Notable Quotables - 06/30/2008
Oh, Now She Sees Bias
“However you feel about her politics, I feel that Senator Clinton received some of the most unfair, hostile coverage I’ve ever seen.”
— CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric at a June 10 luncheon in Washington D.C., as reported by Patrick Gavin at mediabistro.com.
“One of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life, particularly in the media. Many women have made the point that if Senator Obama had to confront the racist equivalent of an ‘Iron My Shirt’ poster at campaign rallies, or a Hillary nutcracker sold at airports, or mainstream pundits saying they instinctively cross their legs at the mention of her name, the outrage would not be a footnote. It would be front-page news.”
— Couric in her “Katie Couric’s Notebook” video commentary posted on CBSNews.com, June 10.
Superhero Fighting GOP “Smears”
“Obama indicated he’s opting out of the system to have enough money to fight the unlimited spending and what he called the ‘smears’ from unregulated Republican-allied organizations, such as the Swift Boat group which attacked John Kerry in 2004.”
— CBS’s Dean Reynolds on the Evening News, June 19.
FNC’s Carl Cameron: “Right now, it’s Obama who’s getting the most outside help. He met with AFL-CIO leaders today who pledged more than $50 million to defeat McCain, and the anti-war group MoveOn.org is running this attack ad nationally:”
Clip of woman holding baby: “John McCain, when you say you would stay in Iraq for 100 years, were you counting on Alex? Because if you were, you can’t have him.”
— FNC’s Special Report with Brit Hume, June 19.
Pre-Smearing Obama’s Opponents
“Tonight, here in the Election Center: a highly controversial warning directly from Barack Obama’s lips. He bluntly says Republicans will try to make an issue of his race. We have the audio tape....At a fundraiser today in Florida, Senator Barack Obama warned his supporters that the Republicans are going to try to play the race card against him in an effort to simply scare voters.”
— Wolf Blitzer beginning CNN’s Election Center, June 20.
“Untrue” Hits on Kerry, Dukakis?
“The important point the Obama campaign wants to make is that whenever an unfair charge or an untrue charge is leveled, they’re going to respond. They’re going to hit back hard. They’re colored by the experience of the Michael Dukakis Democratic campaign in 1988, of John Kerry’s campaign in 2004. In both those cases, the Democratic candidates were attacked by unfair and untrue charges but failed to respond and lost the election.”
— ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, June 13.
Gore: Brains & Good Judgment
“The most important reason [Al] Gore should be Vice President is that he’s suffered and learned. He has the temperament some of us reach on our death beds....If there’s anything we need to rescue us from the last eight years, it’s brains, good judgment and experience. Obama has the first two. Gore has all three.”
— Former Time magazine Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Margaret Carlson in a column posted June 19 on Bloomberg.com.
Fill-in anchor Campbell Brown: “Do you think there is any chance that we might see an Obama-Gore ticket?...Even if it was pitched to him [Gore] perhaps as an opportunity to kind of be — I think it was James Carville who suggested it — energy czar, you know, to expand the role, the traditional role of Vice President, and to make the issues that he cares most passionately about center stage for him and let him take those issues and run with it?”
CNN senior political analyst David Gergen: “Not going to happen, Campbell.”
Brown: “Do I sound like I want it just too badly here, David? It’s a good story.”
— CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, June 16.
NBC Boss Likes Keith’s “Truth”
“‘I think we’re onto something,’ the President of NBC News, Steve Capus, told me. ‘That’s what we keep hearing from the audience, more and more, is that they appreciate that we have people who are actually speaking truth to power, or being transparent in their own personal viewpoints.’”
— Capus describing his reaction to Olbermann’s first “Special Comment” in which the MSNBC host blasted Donald Rumsfeld as a McCarthyistic “quack,” as quoted by Peter Boyer in his June 23 New Yorker magazine profile of Keith Olbermann, “One Angry Man.”
