Notable Quotables - 11/30/1998

Ken Starr, Evil Puppeteer?

"What about the image and impression of Ken Starr as the sort of evil puppeteer behind this entire investigation?"
- John Hockenberry to Gwen Ifill on MSNBC's InterNight, November 19.

"Because if I were the President's lawyer I wouldn't let Starr be the only witness. The public be damned, excuse me ladies and gentlemen, but I'm not gonna let my client go down for reasons of expediting our discomfort. I'm gonna call any witness I can to prove that Ken Starr is a partisan zealot who has had a chip on his shoulder and has it in for my client from the get-go. And I'm gonna do everything I can to prove that there is a vast right-wing conspiracy that's been out to smear this man."
- Geraldo Rivera on what he'd advise if he were Clinton's lawyer, November 11 Rivera Live on CNBC.


Hitting Both Sides from the Left

"If Kenneth Starr did not have enough evidence to file charges related to Whitewater and campaign finance, why should he have a right to bring it all up during the hearings?"
- Good Morning America co-host Lisa McRee to Republican Congressman Charles Canady, November 19.

"But clearly, according to what Starr has presented so far, last night in writing, about two-thirds of it will be about the Monica Lewinsky matter, but another third will be related to Webster Hubbell and campaign finance and alleged hush money. Is that fair, Congressman Meehan?"
- McRee to Democrat Marty Meehan, same segment.


Rest in Eternal Torment, Gingrich

"Go back and read that speech he gave when he was voted speaker. It was a speech in which he said his political hero of the 20th century was Franklin Roosevelt, in which he said we should cooperate and work together. I heard that speech and said, hey if that's the Newt Gingrich that's shown up with the Republicans behind him, they're going to be a formidable force. But then things turned around, and in fact it was ideological warfare, it was take no prisoners, it was burn and raze the village."
- Sam Donaldson on Good Morning America, November 8.

"They look at Bob Livingston and they say certainly he comes across as a nicer guy. His rhetoric is sometimes loud, but it's not as ugly or mean as Newt Gingrich."
- NBC reporter Chip Reid on MSNBC's The Big Show, Nov. 9.


That Poor Hush-Money Millionaire

"I don't think its going to have much impact on impeachment at all. I think Ken Starr's made his own position even worse with this outrageous third indictment of Webster Hubbell. How many times?"
- The Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt on the November 14 Capital Gang, referring to the impact of the showdown with Iraq.

"It's hard to know who to root for in the Webb Hubbell-Ken Starr thing. On the one hand, here's Hubbell, right, he gets a million dollars from all the President's friends in three months to do nothing in 1994. That's odd, it's strange. I wish we all could get that deal. On the other hand, Ken Starr seems to indict the guy seasonally."
- Time Washington Bureau Chief Michael Duffy, November 14 Inside Washington.

"To re-indict Webb Hubbell, to me that shows that Ken Starr is like a deer caught in the headlights. He's got big bug eyes. He's gonna do anything. He's so mad that his neck is going to blow up....This is a hate crime! This is a hate crime!"
- Geraldo Rivera on CNBC's Rivera Live, November 16.

"You do have to wonder if Webb Hubbell isn't the ultimate victim in all of this. I mean, indicted, indicted, and indicted."
- Time White House reporter James Carney on CNN's Inside Politics, November 13.

"This has been a source of tremendous sadness for the President and deep irritation at the Independent Counsel for going forward with yet another indictment against Webster Hubbell."
- CNN White House reporter Wolf Blitzer, same show.


We're All Proud We're Democrats

Co-Host Kevin Newman: "Well, what did they see when they watched the hearings yesterday?"
Debra Dickerson, U.S. News & World Report Senior Editor: "I think African-Americans saw two things: They saw Representative Conyers, Mel Watt, Sheila Jackson-Lee, and Representative Waters, especially Sheila Jackson-Lee came off very magisterial and very kind of, Barbara Jordan-esque yesterday, and so African-Americans are really very proud of the way we're conducting ourselves, and we're feeling very, kind of, heady, the way we came out of the elections, having played such a pivotal role in Democratic successes."
- Exchange from November 20 Good Morning America.


