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Notable Quotables - 06/16/2008

Vol. 21; No. 12

Liberal Media’s “Magic Moment”


“Let’s go now to [The Politico’s] Roger Simon. Again your thoughts on last night’s magic moment for a lot of Americans, in fact, me included. I, that picture is right out of Camelot, as far as I’m concerned.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews talking about Barack Obama clinching the Democratic nomination, June 4 Hardball.

“Barack Obama and his wife Michelle walked into history’s arms last night....Just like JFK’s journey as the first Catholic President, America crossed a milestone....One of America’s oldest and ugliest color lines has been broken, and there’s a new bridge for a new generation.”
— Reporter Byron Pitts on the June 4 CBS Evening News.


Objective But “Excited”

CNN’s Howard Kurtz: “You obviously are paid to be an objective journalist, but some part of you must be excited that Barack Obama won this nomination.”
CBS’s Byron Pitts: “Well, certainly. I mean, as an African-American man, this is significant. I mean, look, for my entire life I’ve been able to, as a man, dream of doing great things. But a dream I could never have was being President of the United States. Now, for instance, my sons, my nephew, they can have that dream. And I think those kinds of images are important.”
— Exchange on CNN’s Reliable Sources, June 8.

Grueling Interview

“I’m curious about your feelings last night. It was an historic moment. Has it sunk in yet?...When everybody clears out, the staff is gone, you’re in the hotel room at night, and you’re alone, do you say to yourself, ‘Son of a gun, I’ve done this’?”
— ABC’s Charles Gibson to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on World News, June 4.

A Ticket George Dreams About

“And this is still on the table, the dream ticket. I mean, and I think one of the things they’re going to be talking about today is how hard does she [Hillary Clinton] push with her 17 million votes for that place on the ticket?...I think it’s the best ticket for the Democrats. I think if Barack Obama picks her, they have the best chance of winning.”
— ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, a top official in Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign and first administration, on Good Morning America, June 3.

Saying “What We All Believe”


Co-host Harry Smith: “[Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan] talks about the failure of mainstream media to hold the Bush administration’s feet to the fire in the run-up to the war. Is that an allegation that feels to you like it has merit or not?”...
CBS anchor Katie Couric: “I think it’s one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism. And I think there was a sense of pressure from corporations who own where we work and from the government itself to really squash any kinds of dissent or any kind of questioning of it. I think it was extremely subtle but very, very effective. And I think Scott McClellan has a really good point.”
— CBS’s The Early Show, May 28.

“[McClellan] claims that President Bush used ‘propaganda to sell the war.’ Let’s look at what he says in the book: ‘And his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war.’ He finally articulates what we all came to believe.”
— CNN anchor John Roberts to The Politico’s Mike Allen on American Morning, May 28.


No Doubting Their Agenda

“In the book you say the Bush administration made a decision to turn away from candor and honesty, and you point to the war in Iraq as the prime example....You seem to stop just short of saying that President Bush and his administration flat out lied....However you word it, isn’t it lying, Scott? Isn’t that what they were doing?”
— NBC’s Meredith Vieira interviewing former White House press secretary Scott McClellan on Today, May 29.

“Do you feel any sense of guilt that the Iraq war, which you helped sell to the American people, has resulted in the loss of life for thousands of American soldiers?”
— Anchor Katie Couric to McClellan in a CBS Evening News interview, May 29.

McClellan’s Original Book Idea

“I will directly address myths that have been associated with him, some deliberately perpetuated by activist liberals and some created by the media....I will look at what is behind the media hostility toward the President and his administration, and how much of it is rooted in a liberal bias.”
— From Scott McClellan’s original book proposal, as reported by The Politico, May 31.

McCain’s “Fealty” to Right...

