Castigating Rove “The Divider”
Anchor Terry Moran: “Tonight on Nightline: The Divider. Inspiring awe or anger, scoring historic victories for a polarizing President. The man who made our politics a no-holds barred battlefield, Karl Rove....Look around at American politics today and you see that there is much, much more that Karl Rove built.”
Clip from Swift Boat Veterans ad: “John Kerry cannot be trusted.”
FNC’s Bill O’Reilly: “He’s the villain. He is the villain in Massachusetts.”
Ann Coulter, from June 26 Hardball: “The wife of a presidential candidate is asking me to stop speaking. No.”
Moran: “Divisiveness, anger, ruthlessness. That’s what you might call Rovian politics. Karl Rove didn’t invent Red America vs. Blue America; he exploited it relentlessly.”
— ABC’s Nightline, August 13. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Reporter David Wright: “His signature move, what some have called ‘political jujitsu’ — turning opponents’ strengths against them. In 2000, many saw his fingerprints in the attack on John McCain’s character. 2004 witnessed a similar sustained attack on John Kerry’s war record.”
Lieutenant Commander George Elliott, Vietnam War veteran, in 2004 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ad: “John Kerry has not been honest.”
Wright: “An audacious move considering Bush’s Vietnam War record was weak.”
— ABC’s World News, August 13. The 2004 ads against Kerry were produced and paid for by an independent group, not Rove or the Bush re-election campaign.
Bush “Knighted” Rove the “Bum”
“Can President Bush think without the man they call his brain? What about all those great ideas like dividing the country over Iraq and leaving New Orleans to drop into the sea? A country without Karl Rove calling the shots? Let’s fear for the Republic. Let’s play Hardball....The President said, that ‘anyone of my people involved with leaking this will be taken care of.’ Did he, is that what he meant by today’s ceremony, the bear hug and everything? Was that being taken care of? And, I mean, I’ve never seen a staff aide be signed-off on at the presidential helicopter with such majesty. It was almost regal today, like he was knighting the guy. And, and he said he was going to take care of this bum, anybody that leaked in the CIA case. Well, this is how he took care of him. He knighted the guy.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, August 13 Hardball. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Good Riddance to the “Crippler”
“My take: If Karl Rove had been a professional wrestler, they might have called him ‘the Constitutional Crippler.’... He may be one of the great political operatives of all time, but from a lawyer’s perspective, as someone who studied the Constitution, relishes the rule of law, appreciates our courts, I will not shed a tear at his farewell bash.”
— MSNBC General Manager Dan Abrams on MSNBC’s Live with Dan Abrams, August 13.
Jack Wants Bush’s Scalp
“[Democratic presidential candidate Chris] Dodd also said this: ‘If we become preoccupied with an impeachment process, I think we could turn off an awful lot of people who might otherwise be willing to support Democrats and be willing to change the direction of the country in the fall of 2008,’ unquote. So, Senator Dodd is putting the election prospects of the Democratic Party next year ahead of whether or not President Bush might be guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors....Congress’s job is oversight of the executive branch — unless, of course, that oversight interferes with getting elected.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, August 21. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
Cheering Pelosi’s “Promises Kept”
“In January, a new Congress swept into Washington promising ethics reform, fiscal responsibility, and a change in direction for the war in Iraq. Now they’re on August recess, so how did they do?...This new crop worked much harder than the last. A big accomplishment was in challenging executive power with oversight hearings on Iraq, Medicare, the Department of Justice, and global warming. Stem cell legislation and immigration reform were stymied, but Congress did raise the minimum wage and pass an ethics and lobbying reform bill....Promises, promises. Sometimes they are kept, even in Washington.”
— Katie Couric in her August 6 “Katie Couric’s Notebook” video on CBSNews.com.
Rewarding Liberal Union Gimmick
“What does it say about the state of our health care that you’ve got an 86-year-old man being taken care of by a 61-year-old woman, and you put the two of them together and they probably don’t have a living wage?”
— NBC reporter Lee Cowan to Senator Barack Obama as the candidate spent a day as a home health aide as part of a PR stunt for the Service Employees International Union, August 9 Today show.
