Notable Quotables - 10/02/2000

Military Junta Forming for Bush

"Reporting on changing times and traditions in the U.S. military, the New York Times says, and I quote, 'In recent years, people in uniform, particularly in the officer corps, have tilted increasingly toward the Republican Party,' end quote. The tradition of American military leaders, especially generals and admirals, considering themselves independent is weakening, the Times reported. Adding, and again quote, 'A trend that has raised concerns about the increasing politicization of the military.' With that as background, CBS's David Martin has a report on the involvement of high military officers in the presidential campaign."
Dan Rather, September 25 CBS Evening News.


Rape, Murder: Now Thats Funny

ABC reporter John Martin: "[Lynne Cheney] blasted award winning rap singer Eminem for singing about killing."
Lynne Cheney at Senate hearing: "He is a violent misogynist. He advocates raping and murdering his mother in one of his songs."
Martin: "But one executive claimed Cheney misunderstood the lyrics, suggesting that murder and rape in this case were meant to be humorous."
Danny Goldberg, CEO of Artemis Records: "Most young people I know feel thats a humorous record, not a violent record."
ABC's World News Tonight, September 13. (Eminem lyrics recited on NBC Nightly News: "Touch this chainsaw, left his brains all dangling from his neck while his head barely hangs on. Blood, guts, guns, cuts.")


Like Hillary: Praise or Slander?

"In many ways, [Lynne] Cheney is the Hillary Clinton model of a political spouse: outspoken, involved, active on the trail. But while Mrs. Clinton was judged by some to be naive when she first came to Washington, Cheney has been fighting political battles for years, as head of the National Endowment for Humanities, and later, a host of CNNs Crossfire."
CNN's Bernard Shaw on Inside Politics, September 18.

Blacks Oppressed in the '80s

"Why only now, what is it, 20, 32 years after his death are we finally getting around to putting this up?...Fair to say the climate of the '80s set you back a little bit?"
Bryant Gumbel to Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Foundation's Adrian Wallace on plans for a Washington memorial, September 14 CBS Early Show.

Discuss It Instead of Reporting It

"Part of the Bush campaign's contention is that the media is disgraceful on all of this. Climbing on the Gore bandwagon, not calling the Gore campaign on any of its fundraising issues, including now reports that the Lincoln Bedroom and Camp David were sold by the Clinton administration to fund-raise."
Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer to George Stephanopoulos on two stories the show had not yet reported and has not since, September 15.


Hillary, the Victimized Guinea Pig

Dan Rather: "Mrs. Clinton's candidacy has polarized not only New Yorkers, but observers in the rest of the country as well. The strong feelings surrounding her run for office in some ways reflect the very different opinions people have about womens changing role in society."
Columbia University professor Esther Fuchs: "The American people have not yet figured out what to do with this. We're all in a learning process right now and Hillary Clinton was the first and it's always hard to be the guinea pig in that process."
September 14 CBS Evening News story on the Clinton-Lazio debate.

"He is a bit of a punk...He looks like a puppy dog when he's got his teeth in your ankle. There's some punk qualities."
Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas on the Lazio-Clinton debate, September 16 Inside Washington.


Credit Gore, Blame Both Sides

"With the high price of oil becoming an ever-larger concern, tonight the Clinton administration announced it would release a significant amount of oil for the strategic oil reserve, a move that could help consumers."
NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, Sept. 22.

"Political experts say that oil isn't a great issue for either candidate. If prices don't come down voters could easily blame the Clinton-Gore administration. On the other hand, both Bush and Cheney have oil company backgrounds and oil companies aren't very popular with voters right now."
Reporter Claire Shipman concluding a September 22 NBC Nightly News story on release of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve.


