The Democrats’ Mr. Cool
“He’s come from a white family and a black family, and he’s married to a black woman, and they’re cool people. They are really cool. They are Jack and Jackie Kennedy when you see them together. They are cool. And they’re great-looking, and they’re cool and they’re young, and they’re — everything seems to be great....He may not win this thing because everybody in America is not going to be in a room with him somewhere....[But] if you’re in [a room] with Obama, you feel the spirit. Moving.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews talking about Democratic candidate Barack Obama on NBC’s Tonight Show, Jan. 16.
Journalists Hooked on Obama
Host Howard Kurtz: “Are journalists rooting for the Obama story?”
The Politico’s John Harris, referring to the Washington Post: “It wouldn’t surprise me that there’s some of that....A couple years ago, you would send a reporter out with Obama, and it was like they needed to go through detox when they came back — ‘Oh, he’s so impressive, he’s so charismatic,’ and we’re kind of like, ‘Down, boy.’”
— Exchange on CNN’s Reliable Sources, January 13.
“From a reporter’s point of view, it’s almost hard to remain objective because it’s infectious, the energy, I think. It sort of goes against your core to say that as a reporter, but the crowds have gotten so much bigger, his energy has gotten stronger. He feeds off that.”
— NBC reporter Lee Cowan in an MSNBC.com video about the Obama campaign posted January 7.
Thrilled by “Hillary Unplugged”
Anchor Katie Couric: “Some observers believe that moment when you got emotional on Monday, when your voice cracked and your eyes welled up, that that humanized you and made you much more attractive to women voters....Will you be willing now to reveal more of yourself and be less reserved?”
Senator Hillary Clinton: “Well, you know, one of my young friends said, well, that was like Hillary unplugged.”
— CBS Evening News, January 9.
“In a brief, unguarded moment yesterday, Hillary Clinton gave us a peek behind the curtain, and it was terrific....She became one of us, just for a minute.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, January 8.
AP’s Ode to “Authentic” McCain
“Mitt Romney’s victory in Michigan was a defeat for authenticity in politics. The former Massachusetts governor pandered to voters, distorted his opponents’ record and continued to show why he’s the most malleable — and least credible — major presidential candidate. And it worked. The man who spoke hard truths to Michigan lost. Of all the reasons John McCain deserved a better result Tuesday night, his gamble on the economy stands out.”
— Beginning of AP political reporter Ron Fournier’s January 15 “news analysis” about the Michigan primary headlined, “Mitt Won, Authenticity Lost.”
Mitt Romney’s “Dangerous Place”
“Just as race is being very divisive on the Democratic side, Romney is going after McCain for putting higher CAFE standards, higher standards for gasoline usage on automobile companies and for going after climate change. If Romney wins, and that becomes the message of the Republican Party, we are going to have two huge clashes in this country between needs on the economy vs. needs to deal with climate change. And it’s a very dangerous place for the Republican Party to go.”
— CNN senior political analyst and U.S. News & World Report editor-at-large David Gergen on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, January 14.
Uniquely Repelled by Romney
“I’ve been amazed at the raw antipathy that so many otherwise reasonable people in the media feel toward [Mitt] Romney. The word they use is ‘inauthentic.’ But all presidential candidates are inauthentic to one degree or another. Even Mr. Straight Talk, Senator John McCain, talks differently today about tax cuts and immigration than he used to, but the press doesn’t hector him about it. There’s something unique about Romney that repels the press.”
— The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes in a Jan. 14 article.
Surely Not McCain’s Liberal Views
CBS’s Bob Schieffer: “These [Michigan voters] are Republicans, but they’re not necessarily John McCain’s voters.”
Anchor Katie Couric: “Why is that?”
Schieffer: “Well, you know, John McCain has always been sort of a maverick. He’s always been willing to challenge the authority and a lot of Republicans just have not forgiven him for that.”
— Discussing the Michigan primary on the January 15 CBS Evening News.
No “Truly Liberal” Choices
“In this country, most politicians — liberal and conservative, Democrat, Republican — are in a relatively small box. I mean, you have to work really hard to find a truly liberal, and maybe not quite so hard right now to find somebody a little more adamant on the right. But Hillary Clinton and John Edwards and Barack Obama are not raging liberals.”
