Chris Gets His Thrill On
Co-anchor Chris Matthews: “I have to tell you, you know, it’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My — I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”
Co-anchor Keith Olbermann: “Steady.”
Matthews: “No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event. He speaks about America in a way that has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the feeling we have about our country. And that is an objective assessment.”
— Exchange during MSNBC’s coverage of the Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. primaries, February 12.
CBS’s Valentine for Obama
“They come in droves, by the tens of thousands at times, to hear Barack Obama speak....With soaring rhetoric, Obama is moving his audiences not just politically, but emotionally. Even some political commentators who’ve seen it all can’t help but gush....The stoic eloquence channels John F. Kennedy.”
— Correspondent Tracy Smith on CBS’s The Early Show, February 14.
Can’t Wait to Impugn Republicans
“Have you stopped to think what the Obama version of Swift Boating might be in this campaign cycle if you get to the general election? What they did to John Kerry, what’s that version going to be with Barack Obama?”
— NBC’s Matt Lauer to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Today, February 19.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “There’s still plenty of racism out there, you know. There are all these incidents you see of racial hatred....How worried are you — and you’re obviously sympathetic to the Republicans — that if Barack Obama gets the Democratic presidential nomination, that there could be elements of racism that come up from the other side?”
Conservative radio host Larry Elder: “I’m sure there are people who won’t vote for him because he’s black. I’m sure there are people who are voting for him because he’s black.”
Blitzer: “No, I’m talking about the Willie Horton kind of commercials, the ads that could be used against, potentially against, Barack Obama.”
— Exchange on CNN’s Situation Room, February 12.
McCain vs. “Far Right” “Crazies”
“While [Senator John] McCain may be close to locking up the Republican nomination, he still faces a tough battle to win the support of hard-line GOP conservatives.”
— Fill-in anchor Harry Smith on the February 7 CBS Evening News.
“McCain: Frail with the Far Right”
— Headline over a February 6 Time.com article by the magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief Jay Carney.
Co-host Harry Smith: “These conservatives, they’re still — they’re not happy. They’re not happy about this guy.”
CBS political analyst Nicolle Wallace: “And, you know what, Republicans are beginning to say that’s okay. The more that we see, kind of, the crazies like Ann Coulter out attacking John McCain, the better Republicans feel about their chances in the general election.”
— Exchange on CBS’s The Early Show, February 13.
Just Toddlers Having a Tantrum
“Critics of conservative voices right now are saying for the first time in a very long time, the conservatives have lost. They haven’t been able to choose their nominee and it’s the political version now of a 3-year-old saying, ‘if you can’t play the game the way I want to play, I’m taking my football and I’m going home.’ How do you respond to that?”
— NBC’s Matt Lauer to Ann Coulter on Today, February 8.
Just a Matter of Time
“I do think he [John McCain] gets good treatment....The media like him because he’s the one who pokes his thumb in Republican and conservative eyes, mostly conservative eyes. But as soon as it’s McCain against Obama or Clinton, the media goes over to the other side.”
— Former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg on FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor, February 7.
Vieira’s Liberal Circle of Friends
“I was with a group of friends who, actually were trying to choose between Clinton and Obama and the, for example, the ones who were for Clinton said, ‘Well I want to vote for her but I think I’m gonna vote for Obama because I think he, he can win the general election.’ And then some of the Obama people said, ‘Well, I’m gonna vote for Clinton because I think she’s gonna win.’”
— NBC’s Meredith Vieira on the February 4 Today.
“Could global warming one day force us into space to live?”
— ABC’s Sam Champion, Good Morning America, Feb. 8.
Run, Al, Run
“Al Gore on the second ballot: A scenario that a few weeks ago seemed preposterous is beginning to look plausible to some nervous Democrats looking for a way out of the deadlock between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.... Democrats want to win. The new rallying cry: Gore on the second ballot.”
— Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift in a February 15 posting to her magazine’s “Stumper” political blog.
“He foresaw global warming. He ‘took the initiative’ on the Internet. And he knew exactly how Iraq would turn out. Who’s to say that Al Gore hasn’t known all along that the Democratic race would descend into some weird state of gridlock — and that only he, the Goracle, could rescue the party from civil war?”
— Newsweek political reporter Andrew Romano on the “Stumper” blog commenting on Clift’s theory.
“Dashing” “Rock Star” Castro
“From a tiny island, a larger than life personality....Castro knew life is a stage and played the part of the dashing revolutionary, coming to New York, getting rock star treatment.”
— ABC’s Diane Sawyer on the February 19 Good Morning America, after news Castro would relinquish his title as Cuban president.
“His record has been a mix of great social achievements, but a dismal economic performance that has mired most Cubans in poverty. He succeeded in establishing universal health care, providing free education through college and largely rooting out racism.”
— New York Times reporter James C. McKinley, Jr., writing about Castro’s legacy in a February 19 online article.
News You Can Use
CBS’s Katie Couric: “What were you like in high school? Were you the girl in the front row taking meticulous notes and always raising your hand?...Someone told me your nickname in school was Miss Frigidaire. Is that true?”
Hillary Clinton: “Only with some boys.” [laughs]
Couric, giggling: “I don’t know if I want to hear the back story on that!”
Clinton: “Well, you wouldn’t want to know the boys either.” [bursts out laughing]
— CBS’s 60 Minutes, February 10.
Some Fine Objective Reporting
“Mr. Bush never sounds surer of himself than when the subject is Sept. 11, even when his critics argue that he has squandered the country’s moral authority, violated American and international law, and led the United States into the foolhardy distraction of Iraq.”
— New York Times reporter Steven Lee Myers in a February 12 front-page “news analysis” about military trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 conspirators.
Americans “Suffering” Due to Bush
NBC’s Ann Curry: “Some Americans believe, that they feel they’re carrying the burden because of this economy. I mean, they say they’re suffering because of this war.”
President George W. Bush: “I don’t agree with that.”
Curry: “You don’t agree with that? Has nothing to do with the economy? The war? The spending on the war?...But at some point if you’re wrong about something it is — I’m not saying that you are, I’m just saying that at some point if you, if this idea of not wanting soldiers to die in vain. At some point, if you’re absolutely wrong, you don’t want any more soldiers to die in vain.”
Bush: “Well, we’re not wrong in this case.”
— Exchange on NBC’s Today, February 18.
Frothing Over Bush the “Fascist”
“If you believe in the seamless mutuality of government and big business, come out and say it! There is a dictionary definition, one word that describes that toxic blend. You’re a fascist! Get them to print you a T-shirt with fascist on it!...You, sir, have no place in a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The lot of you are the symbolic descendants of the despotic middle managers of some banana republic to whom ‘freedom’ is an ironic brand name, a word you reach for when you want to get away with its opposite.”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann in a “Special Comment” about the NSA’s terrorist surveillence program on Countdown, February 14.
Wishing Rush Had “Croaked”
Author/humorist P.J. O’Rourke: “It’s the twilight of the radio loud-mouth, you know? I knew it from the moment the fat guy-”
Host Bill Maher: “You mean Rush Limbaugh and Sean-”
O’Rourke: “-from the moment the fat guy refused to share his drugs....”
Maher: “You mean the OxyContin that he was on?...Why couldn’t he have croaked from it instead of Heath Ledger?”
— HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, February 8.
PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan and Kyle Drennen
RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: Michelle Humphrey
INTERN: Lyndsi Thomas