Weird, Insulting History Lessons

"It worked in Stalingrad. To some degree, it worked in the foreign compound during the Boxer Rebellion in Peking in 1900. It certainly seems to have worked for Bill Clinton. When there's no capability of offense, no escape, and especially if you're lucky enough to have an overconfident opponent - just batten down the hatches and wait for the idiots to defeat themselves. Impeachment, once spoken gravely by presidential defenders and opponents alike, now engenders giggles and arguments about it carry all the weight of arguments about who is the rightful Czar of all the Russias."
- MSNBC Big Show host Keith Olbermann, November 23.

"Does E.J. [Dionne] have this pretty much nailed in terms of the more rabid ends of the Republican Party, I mean in the sense that, if you're gonna lose, as I said earlier, make it like the Civil War where you can turn it into the 'we stood until the very last man kind' of loss?"
- Keith Olbermann to Tony Blankley, same night.

Keith Olbermann: "I was watching, just the other night, the highlights of the Army-McCarthy hearings, and I was reminded of this today. Joe McCarthy, not even paying attention as with each reference he made to one of Joseph Welch's second chair attorneys, he dug himself deeper and deeper into a hole that he thought he was making this point that was for his case, and he was just burying himself. Is there not some perception, Mr. Starr's point that Web Hubbell and prosecuting him now is almost walking into a radioactive dump?"
Former Washington Post and New York Times reporter E.J. Dionne: "Well, I think the fact that you just said it suggests it's going to be thought of by a lot of people, sure. It's the Hubbell trifecta...He faces potentially over 100 years of jail time which means he'll get out just in time to watch the end of this investigation."
- November 13 Big Show on MSNBC.

"It was on this date in 1927 that Joseph Stalin completed his consolidation of the leadership in Russia by engineering the expulsion from the Communist Party of Leon Trotsky. Darn. With Newt, the Republicans missed that anniversary by just six days."
- Olbermann, November 12 Big Show on MSNBC.

"After the election, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde insisted it was business as usual for the impeachment process. Generals in the German High Command probably said the same thing after D-Day."
- Los Angeles Times reporter Ronald Brownstein, November 9.


Tripp Sends Them to the Shower

"I thought that Linda Tripp now takes her place in the Hall of Infamy as a betrayer on the order of Benedict Arnold in the, at least, in the love '90s...I think anybody who wrapped themselves around Linda Tripp and her tapes is now soiled. You felt the need to take a shower. What that woman did to her young friend is beyond the pale. I think its much worse than anything Bill Clinton did."
- Geraldo Rivera on NBCs Today, November 18.

"Stand by to feel like you need a shower.... Okay, one of them will read the part of the irresponsible adolescent, the other will narrate the lines of the pathetic, self-destroying, older loser and you and I will be Polonius hiding ourselves behind the arras."
- Keith Olbermann, November 17 Big Show on MSNBC.


Starr Should Have Been McCarthy

"He looked fine. I thought the Democrats looked terrible. I mean, this was the moment that called for a Joe Welch, like the guy in the Army-McCarthy hearings who said 'Have you no decency, sir?' The Democrats didn't have anybody like that. They sounded way too prosecutorial and I thought it looked silly."
- Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas on the talk show Inside Washington, November 21.

"Starr: [Down arrow] When in trouble, indict Webb Hubbell. Note to Congress: Grill this fish."
- Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom Watch," November 23.


They Never Asked Clinton This

"If you're asked specifically about marijuana or cocaine [use in your past], what's the answer?"
- Newsweek's Howard Fineman to George W. Bush, Nov. 16.


So-Called Freedom Fighters?

"This is the longest landing strip in the country. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration used it to support what it called freedom fighters in their effort against the leftist Nicaraguan government."
- ABC reporter Mike von Fremd surveying Hurricane Mitch damage in Honduras, November 10 Good Morning America.


Larry King, Ding-A-Ling

"If he had to testify, do you think Thomas Jefferson would have been impeached? No chance, there was no talk radio."
- CNN's Larry King in his USA Today column, November 16.


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