Hee, Hee! Rove Might Go to Jail
CNN’s Jack Cafferty: “What should Karl Rove do if he is indicted?...He might want to, he might want to get measured for one of those extra large orange jump suits, Wolf, because looking at old Karl, I’m not sure that he’d, they’d be able to zip him into the regular size one.”
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “He’s actually lost some weight. I think he’s in pretty good shape.”
Cafferty: “Oh, well then, maybe just the regular off the shelf large would handle it for him.”
Blitzer: “But, you know, it’s still a big if. It’s still a big if.”
Cafferty: “Oh, I understand. I’m, I’m just hoping you know. I love, I love to see those kinds of things happen. It does wonders for me.”
— CNN’s The Situation Room, October 17.
Sexist Pigs vs. Pragmatic Miers
Cokie Roberts: “I do think that there is a degree of sexism, as Barbara Mikulski has also said, and I do think that there is a certain Ivy League prejudice going on here. I think that’s absolutely true. The truth is anybody who has dealt with this woman [Harriet Miers] comes back saying that she is very smart, very prepared and her experience on the Dallas city council showed her to be a great pragmatist and that’s what people are really worried about.”
George Stephanopoulos: “That she will be a pragmatist.”
Roberts: “That she’ll be a pragmatist and that she doesn’t have a judicial philosophy. Praise the Lord, she doesn’t have a judicial philosophy!”
— Exchange on ABC’s This Week, October 9.
Conservatives’ Dirty Words
Washington Post reporter Michael Fletcher: “The little bit we know about her [Harriet Miers’] record indicates kind of a, you know, bridge-builder, moderate. She was like that in the Dallas city council. She was like that at the Texas Bar Association. So there’s deep concern among conservatives, some of whom have called for her to withdraw.”
ABC reporter Michel Martin: “Is that a dirty word, ‘bridge-builder,’ ‘moderate,’ ‘consensus builder’? I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that those were epithets.”
Fletcher: “Usually they aren’t, but I think in this case it’s really, really is the case because the Supreme Court is kind of the Holy Grail for the right...”
— Exchange on PBS’s Washington Week, October 14.
Scandalized By a “Staged” Event
“Many White House photo-ops are staged events, but did the most recent one go too far? President Bush held a video conference...with U.S. troops in Iraq. But some eyebrows were raised by what came over the satellite beforehand: A Pentagon aide rehearsing the soldiers’ answers.”
— Katie Couric at the top of NBC’s Today, October 14.
Co-host Charles Gibson: “President Bush in trouble...an embarrassing, staged photo-op, also, with troops in Iraq; and his top advisor in legal hot water....”
Co-host Diane Sawyer: “This morning, the new embarrassment: The White House scrambling after a photo-opportunity with troops in Iraq didn’t go quite as planned....”
Reporter Claire Shipman: “An embarrassing White House blunder lifted the veil on the Bush administration’s meticulously managed photo-ops....Added to the growing list of snafus, bad decisions, and just plain bad luck that may be unraveling, it is certainly unnerving the Bush presidency.”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, October 14.
Co-host Miles O’Brien: “As we know now, before the President ever had this discussion, whatever you want to call it, with the troops via teleconference, they were coached, at the very least, by members of the public affairs in the administration. I’m curious, though, what is the concern, what concern do you have, as a public affairs officer, as to what those troops might say if they weren’t coached?”
Major General Rick Lynch, via satellite from Iraq: “We have absolutely no concern. I’ve got to tell you, yesterday was blown out of proportion....”
— CNN’s American Morning, October 14.
“This isn’t the first time this administration used troops to help sell the Iraq war [video of Bush on aircraft carrier]. In fact, the Bush White House has choreographed everything from town hall meetings on Social Security to campaign events with planted questions. Many administrations, Democrat and Republican, stage-manage events, and often the news media ignore the choreography.... But only two weeks ago, the Government Accountability Office criticized the Education Department for violating a law banning government-funded propaganda....A rare look behind the curtain of a White House trying to sell an increasingly unpopular war.”
— Andrea Mitchell on the NBC Nightly News, October 13.