Berke, Led Around by the Nose

"The Gore people called me last week and they said, 'We want you to view this tape of a commercial. We don't want to tell you anything more about it. Judge for yourself.' So they showed it to me, I'm looking at it, I don't notice anything unusual about it. Then they slow it down and I still don't notice it [points finger at head]. It takes me a while sometimes, you know, go figure. It took me several viewings to notice the 'RAT.' And then, they were, 'Isn't this incredible?' and I said 'Well, wait a minute, I don't know what we're going to do with this.' So what I did is, I started calling around, calling experts, saying, 'Is this unusual?' and they said, 'Yes, it is.'"
New York Times reporter Rick Berke, "RATS" story author, September 15 PBS Washington Week in Review.


Hurray, the Coverup Worked

"Independent Counsel Robert Ray is releasing his findings today on Hillary Clintons role in Whitewater. He's not expected to seek an indictment, but he is expected to be critical of the First Lad'ys actions. Critics have questioned the report's timing, coming just weeks before the Senate election Mrs. Clinton is contesting in New York."
Good Morning America news reader Antonio Mora, September 20.

"Although it may never die in the hearts and minds of hard-core Clinton-bashers, tonight Whitewater as a legal issue is officially dead, killed by the special prosecutor. Robert Ray, who is Ken Starr's successor, issued his report today with some additional commentary."
NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, Sept. 20.

"The Clintons invested in this project in 1978, 22 years ago, and the investigation's been going on almost ever since. And interestingly, the focus in this case was not so much on Bill Clinton, but the toll and the focus was really on Hillary Clinton. In 1994, she was pressured into holding an unprecedented news conference for a First Lady....But the questions continued: hearings in the House, hearings in the Senate, a first independent counsel, a second independent counsel....
"Kenneth Starr made Mrs. Clinton the only First Lady in history forced to walk the gauntlet and testify before a grand jury....But Starr and his successor never issued any verdict on Hillary Clinton's conduct until now...with no charges ever filed against Hillary Clinton....The Starr and Ray investigations alone cost more than $50 million and as it turned out, it was much ado two decades worth about not very much."
ABC legal analyst (and former Iran-Contra prosecutor) Jeffrey Toobin, September 21 Good Morning America.


Starr: Still the Media Bogeyman

"The whole thing is just too familiar the Oval Office refusing to comment on a relationship between a Clinton and a White House intern. No doubt Kenneth Starr can't wait to get at Chelsea, who is reportedly dating White House intern and fellow Stanford student Jeremy Kane, 21."
Newsweek's "Newsmakers" writer Alisha Davis, September 18.


"Headline Exceeded the Facts"

"An article in Business Day yesterday reported on the rise of the Fox News Network [sic] and its efforts to combat a perception that it advances a conservative political agenda. The article quoted Fox executives who said they sought to present fair and balanced news coverage. In editing, however, the article was headlined 'The Right Strategy for Fox: Conservative Cable Channel Gains in Ratings War.' In attributing a general political viewpoint to the network, the headline exceeded the facts in the article."
Editor's Note in the September 19 New York Times.


Williams Admits the Obvious

"We begin tonight with presidential politics and proof that it's a cyclical business. Lately it's been George W. Bush's turn in the barrel as Gore was having a good week last week. Now, however, a series of small mistakes have taken their toll on the Gore campaign. There was the campaign event where Gore forgot the word mammogram, called it a sonogram, before asking some nurses in the audience for help. No big deal, mind you, but had that happened to Bush the news media would have used it to further the theme that the Texas Governor has a troubled relationship with the English language."
MSNBC anchor Brian Williams opening the September 21 News with Brian Williams.


Networks Were For Us, Except...

"That was the only news organization that we felt was biased against us."
Former White House counsel Lanny J. Davis referring to the Fox News Channel, as quoted in a September 18 New York Times story by Jim Rutenberg on FNC.


Do Me, JFK

"No, what's the big deal about the Lincoln Bedroom? The guy had one kid. The Kennedy bedroom now that I'd like to at least experience."
Former CBS and NBC reporter Giselle Fernandez on the White House overnight guests, September 19 Politically Incorrect on ABC.