Notable Quotables - 07/14/2008

Vol. 21; No. 14

NBC Sees “Ultra-Rightist” Helms...

“During his 30 years in the office, the North Carolina Senator was often controversial and always outspoken....An ultra-rightist, he was elected in the Republican landslide of 1972....In the ’90s, critics branded Helms a bigot for his racially-tinged ads which blasted affirmative action during a campaign against an African-American opponent.”
— NBC’s Martin Savidge in a July 4 Nightly News obituary of former Senator Jesse Helms.

But Liberal Democrat a “Populist”

“We learned today that former Ohio Senator Howard Metzenbaum has died. His life was the classic American success story. A self-made millionaire, his public career spanned nearly 20 years. And he always fought for the little guy, taking on the oil and insurance industries, often using filibusters to block bills. After leaving the Senate, Metzenbaum stuck to his populist principles, leading the Consumer Federation of America. Howard Metzenbaum was 90 years old.”
— Fill-in anchor Ann Curry on NBC Nightly News, Mar. 13.

“Country Club” Tax Cut

“The Tax Policy Institute [actually, Center] has crunched the numbers on John McCain’s tax plan. I want to put some of them up there right now. It shows that if you’re making under $60,000 a year about, the bottom 60 percent will get about $150. The top one percent of people, making about $600,000 a year, get $45,000. The top 0.1 percent — that’s approaching $3 million a year — get almost $270,000. How do you sell that as a plan that targets Sam’s Club more than the country club?”
— ABC’s George Stephanopoulos to Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) on This Week, June 29. Stephanopulos did not identify the Tax Policy Center as a joint project of two liberal think tanks, the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.

Recommends Class Warfare Push

“Gore and Kerry went up against George Bush whose tax cuts disproportionately benefitted the wealthy, one of the best issues the Democrats could have. Neither of them made it stick. I think Obama, again, compared to the last two Democrats to run, has a real chance to make that case on taxes and fairness and how to grow the economy in a way that, I think, could be one of the decisive issues in this race.”
— Time editor-at-large and ABC News political analyst Mark Halperin on This Week, July 6.

Harry Pleads for More Taxes


“How do we do all of this stuff? And we’re not making more money, the tax rolls are not growing, the coffers are not full. We’re just talking about deficit — if nobody’s going to get taxed, isn’t this just going to be Deficit City?”
— Co-host Harry Smith to ex-Hewlitt-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, now a McCain advisor, on The Early Show, July 7.


McCain AWOL as Americans Suffer

“This morning, one-on-one with John McCain. As Americans wrestle with a tough economy, why is he in South America? We’ll ask him in a GMA exclusive.”
— ABC’s Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, July 2.

“So why is Senator McCain abroad when Americans are focused on the economy here at home and losing jobs, more and more jobs....Here at home, the U.S. economy is really at the forefront of voters’ minds. We’ve seen that over and over again, so many want to know, other than what you just said [about fighting the war on drugs], why are you in Colombia this morning?”
— Co-host Robin Roberts interviewing McCain via satellite from Cartegena, Colombia later in the same show.

Silent Victims of Bush’s Economy

Reporter Chris Jansing: “At Furrytale Farm outside of Seattle, a heartbreaking phenomenon is playing out....Pets given up by owners who have lost their homes to foreclosure....In 30 years of rescuing animals, Suzannah Sloan has never experienced anything like this — not just dogs and cats, but horses, pigs, goats — so many, she has to turn away three out of four animals.”...
Ed Boks, Los Angeles Animal Services: “Pets seem to be the silent victims of this whole economic downturn.”...
Jansing: “With 261,000 homes in foreclosure in May alone, a dog’s life is suddenly much more tenuous.”
NBC Nightly News, June 25.

“Arch-Conservative” Scalia, But...

“The Constitution does not permit ‘the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home,’ Justice Antonin Scalia, the court’s arch-conservative, wrote in the majority opinion....In one of two dissenting opinions, Justice John Paul Stevens called Scalia’s argument ‘strained and unpersuasive.’”
Time magazine’s Alex Altman in an online story, The Future of Gun Control,” June 26.