Obama’s Publicists at CBS
Reporter Jeff Glor: “In addition to enjoying basketball and cycling during down time, Obama loves to play Scrabble....Obama’s job as a teenager was at a Baskin-Robbins, and to this day he does not like ice cream....”
Co-host Julie Chen: “Okay, so after doing this story, what’s the takeaway?”
Glor: “I mean, I think this is a man who plays to win. No matter what it is, whether it’s the woman he wants to date or elected office or board games, there is an ambition there. There is a determination.”
Chen: “Sounds like presidential qualities.”
— Running down “The Five Things You Should Know” about Barack Obama on CBS’s The Early Show, June 18.
As Bright as Barack’s Smile
“In victory and in defeat, Michelle Obama had always been there, dressed as brightly as her husband’s smile....Her debut appearance on The View Wednesday, was ‘vintage Michelle,’ says her staff. ‘Honest and straightforward.’”
— NBC’s Lee Cowan on Today, June 19.
GOP: Weak Men, Timid Wives
“The amount of scrutiny the two spouses face is not commensurate — Mrs. Obama has endured far more virulent attacks by her critics....It is a familiar pattern. Democratic candidates’ wives — from Rosalynn Carter and Kitty Dukakis to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Teresa Heinz Kerry — are almost invariably characterized by opponents as too feisty and too outspoken, a little too radical for mainstream America. Betty Ford was an early exception to the Republican rule of bland, self-effacing homemakers; as the Equal Rights Amendment faded as a cause and conservatism made a comeback, Republican spouses became ever more careful to stay three steps behind their men and the times.”
— New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley in a June 19 article reviewing Michelle Obama’s appearance on ABC’s The View the previous day.
Anchor Anderson Cooper: “Roland, do you think Michelle Obama is being held to a different standard as other first ladies, potential first ladies?”
CNN contributor Roland Martin: “No, I think what you have is you’ve got some weak men on the conservative side who, frankly, don’t like strong women....All of a sudden, Michelle Obama is this angry black woman, when in fact, she’s an accomplished woman, a mother, a wife. And so, they are trying to define her in that way, because they don’t want to deal with the reality.”
— Exchange on Anderson Cooper 360, June 17.
I Was Never Biased — My Fellow Journalists Told Me So
“I do like McCain and the people around him, and I consider him still to be a friend. But I have fundamental differences with John McCain on the issues and always have. I don’t have any problem criticizing John McCain....It was no secret to the reporters around me that I have Democratic-leaning views. But they said I was always fair.”
— Former ABC and CBS reporter Linda Douglass, now a spokeswoman for Barack Obama, as quoted by the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz in a June 16 profile.
Jack Still Itchy for Impeachment
“Congress continues to refuse to exercise its constitutional responsibility, which is oversight of the executive branch of our government. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi long ago said impeachment is off the table. This is a joke. We have a President who has abused the power of his office over and over and over again. It’s what got the Democrats elected to the majority in Congress in 2006. The Democrats, no doubt, are worried what it will look like to many voters if they spend their time on impeachment. To hell with what’s right or wrong.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, June 12.
No Lurch to Left Under Obama?
“Legal issues are not at the center of McCain’s policy interests. But they are a top priority for conservative activists, which makes me all the more nervous about what a McCain presidency would mean for the court....A President McCain could shift the court significantly to the right, while a President Obama would be lucky, even with a Democratic Senate, to nudge the court even a bit in a liberal direction....The addition of one or two conservative justices could mean, if not Roe’s explicit demise, then a dramatic curtailing of the right to choose.”
— Former Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Ruth Marcus in a June 18 op-ed.
Bush & Cheney: No Humanity
“Is Cheney a goon? I don’t mean that to be like a smart ass, but he seems like he might be a goon....My feeling about Cheney — and also Bush, but especially Cheney — is that he just couldn’t care less about Americans. And the same is true of George Bush. And all they really want to do is somehow kiss up to the oil people....Is there any humanity in either of these guys?”
— CBS Late Show host David Letterman interviewing former White House press secretary Scott McClellan, June 11.
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