Notable Quotables - 11/22/2004

Darn that Unbiased Dan Rather

"If Walter Cronkite was around today, I think John Kerry would be President."
-USA Today founder Al Neuharth in a November 9 speech at Dakota Wesleyan University, as reported the next day by Harold Campbell in the Mitchell, South Dakota Daily Republic.


Bush Selected by Dumb Voters...

"I'm going,'Oh, my God, are children going to grow up stupid?' And I don't say that to them, but when I hear some of their answers to questions, I'm like, 'They still think that Saddam Hussein blew up the World Trade Center!' And I'm telling you, I've been to cities [in the] Northeast, South, Midwest, far West, Pacific Northwest, I've been all over the country, and I'm like, 'Oh, my God, how could they miss this?' And then I look at the election, and I'm going, Well, of course our kids are not bright about these things because their parents aren't."
-Former World News Tonight/Sunday anchor Carole Simpson, who now travels the country for ABC News to talk to high schoolers about how to consume news, at a National Press Club forum shown on C-SPAN, November 8.


...Mostly from Ex-Slave States

"When you tell me, 'Let the states decide,' that scares me, okay? I've got a little map here of [the] pre-Civil War [United States], free versus slave states. I wish you could see it in color and large. But if you look at it, the red states are all down in the South, and you have the Nebraska Territories, the New Mexico Territories, and the Kansas Territories. But the Pacific Northwest and California were not slave states. The Northeast was not. It looks like the [Electoral College] map of 2004."
-Simpson reacting to a comment made by MSNBC's Pat Buchanan at the same forum a few minutes later.


Media Baffled by Bush Backers

"Most members of the establishment media live in Washington and New York. Most of them don't drive pickup trucks, most of them don't have guns, most of them don't go to NASCAR, and every day we're not out in areas that care about those things and deal with those things as part of their daily lives, we are out of touch with a lot of America and with a lot of America that supports George W. Bush."
-ABC News Political Director Mark Halperin during live coverage immediately before John Kerry's concession speech on November 3.


Keith Cracks Up

"Did the new voting technology tamper with last week's presidential election?...There is a small but blood curdling group of reports of voting irregularities and possible fraud - principally in Ohio and Florida."
-MSNBC's Keith Olbermann his 8pm EST program, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, November 8.

"Last night we began our newscast with a run-down of the irregularities in Florida and Ohio....Why is it that this is like the second large-scale report on this on a national level? Did every news organization give up on this story the moment John Kerry conceded the election?"
-Olbermann's introduction and first question to Congressional Quarterly columnist Craig Crawford on the November 9 Countdown.

"Intimidation, harassment, fabrication, doctoring, spinning, de-contextualizing and actual truth-telling have all been facets of the continuing firestorm over the probity of the elections on the Internet. The latest dueling weapons: scholarly analyses from researchers at major universities. One suggests that the actual statistical odds that the exit polling was wrong -  that wrong - were 250 million to one."
-Olbermann on the November 12 Countdown.

Reality Check:
Chip Reid: "Doug Chapin of the non-partisan group says there were many problems on Election Day, from long lines to malfunctioning machines, but there's no evidence the election was hijacked."
Doug Chapin: "I think these are conspiracy theories. I think they are consistent with the phenomenon we've seen on the Internet in recent years."
-NBC Nightly News, November 11.


Someday, Rove Will Smear Them

"Okay, time to do morning papers....Stars and Stripes starts it off: 'U.S. Troops Control Most of Fallujah,' the headline. U.S. Officials Believe Most Insurgents Have Fled the City. Look at this picture here, if you can. 'Troops' Bravery Honored in Iraq.' These are all Purple Heart winners. Some day, one of them will run for President and someone will say they didn't earn the Purple Heart. Welcome to America."
-CNN's Aaron Brown on the November 10 NewsNight displaying a front-page photo of a line of U.S. troops in Iraq receiving their medals.


In Which Half Was He?