This Just In: Obama Is Super Cool

Co-host Matt Lauer: “The latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine hits the newsstands today. On the cover, not a musician but a politician, Barack Obama. It’s the second time he’s been featured there, but this time there will be no cover lines, just that photo. The magazine usually does that for the likes only of people like John Lennon. So what is the fascination with the Illinois Senator?”...
Reporter Lee Cowan: “Obama says he no longer takes great satisfaction in being the center of attention. In fact, he tells the magazine that feeding his vanity is not what’s important, but doing good work is. The problem: with one, comes the other.”
— NBC’s Today, June 25. Today’s on-screen graphic read: “Barack Star; Obama On the Cover of ‘Rolling Stone.’”

Upset at “Caricature” of Michelle

“Is this what we do to our women? She’s [Michelle Obama’s] Princeton, she’s Harvard, she’s so smart and so beautiful and, you know, a mom and a wife and a partner and yet people get caricatured.”
— NBC’s Andrea Mitchell to USA Today’s Susan Page during the 1pm ET hour of MSNBC News Live, June 30.

She Never Met a Nicer Tyrant


“He [Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad] was a very intelligent, a well-informed, thoughtful — he spoke perfect English, wants very much to have relations with this country, has some solutions for ending the war in Iraq. She [Assad’s wife] was educated in England, worked in this country, speaks English the way I’m talking to you, lovely, intelligent. I don’t want you to say, people say, ‘Oh, you’re brainwashed.’ But that was not it. They just were very charming and intelligent.”
— ABC’s Barbara Walters recounting her trip to Syria on The View, July 7.


Abandoned “Hope” of Marxism

Katie Couric: “The fear and danger that now pervades the streets of Zimbabwe under President Robert Mugabe is a tragic departure from the hope and promise that began with his landslide victory nearly 30 years ago.”
Unidentified reporter, clip from 1980: “A self-described Marxist has won the right to form the first government of the new state of Zimbabwe.”
Couric: “When Robert Mugabe was first elected in 1980, he was a hero. He was seen as one of Africa’s most promising black leaders....”
CBS Evening News, June 24.

All Republicans Are Racists?

“Since when do they start letting people like Barack Obama into Republican country clubs?”
Time’s Joe Klein reacting to Karl Rove’s comment that Obama resembles a snide country-club elitist, on CNN’s Election Center, June 23.

We’re Liberal, But Not Biased

“While I would not dispute the longstanding assertions that there are more political liberals in newsrooms than conservatives, our political staff, as best I can tell, represents all kinds of backgrounds and beliefs, and because we all work so closely and in such a fishbowl, we all tend to keep one another on the straight and narrow.”
New York Times political editor Richard Stevenson during an online chat with readers, June 23.

“Nastiest of Smears”

“’Swift boat’ has become the synonym for the nastiest of campaign smears, a shadow that hangs over the presidential race as pundits wait to proclaim that the Swiftboating has begun and candidates declare that they will not be Swiftboated....The new meaning of Swift boat stings worst for the men who served with Mr. Kerry, who say that, by implication, the attacks tarnished their military decorations.”
New York Times reporter Kate Zernike in a June 30 article, “Veterans Long to Reclaim the Name ‘Swift Boat.’”

Rehabilitating a Radical Priest

“Racial tensions are not new to the maverick priest, who was first inspired to activism after seeing Martin Luther King speak. [Father Michael] Pfleger has since spent the last 30 years cleaning up his impoverished south side Chicago parish, fighting the presence of poverty, drugs, gangs and gun violence.”
Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts on June 26, talking about the Obama-friendly priest who recently preached: “America has been raping people of color and America has to pay the price for the rape!”

Let’s Tax Ourselves Out of Iraq

“Few grownups are concerned about the $526 billion cost so far for the Iraq war without end. That’s because President Bush and his rich buddies have made sure most of the monetary burden will be borne by our children and grandchildren....The surest way to jar us into realizing the unconscionable cost of the Iraq debacle is to impose a stiff income tax surcharge to pay for it. If we did that, most hawks would become doves overnight.”
USA Today founder Al Neuharth in his June 27 column.

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