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Notable Quotables - 10/28/2002

ABC's Continuing Anti-War Push


Peter Jennings: "We're going to take 'A Closer Look' tonight at the mood in the country as the President's determination to wage war against Iraq becomes more defined. The country appears to be less confident than the President."
Bill Redeker: "Voices of opposition. Not so much against getting rid of Saddam Hussein but how, when and at what cost....Military retirees remember getting bogged down in Vietnam and losing support at home. Many here are leery of a rerun....Unilateral action also troubles those we talked to in Denver. Few want to go it alone....In all three cities, there is a feeling the administration is moving too fast.... Contrary to what the President says, when it comes to war, America does not speak with one voice."
-ABC's World News Tonight, Oct. 14. The story on public opinion in San Diego, Denver and Charleston only quoted people reluctant or opposed to using military force.

 

Just a Bush-Hussein Family Feud


"Well, maybe this shows that one ought not pick one's targets based, at least in part, on who tried to kill one's dad."
-NPR reporter Nina Totenberg on the October 19 Inside Washington, reacting to the revelation North Korea has nuclear weapons. After groans from other panelists, Totenberg conceded, "Cheap shot, okay."

 

Bush As "Deluded" As Clinton


"In 1994, North Korea promised to halt its plutonium-based nuclear programs. The Clinton administration rewarded the North Koreans by helping to supply them with half a million tons of fuel oil a year. But while the Clinton administration was celebrating its new arrangement, North Korea was running a secret nuclear weapons program....A Bush administration official today called the Clinton administration's North Korea policy 'an abject lesson in wishful thinking and self-delusion.' Of course, the Bush administration was deluded as well, not realizing until a few months ago that North Korea had this secret weapons program."
-ABC's Martha Raddatz on World News Tonight, Oct. 18.

 

Bush's Hard-Line to Blame


"Today's New York Times reports Washington officials are worried that attacks in recent days and taped messages from leaders of al-Qaeda may signal the beginning of a new wave of terrorist activity, possibly in response to the Bush administration's hard-line policy on Iraq."
-CBS's Charles Osgood on Sunday Morning, Oct. 13. The hard-line characterization did not appear in the Times.

 

They Decide?


"Iraqi citizens are preparing to go to the polls to decide whether Hussein stays in office."
-Preview of an October 14 segment on CNN's American Morning with Paula Zahn posted on CNN's Web site.

 

There Is a Slight Margin of Error


"Seven years ago, when the last referendum took place, Saddam Hussein won 99.96 percent of the vote. Of course, it is impossible to say whether that's a true measure of the Iraqi people's feelings."
-ABC's David Wright on World News Tonight, Oct. 15.

 

Celebrating "Re-Elected" Dictator


"It's official, yet still unbelievable! Saddam Hussein re-elected to another seven-year term as President in a referendum where he got 100 percent of the vote! The celebrations were genuine, but already the validity of the vote is being questioned. The Bush administration dismissed the vote as not credible."
-NBC's Keith Miller on the October 16 Today.

"Defiant Iraqis lined up to show their support for Saddam Hussein Tuesday as Western powers were deadlocked over how to deal with the veteran leader they say threatens world security....Iraqis were in a festive mood as they turned out to vote in a presidential referendum Saddam is sure to win."
-Reuters reporter Nadim Ladki in an October 15 dispatch from Baghdad.

"Iraqi reverence for President Saddam Hussein is rarely more expressive than when their leader calls a referendum. 'To paint for the President for this special day is important,' explains artist Abdul. 'It shows our love to him.' Amid even bolder demonstrations of devotion to the Iraqi leader, students at Baghdad's fine arts school, too young to vote in the last referendum in 1995, appear eager now."
-CNN's Nic Robertson on American Morning, October 14.

Reality Check:
"Hundreds of journalists, routinely denied visas, have been allowed in to report on the referendum. But a message has been delivered that reentry to Iraq may depend on how the [presidential referendum] vote is covered."
-Los Angeles Times staff writer Michael Slackman in an October 15 news story, "For Iraqis, Vote for Hussein Is an Exercise in Democracy."