— Former CNN and Court TV anchor Catherine Crier on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, January 11.
Hillary: America’s Iron Lady
Clip of Hillary Clinton at debate: “You know, President Bush is over in the Gulf now begging the Saudis and others to drop the price of oil. How pathetic!”
Host Chris Matthews: “You know ‘pathetic,’ that’s a tough word. That reminded me, Tucker, of remember Margaret Thatcher saying to Bush Sr., ‘Don’t go wobbly?’”
Tucker Carlson: “’Don’t go wobbly.’ That’s exactly right.”
Matthews: “Pathetic? It just struck me as very Thatcher-ite right there.”
— Exchange on MSNBC’s Hardball, January 16.
Tired of Conservative “Crap”
“I heard McCain talking about he’s proud of his record on abortion. I heard Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution to put God in it in some way. I heard somebody else talking about flying a Confederate flag over a courthouse. Marriage is between a man — it’s the same crap that we hear every election cycle.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, Jan. 16.
Please, No Tax Cuts for Rich!
“If you get this money, these tax rebates into the hands of lower and middle class people, they’re going to be the ones who in the short term will go out and spend it and boost the economy. Is that where the rebates will go?... You’re not going to give rebates to the rich here, correct?”
— NBC’s Matt Lauer questioning Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Today, January 18.
Conservatives Want “Berlin Wall”
“Fences are only so good — there are ways to get around fences, over, under and in other directions....It’s a substantial cost. It’s a mammoth project. I’ve seen walls around other countries, most notably East Germany and East Berlin, and they didn’t work. In fact, they became symbols of oppression rather than anything positive.”
— Ex-CNN reporter Charles Bierbauer talking about a proposed border fence to curb illegal immigration, on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, January 11.
Is Bin Laden a Hero or Villain?
Reporter Ned Colt: “Murderous fanatic or hero of radical Islam? 50 year-old Osama bin Laden is an icon of intense hatred and profound reverence.”
Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of London-based Al-Quds newspaper: “History will remember Osama Bin Laden as the man who challenged the American superpower. The little David who actually stand up against the mighty Goliath.”
— Story preceding an interview with Osama bin Laden’s son Omar on NBC’s Today, January 22.
The Sunni vs. Shiite Primary
“[It] used to be the Democrats were the disorganized political party. Now, the Republicans are like the — like the Iraqis. Have you noticed? They’ve got their Shia wing, the fanatics. They’ve got Huckabee. This where I get into trouble. This is just where I get into trouble. Huckabee and Thompson are the Shiites, and the Sunni, the more moderate guys, are McCain, and — who else they got over there? And uh, Rudy Giuliani. And then they got Romney, the Kurd. I mean, they’re all over the place. Who’s gonna unite them?”
— Chris Matthews on NBC’s Tonight Show, January 16.
Giuliani the Disastrous “Dictator”
“It’d be a disaster! If he [Rudy Giuliani] became the next President of the United States that would be an absolute disaster. And I’m a say it why. It’s because of who’s in office now. Considering Bush, you’re following him up with Giuliani? There would be no foreign relations whatsoever.
I mean, it would be an absolute — we’ll be hated by the rest of the entire world!...Giuliani is a dictator as far as I’m concerned. That’s his mentality.”
— ESPN’s Stephen Smith on MSNBC’s Hardball, Jan. 21.
GOP Rigged Election for Hillary?
Host Bill Maher: “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but it does strike me odd that Barack Obama was up so much in New Hampshire one day before and that the exit polls, a lot of them say that people still voted for him as the winner.... You know, in crime they always ask cui bono, ‘who profits?’ Who profits from the Hillary victory? They don’t want to run against Obama. Your party does not want to run against him. They want to run against Hillary Clinton and now they have a race with her in it.”
Former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow: “So, Republicans are throwing the election to Hillary Clinton?”
Maher: “Well, they’ve done that before....They did it to Ed Muskie.”
— Exchange on HBO’s Real Time, January 11.
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