Blame War for Bridge Collapse
“The [Minnesota bridge] collapse was something Somalis never expected to witness in their new homeland. And it has some wondering if the American government has misplaced its priorities by ignoring a decaying national infrastructure in favor of its costly foreign policy.”
— Chicago Tribune reporter E.A. Torriero, August 8.
Badgering Bush to Raise Taxes
“You’ve been clear about saying that you will veto overspending by Congress....You’ve also been clear you don’t want to raise taxes. Can you do justice to the kind of programs the government needs for bridges, for housing, and also continue to spend as much as you do on the war in Iraq?”
— ABC News reporter Ann Compton at the August 9 presidential news conference.
“Would you be willing to go along with an increase in gasoline taxes of five cents a gallon or more?”
— AP White House reporter Terry Hunt to Bush at the August 9 press conference.
“Mr. President, are you considering a plan to cut corporate taxes? Do you believe America’s corporations are not making enough money these days?”
— AP radio reporter Mark Smith at the August 9 press conference.
Newsweek vs. “Denial Machine”
“Global Warming is a Hoax* Or so claim well-funded naysayers who still reject the overwhelming evidence of climate change. Inside the denial machine.”
— Cover of the August 13 Newsweek.
“Since the late 1980s, this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change.”
— Sharon Begley in the August 13 Newsweek cover story, which used the phrase “denial machine” 14 times.
“Self-righteous indignation can undermine good journalism. Last week’s Newsweek cover story on global warming is a sobering reminder....The story was a wonderful read, marred only by its being fundamentally misleading ....Newsweek’s ‘denial machine’ is a peripheral and highly contrived story.”
— “A Different View of Global Warming,” Robert Samuelson’s column in the August 20 Newsweek.
Smitten by Leo’s Liberalism
Co-anchor Julie Chen: “You’ve taken personal action. Tell me what are some of the changes you’ve made in your day to day life.”
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio: “I try to live a ‘green lifestyle,’ quote/unquote. I mean, I’ve, I’ve done the things that I can do in my house to make it, my house green, energy efficient appliances. I drive a hybrid car. I have solar panels.”
Chen: “Where did this passion come from?”...
Co-anchor Harry Smith: “He’s such a smart guy.”
Chen: “He is a smart guy and he’s such a great spokesperson to have for this very important cause.”
— CBS’s Early Show promoting The 11th Hour, DiCaprio’s apocalyptic movie about global warming, August 13.
Newsroom Cheers Rove Departure
“Seattle Times Executive Editor Dave Boardman wrote today in one of his morning notes to staff that there had been ‘an awkward moment at yesterday’s news meeting.’ That’s the meeting where editors and other staff from throughout the newsroom talk about the stories planned for the next day’s paper. Boardman wrote in ‘Dave’s Raves (and the occasional rant)’: ‘When word came in of Karl Rove’s resignation, several people in the meeting started cheering. That sort of expression is simply not appropriate for a newsroom.’ It sounds like a conservative’s parody of how a news meeting would be run.”
— Seattle Times chief political reporter David Postman in his “Postman on Politics” blog, August 14.
Editor Admits to “Blue” Newsroom
“If we wore our politics on our sleeves in here, I have no doubt that in this and in most other mainstream newsrooms in America, the majority of those sleeves would be of the same color: blue. Survey after survey over the years have demonstrated that most of the people who go into this business tend to vote Democratic, at least in national elections. That is not particularly surprising, given how people make career decisions and that social service and activism is a primary driver for many journalists.”
— Seattle Times Executive Editor David Boardman in an August 15 e-mail to his staff, posted by Poynter.org.
Paragons of Professionalism
“I’ve got to say, my first night here at MSNBC was the President’s State of the Union address in 2003, and I was shocked because there were actually people in the newsroom that were booing the President basically from the beginning to the end.”
— Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, August 16. (With WMV video/MP3 audio)
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Justin McCarthy, Matthew Balan and Kyle Drennen
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
CIRCULATION MANAGER: Holly Schnitzler