"I know a lot of you believe that most people in the news business are liberal. Let me tell you, I know a lot of them, and they were almost evenly divided this time. Half of them liked Senator Kerry; the other half hated President Bush."
-CBS's Andy Rooney on the November 7 60 Minutes.


Fearing Majoritys "Moral Values"

"There's a definite sense this morning on the part of the Kerry voters that perhaps this is code, 'moral values,' is code for something else. It's code for taking a different position about gays in America, an exclusionary position, a code about abortion, code about imposing Christianity over other faiths."
-Diane Sawyer to Bush campaign advisor Joe Watkins on ABC's Good Morning America, November 4.

Distressed by "Hard Right" Gains

"It appears tonight that your side of the aisle - in the Senate, at least - will be more conservative with Jim DeMint coming in from South Carolina, and Tom Coburn coming in from Oklahoma, very outspoken, very conservative, and very proud of their hard-right credentials."
-Tom Brokaw to Senator John McCain during NBC's live election coverage on November 2.

Trying to Push Bush to the Left

"I think, and perhaps it's counterintuitively, you hear Vice President Cheney talk about the mandate that came out of the first term even though President Bush didn't win the popular vote. In the second term now that President Bush, you would think, would be unleashed by this huge outpouring of support in this election, [he] could actually have more of an opportunity to go to the middle."
-ABC's George Stephanopoulos during live coverage following President Bush's November 3 victory speech.

"Because the conservative base has now done its job and helped to re-elect him, he is free to take it for granted. That might be ungrateful to his fervent supporters, but lame ducks have no need to reward their interest groups....If he wants to secure his legacy and defy expectations, he will move quickly toward the center and stay there. This would require some shocking appointments Joe Biden as Secretary of State? Bill Clinton as Mideast negotiator? A moderate Supreme Court Chief Justice? but making them would do much to calm the waters in Washington."
-Senior Editor Jonathan Alter writing in the November 15 Newsweek.


Yasser Arafat, Freedom Fighter?

"There may not be any other man in history who better embodies the saying that one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter....For most Israelis, many Jews, he was a bloody terrorist and nothing more. Yet elsewhere in the world, even among Arabs who questioned his leadership, he was treated as a hero, freedom fighter, revolutionary. A diminutive man who became a larger than life symbol of the Palestinian dream."
-ABC's Diane Sawyer reporting Yasser Arafats death, Good Morning America, November 11.


Washington's Army = Terrorists

Matt Lauer: "Let me talk about this idea that a rag-tag group - not well-fed, not well-clothed, completely under-equipped as compared to this great British army and the Hessians - could accomplish this. And let me ask you to think about what is going on in Iraq today, where the insurgents - not well equipped, smaller in numbers - the greatest army in the world is their opposition. What's the lesson here?"
Lynne Cheney: "Well, the difference of course is who's fighting on the side of freedom."
-Exchange on the November 9 Today show, where Mrs. Cheney was promoting her new children's book on General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War.


Poor Peter Was Still Hoping

Dean Reynolds: "When we arrived in Massachusetts, I couldn't find any Kerry campaign folks who didn't think they were going to win. They must be well and truly shocked tonight, especially about the loss of Ohio.... "
Peter Jennings: "Do you believe that the Kerry campaign is conceding Ohio? Because I hate to put you in an embarrassing position here we've not projected Ohio."
Reynolds: "No, but everybody else has."
-Exchange at about 1:50am EST November 3 during ABC's election night coverage.


She Must Watch Keith Olbermann

Susan Sarandon: "We should deal with voter fraud. I was so naive - all this stuff about the provisional voting?... They're never going to even look at them. I mean, they've got this system in Ohio with the"
Bill Maher: "C'mon. He lost, by a lot. He lost by over"
Sarandon: "Wait a minute! You better tune in to some of the other channels. They're finding all kinds of one area of Ohio, 628 people registered to vote, Bush got 4,000 votes! There's a lot of irregularities."
-HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, November 5.