge Barton. Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt.”
— “Detective Alexandra Eames” discussing the “white supremacists” thought to be behind the murder of two judges, on NBC’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent, May 25. (With WMV video clip/MP3 audio)
PBS Indulges Incoherent Idiocy
Comic/left-wing radio host Janeane Garofalo: “There’s no way that the right wing of any country represents the majority because inherently policies of a right wing body — a powerful body, no matter what the nation or what the era, never has the majority in mind.”
Host David Brancaccio: “Well, depending on how you define right wing. But the Republicans won the last election.”
Garofalo: “Maybe. I have no idea. There’s a, you know, and that’s not tin foil hat time by the way. In other countries when we read about election fraud, we accept it unquestioningly. We accept it. Uzbekistan, there’s fraud? In Togo there’s fraud? In, you know in, Robert Mugabe rigged the elections? Whatever it is.”
Brancaccio: “In Zimbabwe, yeah.”
Garofalo: “In Zimbabwe, we accept it. If somebody says I want you to examine the possibility of the Bush administration rigging the elections as they did in 2000 with Katherine Harris and the voter roll scrubbing, and the recount was stopped. You know, the recount was stopped here, too, in Ohio. And there was complaint after complaint, in district after district, of voter anomalies.”
— PBS’s Now, May 6.
Gimme More Money, You $@#&!
“George Bush is a [unprintable vulgarity].”
— Tom Magliozzi, who co-hosts NPR’s Car Talk program, in an interview with the Washington Post’s Mark Leibovich published May 4. He was in Washington to lobby for continued taxpayer funding of NPR.
Dan’s Band of Mystical Knights
Host Tina Brown: “After the flap over the National Guard story....what are the realistic chances that you’re going to be able to do a story that really shakes and rattles the Bush administration?”
Dan Rather: “Excellent....CBS News has a culture, has a history that for those of us who work here, is very real — that we see it as a sort of magical mystical kingdom of journalistic knights — and I know I can mentally hear people rolling their eyes, that’s the way we feel.”
— CNBC’s Topic [A] with Tina Brown, May 22.
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Jessica Barnes, Brian Boyd, Brad Wilmouth, Ken Shepherd, Megan McCormack
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
INTERNS: Kyle Drennen, Patrick Skeehan