Notable Quotables - 09/17/2001
Trumpeting Phony "Threats"
"Good evening. Now comes the hard part. In the showdown between President Bush and his Democratic opposition in Congress over budget priorities, who blew the surplus and who's to blame for the sluggish economy and threats to Social Security and Medicare, the two sides drew sharper lines today for their fall offensive. It's a multi-front battle over spending on everything from education to defense to prescription drug coverage for seniors. And that's just for starters."
- Dan Rather opening the Sept. 5 CBS Evening News.
Robbing Granny For Tax Cuts...
"Bush being lukewarm on a capital gains tax cut shows that a man can grow in the presidency. He's already taking from granny, possibly, to give a tax cut to the wealthy. He would be in such a bad position if he were then to be in favor of a capital gains tax cut, which sends further breaks to the wealthy while all the headlines are about dipping into the Social Security surplus."
- Time's Margaret Carlson, CNN's Capital Gang, Sept. 8.
...& Horse Meat For the Masses
"The Bushes held their first state dinner. POTUS served buffalo meat, wore cowboy boots and welcomed Clint Eastwood. Meanwhile, the rest of America priced horse meat."
- Summary of previous week's events according to Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom" in the magazines September 17 issue.
Leave Spending to the Pros
"Let me go back and play devil's advocate for a second. You talk about the rebate checks that were sent to the, to the taxpayers. It was their money and sent back to them. The President wanted $1.6 trillion in tax cuts. He got about $1.35 trillion. Democrats are now saying, 'You know what? People are running around spending those checks to spur on the economy and it's money the government cant afford.'"
- NBC's Matt Lauer questioning Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels on the August 28 Today.
Clinton's Many Accomplishments
"Do you see her [Janet Reno] running on the many accomplishments of the Clinton administration or actually running from Clinton, a la Al Gore?"
- Bryant Gumbel questioning the Orlando Sentinel's Mark Silva on CBS's Early Show, September 4.
Powell's Job: Thwart Extremists
Time senior correspondent Johanna McGeary: "The biggest symbol to most people at this point is that they thought Colin Powell was the force of moderation in this administration, the guy who would keep the Bush administration from doing really extreme things. And so far, where he's done that he's had to pull them back from things they've already done and on the biggest issue of all, national missile defense, he seems to be going along with the rest of them."
Matt Lauer: "He does agree in principle, it seems, with the Bush administration on missile defense and a lot of people had hoped that he would talk the Bush administration out of missile defense because of the ABM treaty."
- Discussion on NBC's Today, September 3.
The Problem? Conservatives
"The problem is, many religious conservatives oppose such [embryonic stem cell] research, so the President limited federally-backed research only to cells already created in previous experiments. But will that be enough?...[GOP Senator Arlen] Specter and the scientific community want a much bigger and more aggressive research program, but with the White House and some Republicans so sensitive to criticism from the conservative right, it's not clear yet where Congress will come down on any of this."
- Bob Schieffer on the CBS Evening News, Sept. 5.
Tom Daschle, Civilized Unifier
"In an airplane hangar outside Mobridge, South Dakota, in plain view in a herd of buffalo, Tom Daschle makes a rare scheduled stop on this road trip. An old friend knew he'd be in the area, so he put together a barbecue and invited close to 100 guests. The odd thing is, nearly every one of them is a registered Republican....Politics, as practiced here, may be far more civil than in Washington, but Senator Daschle's skill at reaching beyond partisan lines could clearly come in handy should his aspirations run to a higher office."
- ABC's Chris Bury in a Nightline profile of Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, September 4.
So Much For Diversity
"Strom Thurmond is leaving, Jesse Helms is leaving, Phil Gramm. I hope this trend continues. This is going in the right direction."
- Time national correspondent Jack White on the news that Republican Senator Phil Gramm of Texas will not run for re-election, September 8 Inside Washington.
Conservatives = "Dark Side"
"Chief Justice William Rehnquist, along with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, had long ago become part of the Dark Side. O'Connor appeared beyond compromise. But Kennedy seemed within reach. Just give me 24 more hours on the clock, Souter thought."