 

Fawning Over Jimmy the Great


"It was a great day for Jimmy Carter. The former President heard early this morning that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Carter was President from 1977 to 1981. He is the least popular President in the period after World War II. In the mid-1990s, on the other hand, he was occasionally introduced as the only man who has ever used the presidency as a stepping stone to greatness."
-Peter Jennings on World News Tonight, October 11.

"He has become, in the opinion of many, the greatest ex-President of modern times."
-Charles Gibson on Good Morning America, Oct. 11.

"I mean, it's so wonderful...and so well-deserved."
-NBC's Katie Couric on Today, October 11.

CNBC's Brian Williams: "Is it fair to call him the best former President in, at minimum, modern American history, and perhaps, well, I guess, the last 200 years?"
Historian Marshall Frady: "Which embraces all presidencies, I think. Absolutely."
-Exchange on The News with Brian Williams, Oct. 11.

"A day in the life of America's plainspoken man of peace: Jimmy Carter is a bit of living history, firmly planted in the here and now."
-Headline over Gregg Zoroya's two-page profile of Jimmy Carter in the October 14 edition of USA Today.

"There is hardly a troubled place in the world he hasn't visited, worked in, in a quest to bring peace and spread democratic values....Jimmy Carter told Larry King today he is slowing down some, cutting back. Age makes globe-trotting especially hard. But in many places, dusty and difficult places, James Earl Carter has brought hope and dispelled, as well as anyone alive these days, the vision of the ugly American."
-Aaron Brown on CNN's NewsNight, October 11.

Reality Check:
"Carter said of Kim Il Sung, a brutal Stalinist dictator, 'I found him to be vigorous, intelligent, surprisingly well-informed about the technical issues and in charge of the decisions about this country.'...He told Haitian dictator Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras he was 'ashamed of what my country has done to your country.' He's praised the mass-murdering leaders of Syria and Ethiopia. He endorsed Yasser Arafat's sham election and grumbled about the legitimate vote that ousted Sandinista Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua."
-National Review Online editor Jonah Goldberg in his syndicated column May 15, 2002.


Let 1,000 Book Clubs Bloom


"For Castro, freedom starts with education. And if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth. The literacy rate is 96 percent."
-Barbara Walters narrating her interview with Fidel Castro on ABC's 20/20, October 11.

 

Lauding Past Anti-Tax Cut Stance


"Since Inauguration Day, the Dow Jones is down 26 percent. The unemployment rate is up 33 percent. The budget had a $281 billion surplus. We now have a $157 billion deficit and there's been a net loss of two million jobs. You were prescient, prophetic about the Bush tax cut. Why did you change your view and vote for it?"
-NBC's Tim Russert to Senate candidate Lindsey Graham (R-SC), reminding him how in 2000 he'd sided with John McCain against Bush's tax cut, on the October 13 Meet the Press.


PBS Boss's Left Wing Fan Club


"[Public Broadcasting System President and CEO Pat Mitchell] came to the job in March 2000 knowing how to make all kinds of television (she has been a network correspondent, a syndicated talk show host and a documentary maker) and all kinds of friends (actor Robert Redford, former boss Ted Turner and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev are among the members of her fan club)."
-October 14 Electronic Media profile of Mitchell, whom the magazine named one of TVs most powerful women.

 

May the Forest Be With You


"You say that people are afraid to talk about being caring about the environment because they may be perceived, they think, as unpatriotic?...What is the greatest lesson you've learned?...What gives you hope, Jane?...The UN has just reported that 13 species of the worlds apes could be extinct within 30 years. I mean, in the face of it, that seems so hopeless....What sustains you?...You also travel with the forest within you, you say?"
-Ann Curry's questions to animal rights activist Jane Goodall, October 21 Today.

 

Natural Born Moron


"This is a racist and imperialist war. The warmongers who stole the White House (you call them 'hawks,' but I would never disparage such a fine bird) have hijacked a nation's grief and turned it into a perpetual war on any non-white country they choose to describe as terrorist."
-Former Cheers star Woody Harrelson in an op-ed headlined "I'm an American tired of American lies" published October 17 in London's The Guardian newspaper.