Hillary’s “Conservative Leanings”
“As First Lady, it was Clinton’s job to placate the party’s base, even if that meant obscuring some of her more socially conservative instincts....Assuming that Clinton is serious about a 2008 campaign, it’s never too early to begin redefining her image in the minds of independent and conservative voters. And the thinking among her closest advisers holds that unlike other prospective candidates with conservative leanings...Clinton doesn’t have to worry about winning over more liberal base voters.”
— Contributing writer Matt Bai in the New York Times Magazine, October 2.
Scolding Freeh for Impugning Bill
“You also make an accusation in the aftermath of the Khobar bombings in Saudi Arabia — which killed 19 Americans in 1996 and was an act of terrorism that foreshadowed this current war on terrorism — that instead of pushing the Saudis for access to prisoners, President Clinton was asking for money for his library. But a lot of people say you were never in those meetings and in fact the President did push the Saudis and you really don’t know what you’re talking about basically, has been some of the response to this....The Clintons’ spokesperson Jay Carson said your book was, ‘a total work of fiction and written by a man who’s desperate to clear his name and sell books.’”
— NBC’s Katie Couric to former FBI Director Louis Freeh on Today, October 11.
Envying European Nanny States
“What matters most, researchers say, is the quality of time parents do spend with their children....The bigger issue for so many is that staying home is not an option. And federal law only gives new mothers 12 weeks leave — without pay. In Sweden, new parents get 18 months paid leave. Mother and father can take that leave until the child is eight....Working parents we spoke with agree they’d all like more quality options and less guilt.”
— ABC’s Barbara Pinto reporting on a new child care study on World News Tonight, October 4.
Katie Couric: “This country is pretty far behind in providing really superior child care for working parents, right?”
Diane Debrovner, Parents magazine: “For a country that says that we believe in family values, there’s a lot that we can do....I mean, every mother in Europe is guaranteed 14 weeks paid maternity leave. Women in this country get 12 weeks of unpaid leave only if they work for a company that has more than 50 employees.”
— NBC’s Today, October 4.
The Anchor in the Tin Foil Hat
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann: “I’m going to raise this question as skeptically and bluntly as I can. It’s not a question that doubts the existence of terror, nor the threat of terrorism. But we’ve cobbled together in the last couple of hours a list of at least 13 occasions that, on which, whenever there has been news that significantly impacted the White House negatively, there has been some sudden credible terror threat somewhere in this country. How could the coincidence be so consistent?”
Political Analyst Craig Crawford: “It is a pattern....There is a pattern here, and I think it’s difficult sometimes to take it at face value. But in these moments when it looks like a crisis, those of us who bring it up get accused of treason.”
— Exchange on MSNBC’s Countdown, October 6, discussing a local warning about the New York City subway.
Sutherland: Ashamed of America
“They do not care about Iraqi people, they do not care about the families of dead soldiers. They only care about profit. They will destroy our lives. And so it’s something you have to care about if you’re passionate about the lives of our children because we’ve stolen their future. We have children. How dare we take their legacy from them? How dare we? It’s shameful what we are doing to our world.”
— Actor Donald Sutherland, who currently co-stars in ABC’s Commander-in-Chief, in a Sept. 16 interview on the BBC program HARDTalk Extra, excerpts of which were played on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, October 4.
Finally, a Republican They Admire
“The Republican presidential candidate, played by Alan Alda, confronts a top Christian Right official who insists on a public pledge that Alan Alda, if elected President, will only pick anti-abortion judges to the federal court. And Alan Alda, seeing the world as much more complicated, declines to do that. Why is that relevant? I think it’s relevant because just like Bill Clinton could never satisfy his left, it seems that Bush can never satisfy a group for whom he has cut taxes, delivered Saddam Hussein on a platter, done what they want on late term abortion and stem cell research, come out against gay marriage and picked a whole lot of conservative judges. But you’ve got the likes of Pat Buchanan who is still bashing him.”
— Chicago Tribune editor Jim Warren, discussing an episode of NBC’s The West Wing, on MSNBC’s Hardball, Oct. 11.
“I’m watching The West Wing every week...Alan Alda plays a Republican Senator who tells the Christian Right to go screw. And I’m like, why can’t we have that in real life?”
— Bill Maher on HBO’s Real Time, October 14.
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brian Boyd, Brad Wilmouth, Ken Shepherd, Megan McCormack, Mike Rule
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
CIRCULATION MANAGER: Jennifer Bookwalter