- Newsweek's David Kaplan describing Justice David Souter's efforts to obtain an anti-Bush majority in the Bush v. Gore election recount case last December, in a book excerpt published in the magazines Sept. 17 issue.
A "Champion" vs. an "Extremist"
"A former General Counsel of the ACLU, [Justice Ruth Bader] Ginsburg is one of the Court's most consistent liberals and has established herself as a champion of women's and minority rights."
"Along with Scalia, [Justice Clarence] Thomas is at the Rehnquist Court's conservative extreme, consistently taking a page from the far right's playbook on abortion, school prayer, gay rights and other issues."
- Two of the capsule summaries of the nine Supreme Court Justices in a "Newsweek Interactive" feature posted alongside excerpts from Kaplan's book.
Condit, Victim of GOP Vendetta
"In the New York Times this morning, the fact that you are joined in this request for a grand jury by Judicial Watch, according to the New York Times, 'adds a decidedly political edge to the case.' Is this a Republican vendetta of some kind? A right-wing vendetta?"
- Diane Sawyer questioning lawyer Jim Robinson on ABC's Good Morning America, Aug. 28. Robinson represents Anne Marie Smith, who charged that Rep. Gary Condit (D-CA) asked her to sign a false affidavit.
When Growth Stalls, Raise Taxes
"There are only two ways to get out of it long term: You either have to raise taxes or cut spending....We've had the lowest GDP numbers in eight years, the highest unemployment in four years and the non-Social Security surplus has all but vanished. Why isn't now the time to revisit that tax cut?"
- ABC's George Stephanopoulos questioning Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle on the Sept. 9 This Week.
Better Schools = Free Football
"Every poll shows that education is an important issue to American voters, but in many communities, taxpayers are unwilling to pay more for better schools."
- CBS anchor Russ Mitchells introduction to a Sept. 8 Evening News story about a high school in Ashburnham, Mass., where voters' rejection of a local tax proposal means football players have to pay to play.
"Like Congressman Condit, you're a so-called Blue Dog, Democratic conservative Democrat, you're from Tennessee."
- Wolf Blitzer, addressing Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. on the September 2 Late Edition.
"Harold Ford, another so-called conservative Blue Dog Democrat from Tennessee, only this past Sunday expressing his very, very sincere disappointment in Condits behavior."
- Blitzer two days later on CNN's First Evening News. Rep. Ford's career rating from the American Conservative Union is 13 percent, while the liberal Americans for Democratic action have approved 81 percent of his votes through 2000, making him about as "conservative" as House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt, who has earned a lifetime 83 percent from the ADA and a 12 percent approval rating from the ACU.
Bias By Conformity
"Among editors and reporters of the national media - papers, magazines, TV - a 'liberal bias' is not so much denied as ignored, despite overwhelming evidence that it exists....Among journalists, pressures for intellectual and social conformity mean that challenges to what everyone believes are rare. Journalists - like most people - want to be liked and respected by peers and friends."
- Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson, writing about the lack of media uproar over the naming of liberal editorial page editor Howell Raines to oversee the New York Times's news pages, in an August 29 op-ed.
Claims of Liberal Bias: "Hokum"
Newsweek's Evan Thomas: "There is a perception, even among journalists, that the Times is going a little bit left, is getting more liberal, and thats disquieting."
Times Jack White: "That's a lot of hokum, with all due respect to Evan. There is no liberal bias in the press in the whole. In fact, if there is a bias, it's on the other side. It's hard to find a person really, truly, of the liberal persuasion who are making any important decisions in any important media institutions in this country now. I've looked for them, I consider myself one, I have very few birds of a like feather around."
- Exchange on the September 1 Inside Washington.
Inside the NBC Newsroom
"The facts are there was a room there of young kids all cheering for Gore and two or three of us cheering for George Bush. That's all that happened."
- Retiring General Electric Chairman Jack Welch referring to NBC News on election night, as quoted in the October Vanity Fair. Welch routinely describes 20-something and 30-something employees as "young kids."