“Despite his record, Mr. McCain has been obliged to deal with the burden that falls on any Republican candidate to deal with the party’s conservative wing, which demands commitment to its goal of tilting the courts rightward....Mr. McCain has chosen to do everything in his power to demonstrate his fealty to their cause....Like Mr. McCain, neither Mr. Reagan nor Mr. Bush was a lawyer and, adopting the same rhetoric as Mr. McCain is now using, they became enthusiastic instruments of those conservative lawyers who were diligent in choosing conservative judicial nominees.”
New York Times reporter Neil Lewis in a May 28 story. Lewis applied a total of 18 “conservative” labels in his 1400-word article.

...vs. Not Ideological Obama

“Mr. Obama, on the other hand, is a lawyer and has had a long and deep interest in the courts and the law....From his remarks in the Senate opposing the nominations of Judges Roberts and Alito, among others, Mr. Obama made clear that he would look to name judges with an expansive, progressive view of the Constitution....Prof. Charles J. Ogletree Jr. of Harvard Law School, who taught both Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, sought to dispel the idea that Mr. Obama’s nominees would be especially ideological. ‘It seems likely to me that he won’t have an agenda of trying to pack the courts to necessarily move it in a different direction,’ Professor Ogletree said in an interview.”
— Lewis later in the same article. The piece did not include a single “liberal” label.

Hillary Died for Our Sins?


“As we know this morning, there is another ground-breaking, crossroads moment. That is for Senator Hillary Clinton, who ran her campaign on her own terms. This woman, as we said, forged into determination and purpose her whole life. As someone said, ‘No thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.’”
— ABC’s Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, June 4, quoting a 17th century discourse about Jesus Christ.


So Much for “No Blood for Oil”

“Desperate times call for desperate measures. Some people are doing anything they can to save on gas, while others are trying to avoid buying gas altogether....Then there’s Jessica Busby, using her bike to get to a blood donation center two times a week. She pumps out her own blood, making $40 a pop so she has enough money to pump gas.”
— CBS reporter Jeff Glor on The Early Show, May 28.

Bush’s Economy Is Killing Us

“Something is happening right now that demands attention: People struggling to pay for the basic necessities — food, gas, housing — seeing savings depleted, plans for kids and future threatened. Now that’s a heavy burden, and over time that pressure can cause your body to start breaking down....The seminal example is the Great Depression, when the suicide rate jumped 14 to 17 for every 100,000 Americans. And today, with the threat of recession looming large, the price we pay physically may skyrocket as well.”
— ABC’s Chris Cuomo on Good Morning America, June 10.

Suffering on Burgers

“Katie from Sacramento writes: ‘We will be spending a lot less. We usually do rib eye steaks and racks of ribs with lots of sides — macaroni salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, etc. This year it will be homemade hamburgers with french fries and soda instead of beer. The ground beef was bought on clearance a few weeks ago and frozen — I’ll thaw it for weekend use.’ To which Laura from California adds: ‘Instead of our usual ribs, we are having burgers. As bleak as it sounds, next year we may have a cup of soup.’”
— Brian Williams reading viewer e-mails about Memorial Day weekend hardships, May 27 NBC Nightly News.

Dissent Within MSNBC

“Every Tuesday night Keith is up there as the face of NBC News. That’s a problem....[Tim] Russert has spent 20 years building credibility. All of a sudden he’s taking questions from Keith Olbermann, the Daily Kos blogger?...What’s it going to be like in the general election now that everyone knows we’re the in-house network of Barack Obama?”
— A “high level source inside MSNBC,” as quoted in a June 3 posting by Steve Krakauer to the TVNewser blog.

Plea to “Fix” America

“I come here today with a request for the Class of ’08: We need you to fix the country....Start with climate. Something tells me this may be a challenge in the years ahead. Tomorrow’s predicted high for Columbus is 220 degrees.”
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams addressing graduates of Ohio State University, June 8.

A Promise? Let’s Hope So

“If McCain gets in, it’s going to be very, very dangerous.... It’s a critical time, but I have faith in the American people. If they prove me wrong, I’ll be checking out a move to Italy. Maybe Canada, I don’t know. We’re at an abyss.”
— Actress/left-wing activist Susan Sarandon as quoted in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, May 24.

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan, Kyle Drennen and Justin McCarthy
INTERNS: Lyndsi Thomas, Peter Sasso